Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interstellar Inspiration: From Starkiller to Skywalker

Following are some concept sketches of Luke Skywalker's character as he (and in early stages "she") progressed through script stages. Die-hard fans will recognize these (just a selection of what's out there really) but I've always been intrigued by how the character's evolution paralleled the changes in the screenplay.
Originally, Luke's surname was Starkiller, and he was in his mid-to-early 60s, more of a Ben Kenobi type. Luke's character was rewritten, in some versions, as a female lead. (The male character pictured is actually Han Solo).

By the time filming comensed on the original film, the name was revised to "Skywalker" to appease studio heads who felt uncomfortable with the "Killer" moniker...or so the story goes. ;)
After finding these, I was intrigued that the last sketch pictured here and one of the first shots of Hamill dressed in blue. The costume is certainly cool and "appropriate" to an adventure story, but in the context of the story it was out of place. Probably could have worked for Empire though.


  1. My mom has been a SW fanatic since it first came out, so I grew-up hearing all sorts of stuff about the fiction and it's development - even some funny stories from sci-fi contentions. I have known about the name "Starkiller" and Luke as a lady for a longtime, but I have never seen the concept art like that - nor my mom, and she quite enjoyed the pics (mostly the pic with Hamill in blue, which she finds really sexy).

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey thanks for the comments! Yeah, that photo of him in blue isn't one I'd seen before this year. Lucas must be cracking open the archives!

    It's neat to see that they stayed close to the original sketch but then changed course completely and gave him the flowy tunic/leg wrappings to keep up with the story changes (desert farm boy).

  3. There is a more pulp sci-fi feel to some of the pre-production work that I would love to see turned into a sci-fi setting. I'm just now beginning to read the Han Solo novels that came out after Star Wars was released, and before the franchise was turned into a colossal waste of time.

  4. I recently came across a bunch of Star Wars books (someone was giving them way), and amongst them I found the Han Solo novels. I was told a lot of good things about Stars' End growing-up, and now I'm reading it. Thus far, its good!

    By the way, I remember reading a post on an old-school D&D forum called "Star Wars without the Saga", it was about the Star Wars fiction without anything past the first movie, nor the weird things that came from the other movies (like Luke and Leia being twins and the kids of Vader, and such). It was an interesting point of view, as it knocks-down most of the things we most remember of the franchise - for good and bad - and to look at the original movie (and the classic works from that time) from a fresh prospective.

  5. Malcadon, if you happen to remember where you saw that post, feel free to email me or post it here. :)

  6. I had to do some digging, but I found it here at OD&D Discussion.

  7. The outfit that Hamil is wearing in the second to last image (with the dark shirt, brown pants, and black boots) isn't new. In fact, he wears this exact outfit in A New Hope. Take another look at the Medal Ceremony scene at the end of the film. This is the outfit that he is wearing underneath his yellow jacket.