Before Joe Johnston directed films like Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Jurassic Park III (2001) he was a film storyboard and concept artist. His big break came in 1975 on the first Star Wars film, which led to him to film school.
He helped design Yoda and many more key elements of Star Wars. For this post I'm focusing on his work designing the Rebel X-Wing Fighter along with Ralph McQuarrie.
Check out the rest of the images after the jump and click to enlarge.
First, the designs by Joe Johnston. The notes and images are from the book The Star Wars Sketchbook by Joe Johnston 1977 via Hey Oscar Wilde
The Rebel forces are not financially well off. The ships were conceivably acquired decades earlier at a discount, and have been made to last through prudent. but affectionate maintenance. Engines and body panels are scavenged from derelict craft. Paint and polish being unaffordable luxuries, appearance is unimportant. The one graphic consistency in the X-wing squadron is a large red horizontal stripe on the flank of each ship. In addition to attaining the used-car look, the X-wing fighters took on a kind of tough. no-nonsense quality through production changes. Engines were beefed up. Wings thickened. A lot of hardware is allowed to show on the surface, where it complements the carefully finished body shapes, creating a feeling of styled functionalism.
"Early X-wing lighter concepts from different angles. In the final version, upper and lower split-circle engines became fully circular to accommodate thicker wings, and a segmented canopy replaced the 'bubble' canopy to eliminate reflection problems."
Designs by Ralph McQuarrie
See more of Ralph McQuarrie's work at ralphmcquarrie.com
What do you think of the illustrations?
Wikipedia SummaryStar Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first film released in the Star Wars saga and is the fourth in terms of the series' internal chronology. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time.
Set 'a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away', the film follows a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance as they plot to destroy the powerful Death Star space station, a devastating weapon created by the evil Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids carrying the stolen plans to the Death Star. After the Empire begins a cruel and destructive search for the droids, Skywalker decides to accompany Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on a daring mission to rescue the owner of the droids, rebel leader Princess Leia, and save the galaxy.
Directed by George Lucas
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness
@ Copyright 1977 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm. All rights reserved.
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