Heads up, Star Wars fans, because this is pretty cool. While we wait for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to hit theaters on December 15, which simply can’t come soon enough at this point, we can take a look at these alternative logos that were done by Ralph McQuarrie for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. And they are quite a bit different than what we ultimately ended up with.
The art made its way online courtesy of Star Wars fan Gus Lopez, who posted the artwork to his Instagram page. The image features several concept sketches done by Ralph McQuarrie for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back before settling on a logo design. There are several different options here and they all vary quite a bit from what ended up being used for the marketing materials. Though, the two at the top left look like they could have had some influence on the eventual Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire logo. There is something of a history of Lucasfilm honoring McQuarrie’s work in that way. Whether or not that is even remotely true, just seeing these sketches is pretty cool for any die hard Star Wars fan.
“Daily Grail: Ralph McQuarrie original concept sketches of Empire Strikes Back logos”
If you don’t know the name Ralph McQuarrie off the top of your head, you will definitely know his work. Though, many Star Wars fans know him as one of the most important figures behind-the-scenes, rivaled perhaps only by George Lucas, John Dykstra and a few others. McQuarrie is a legendary concept artist who helped Lucas whip his ideas into shape and flesh out a lot of his vision for Star Wars in the earliest stages. Outside of the original Star Wars trilogy, some of his other very notable credits include E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Cocoon. We can ignore the Star Wars Holiday Special. Nobody blames him for that.
It may just be a logo, but logos are a pretty big deal within the Star Wars universe. Few things are of no significance in a galaxy far, far away in the eyes of fans. To illustrate that point, the classic yellow lettering of the Star Wars logo has been a staple of the franchise since the very beginning. That’s why it was a pretty big deal when the Star Wars: The Last Jedi logo was revealed with red lettering. What does it mean? Why is it red? Point being, logos matter in a Star Wars movie, so seeing a window into what could have been is interesting.
We lost Ralph McQuarrie in 2012 so, sadly, he never got to witness this new age of Star Wars. But for fans, he is still a tremendously important part of the universe and continues to influence the movies that Disney and Lucasfilm are making. Be sure to check out the alternative logo designs for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back for yourself below.