Friday, 17 June 2016


Art by Ralph McQuarrie.

RETURN OF THE JEDI's climax heavily concentrated its planetary storytelling on the forest moon of Endor and the second Death Star, but in the original 1981 drafts of REVENGE OF THE JEDI, a lot of drama and action would also have been set on the Imperial City, later named Coruscant, of which George Lucas (apparently albeit reluctantly) also used the Expanded Universe's devised planet name for the Prequel Trilogy.

An Imperial Shuttle flies the skies. Art by Joe Johnston.

As well as Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie was heavily involved in early concept work, recalling to STARLOG magazine in October 1983: "The biggest thing left out of RETURN OF THE JEDI was the planet for the Imperials. We worked on this Imperial City a long time, but its never used in the film. George decided to just have everything taking place in space. It's elaborate and quite pretty. But I don't want to reveal what it looks like because George might use it in the future." 

Some of McQuarrie's images would later find a home as part of 1996's much-loved EPISODES V and VI bridge in Shadows of the Empire, and the concept art for the Imperial City would indeed be revisited by Lucas for the Prequels.

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