Category Archives: Star Wars

The Flash vs. Yoda

For this battle I’m matching up the 2014 TV show’s Earth-1 Scarlet Speedster and Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, since that’s where he really reached his best.

Weapons: Barry Allen has a lot of stuff up his sleeve. He can run really fast, for starters. But the Speedforce also gives him phasing, fast thinking, lightening bolts and in the right circumstances time travel. Yoda is stuck with the Force and a lightsaber. He has Force-speed, but he won’t outrun the Flash.

Defenses/weakness: Yoda’s lightsaber and the Force are his only defenses, and Barry has only his speed and the suit. The Flash’s main weakness is compassion. He’s willing to sacrifice himself to save others at any chance he gets. Yoda wouldn’t hurt anyone else unless there is no other way, so that weakness is negligible. Yoda refuses to wear armor or a suit and so is exposed to stray fire and explosions, but that doesn’t appear to hinder him. He doesn’t have any other weaknesses.

Skill: By season 3, Barry has enough refined control of his speed to take on any evil speedster that shows up. Yoda’s lightsaber techniques and Force powers are unmatched by anyone other than the Emperor. The tiebreaker is that Yoda has 900 years of experience to back him up.

Mindset/intentions: Yoda has no pleasure in killing the Flash, but he will do what he must, as he did when he was fighting Emperor. Whatever reason Barry has for taking on Yoda, he will do whatever it takes to defeat him, though like Yoda, he wouldn’t kill his enemy if he didn’t have to.

Use of surroundings: The Flash is better at this. Yoda has a defensive fighting style that focuses more on spins and swings and jumps.

Because both of these are “good guys,” neither would try to exploit the others weaknesses by harming anyone else, so the fight would be straightforward. Yoda’s fast lightsaber spinning would be a challenge to get through, but eventually the Flash will find a gap and disarm Yoda. It’s possible that Yoda would go offensive and throw Barry around with the Force. That is how most people defeat Barry, so it’s a good place to start. Or he would create a Force shield that prevents Barry from running at him, and deflect his lightening bolts. Either way, the Flash would probably run around in circles and create time remnants of himself. He would take on Yoda from every angle at once, forcing him to retreat. Yoda could defend himself but won’t be able to kill the Flash.

Theoretically, if the Flash doesn’t make any mistakes, Yoda couldn’t stop him with brute force (pun intended). But mind tricks work on almost anyone, and humans are very susceptible. Yoda is never seen using mind tricks, but if Obi-Wan could pull it off, so can Yoda. Given an opportunity, he could send Barry running home to rethink his life, convince him that he’s fighting the wrong person, or just make him lie down and give up. The fight would be long and hard, but the Speed-force is no match for the Force.

5 Best Capitol Ships

From Star Destroyers to Dreadnaught heavy cruisers, no fleet or task force of any galaxy-wide organization is complete without a handful of capitol ships. But not all cruisers are created equal; a Victory-class really can’t compare to a Venator-class, no matter how well equipped it is. These are the 5 most advanced capitol ships from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

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#5: Malevolence

Manufacturer: Free Dac Volunteers Engineering Corps/Pammant Docks
Model: Subjugator-class heavy cruiser
Class (length): heavy cruiser (4845 meters)
Affiliation: Confederacy of Independent Systems (aka Separatist Alliance)

General Grievous’s flagship possesses twin ion pulse cannons capable of blacking out entire capital ships in one shot. It has around 500 twin turbolasers to destroy the ships the ion blast disables. It’s hanger has space for an unknown amount of Vulture Droids, at least one landing shuttle, and Grievous’s starfighter, the Soulless One. The main inconvenience of the Malevolence is that it has an all-droid crew made up of mostly B1 battle droids–not the brightest warriors or commanders.

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#4: Finalizer

Manufacturer: Kuat Entralla Engineering
Model: Resurgent-class battlecruiser
Class (length): Battlecruiser (2915 meters)
Affiliation: First Order, Knights of Ren

The Finalizer is shared by Kylo Ren and General Hux. It is the most powerful destroyer in the First Order navy by far, being almost twice as long as Imperial-era warships. It had over 1500 turbolasers, multiple turrets, ion cannons, and tractor beams, complete with two full starfighter wings consisting of First Order TIE fighters, Special Forces TIEs and a hangar for transporters and Kylo’s shuttle.

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#3: Chimaera

Model: Imperial II-class star destroyer
Class (length): Star destroyer (1600 meters)
Affiliation: Galactic Empire, later New Republic

At first glance, a 1600 meter dead-average Imperial star destroyer may not seem like much, but it was one of the finest warships in the Imperial fleet after upgrades done by its captain, Gilad Pallaeon, such as proton torpedo launchers, upgraded shields, space for six TIE fighter squadrons, and a cloaking device. After the death of Emperor Palpatine, former Chiss Ascendancy member Mitth’raw’nuruodo, or Thrawn, chose it as his flagship after he got promoted to Grand Admiral, due to the ship’s unbroken record of efficiency and thoroughness. In the years following the reorganization of the Empire, the Chimaera was the most feared and dangerous ship in the galaxy.

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#2: Executor

Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
Model: Executor-class star dreadnaught
Class (length): Star destroyer/battlecruiser (19000 meters)
Affiliation: Galactic Empire

At 19 kilometers tip to tip, Executer-class destroyers were the largest and most powerful ships the Empire ever created, considered super star destroyers along with a few other classes. The Executer was the personal flagship of Darth Vader during most of the Galactic Civil War. Under Admiral Piett, it served as command ship in the Battle of Endor and trapped the Rebels between the new Death Star and the entire Imperial Fleet. It was destroyed after a bomber squadron rendered its forward shields useless and A-Wing pilot Arvel Crynyd flew into the unprotected bridge. Piett lost control and it smashed into the Death Star.

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#1: Ascendant Spear

Manufacturer: Sith Empire
Model: Terminus-class destroyer
Class (length): Star Destroyer (unknown; >1600 meters)
Affiliation: Sith Empire

The Ascendant Spear was considered a superweapon because of its unique and outstanding capabilities. It had a Class 0.5 hyperdrive like the Millennium Falcon’s, only over fifty times more powerful due to the size of the ship, making it the most powerful hyperdrive ever built; similar ships built thousands of years later were hardly half as fast. It possessed a megalaser, which fires a concentrated energy blast powerful enough to destroy large ships in one blast. While that’s impressive, it’s not the best part. The entire ship could be piloted through bionic implants by one individual, not as a tool to control but as an extension of the body. It is rumored that the creator, Darth Mekhis, could operate the entire ship on his own, but Darth Karrid, a powerful Sith Lord, could only operate it with a steady stream of energy from her apprentices combined with her own connection to the Force, and only for a short period of time.

Millennium Flacon vs Slave 1

The Millennium Falcon is the easily the most iconic ship in the Star Wars universe, but it’s not unrivaled. The Slave 1 has been used by two of the most notorious bounty hunters in the galaxy and has withstood everything anyone threw at it — outliving both its owners. In this post I will not only compare these two ships’ capabilities in battle, but also which is the better all around hunk of junk for a smuggler, bounty hunter, or any other shape or form of criminal.

In terms of sheer firepower Boba’s flagship can vaporize the Falcon instantly. The Falcon was originally a Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300fp light freighter, with an armament that consists of a powerful Corellian-built quad laser cannon on top, a concealed anti-personnel repeating blaster cannon near the ramp, and two illegal above-military-grade Arakyd ST2 concussion missile launchers. The Slave 1 is a highly modified Kuat Systems Engineering Firespray-class patrol and attack craft, armed with three twin rotating laser cannons, concussion missile launchers, way too expensive proton torpedo tubes, an ion cannon, a tractor beam projector, and seismic charges that can blow an asteroid to pieces. Both have strong enough shield generators to withstand heavy fire, but the Falcon is still no match.

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The layouts of the two ships are entirely different and suited for very different tasks. The Flacon is optimized for storage space, ideal for a smuggler transporting illegal cargo. Lando Calrissian installed hidden compartments under the deck, and a previous owner added a cargo jettison feature for tight situations when it’s better to ditch the cargo than answer questions — both features made its black market value skyrocket. The Slave 1 has two separate sets of artificial gravity generators that reorient for flight and landing, meaning walls, floors, and ceilings are relative. Instead of a large cargo hold, it has 5 detention cells, a Force-cage to hold Jedi or other Force-users, and stealth mode. It has very little storage and no cargo hold, and even the crew quarters are cramped.

Speed and power are two more factor to consider, and the ship that made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs easily outruns the Mandalorians’ ship. The Falcon’s Class 0.5 hyperdrive is fully twice as fast as that of Imperial warships, while its sublights are heavily modified Girodyne SRB42s that can power it up to 1,050 km/h in-atmosphere. The Slave 1’s three F-31 drive engines can only reach 1,000 km/h in-atmosphere and has a Class 0.7 hyperdrive, making it significantly slower than the Flacon in hyperspace.

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A previous owner of the Falcon installed a main computer made of three salvaged droid brains: an R3 astromech, a V-5 transport droid, and a corporate espionage slicer droid. While they work together in emergencies, the ship is known to have arguments with itself. The exact computer the Slave 1 possesses is unknown, but it probably isn’t schizophrenic.

Overall, one ship isn’t better than the other. The Slave 1 is loaded solid with a wide range of weapons, deadly and nonlethal, and is optimized on the inside secure prisoner detention. It is an unstoppable vessel that can bring capitol ships to their knees and annihilate entire bases in a matter of minutes. The Millennium Falcon is sturdy, hard freighter full of surprises that can destroy fleets of TIEs with a few shots, but its real prowess is its unmatched speed and agility.

So if you prefer runs with little few incidents for impatient crime lords and colossal worms, the Falcon is is the perfect choice, but if you are willing to sacrifice cargo space and comfort for the adrenaline of clashing with squadrons and bringing warships down with a few shots, the Slave 1 should be your flagship.

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5 Interesting Details in Star Wars Movies

These are five geeky details that will make question  everything you thought you knew about Star Wars, and make you stop and think next time you see the movies.

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#5: The hallway

You can’t deny it. Rey is standing in the same hallway as Luke was, though it got some major upgrades. The hallway in the third picture is slightly different but still bears resemblance. Whether it has any significance is unknown, but it is worth keeping an eye out.

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#4: Maz’s history

You probably already spotted the Mandalorian logo on the banner in the top center, and Boba Fett’s symbol next to it. But other flags have strange and unexplained logos on them. Suns, fighters, and what looks like a sketch of a distorted ear can be seen on some, and others are hidden from view. Some fans suggest that the castle was a Jedi Temple, which would explain why Rey got a Force vision so easily there. Others think it was another non-Force using society Maz was a part of, their logo being displayed directly above the Mando skull in blue. Hopefully The Last Jedi will explain.

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#3: Voices of the past

Rey’s vision might have been the most interesting and mysterious scene in The Force Awakens. There are a lot of things to dissect in a very short period of time, but what stands out the most is the voices that can be heard in the background. It doesn’t take a lot to hear Obi-Wan’s voice saying “Rey, these are your first steps.” But if you listen carefully, you can hear Luke screaming as Vader cuts his arm off, Yoda lecturing him on Dagobah, and Vader’s mechanical breathing. Some even claim to hear the Emperor’s voice, but that might be a little far-fetched.

 

#2: The Skeleton Effect

That sounds creepy, and it is. In Return of the Jedi, you might have noticed some strange reflections in Vader’s helmet right after he dumped the Emperor into a bottomless pit. If you look closely or just pause video, you’ll see that the reflections clearly outline a skull. If that wasn’t weird enough, you can see the same thing in Windu’s face as he’s being burned by the Emperor, and that can’t be a reflection. What it is and how lightening creates it remains a mystery.

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#1: Foreshadowing of Anakin’s fall

The “Squid Lake” bubble writhes and swirls during the performance, but as Palpatine tells the uplifting story of the murder of Darth Plagueis, something more sinister begins to appear–the top of Vader’s helmet. As he continues, you may even hear Vader’s breathing for a second or two. Later, as Anakin kills Dooku, the same distorted breathing can be heard clearly.

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Why Jango died so easily

Jango Fett’s death has been hated by fans ever since Attack of the Clones was released. Truth is, if we’re gonna discuss lame deaths, we’d better get to Boba Fett. No matter the circumstances, its always better to be killed by a Jedi than a blind, oblivious guy with a stick.

Here I will explain how Jango Fett, Mandalorian warrior, clone template, and more than a mindless mercenary, was killed when he brought a gun to a sword fight.

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To say that Jango Fett simply stood there, ignoring the fact that he could have flew away with his jetpack, and waited to be decapitated by Mace Windu is a terrible understatement. In short, he intended to blast off, but that rhino creature busted his jetpack.

Here’s what happened.

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Jango, unable to get up from the fall quickly enough, is charged by the reek after he faceplants. The reek broke his jetpack, so that he could not fly. Jango did not know this, and neither did Mace.Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 4.32.11 PM.png

When Mace ran toward him, Jango intended to keep shooting at Mace and than blast off at the last minute. He’d done it before when fighting Obi-Wan, he thought he could do it again. Except his jetpack was busted. Had Jango known this, he would have used a flamethrower or projectile dart, or something similar to keep Mace at bay long enough to escape by foot.

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Earlier in the movie, the trick had worked fine.

Jango tries to blast off several times, but his jetpack shuts off automatically after a fraction of a second so as not to blow up.Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 5.09.52 PM.png

After that, well, you know what happens.

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Thanks for reading this article! I hope this will help explain why the second best Mandalorian died the way he died. May the fourth be with you, and try keep your head attached to your shoulders!

Mando Beskar’gam

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Boba Fett’s armor was good, but it could have been better. There are gaping holes on his chest, arms and thighs where a single shot could do some serious damage. His jetpack is so useless it couldn’t handle being hit by a blind guy with a stick. Jango Fett had less gaps in his, but his jetpack failed him as well; not to mention the neck part. Pre Viszla  had somewhat better armor, but it wasn’t very refined. Maul beat him. While Rebels season 3 gave it some nice upgrades, Sabine’s armor is also full of gaps.

So what does the perfect Mando armor have to be?

  • It needs have full protection. Commanding it all from a capitol ship sounds like fun, but you can’t lead ground troops on the frontline if one enemy round pierces your armor.
  • It needs plenty of weapons and firepower. Flamethrowers, projectile buzzsaws, conc missile launchers, grappling hooks…walking around with a blaster just isn’t that effective.
  • The jetpack has to work. A powerful, reliable jetpack that can actually fly can come in handy.
  • It needs to be accurate. Whatever built in weapon you use, there has to be some kind of targeting system.
  • It has to be comfortable. Temp control, for example, comes in handy on planets like Hoth or Tatooine.
  • It absolutely MUST be lightweight. You can’t fight in a heavy armor. Sacrifices will have to be made.

It also has to look cool. That’s kinda the point.

Here’s what I came up with:

V1.0, made with a  Mandalorian armor designer program (http://mandalorianmercs.org/downloadables/MANDOMAKER23.swf):

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“Armor doesn’t make a Mandalorian. Armor is simply a manifestation of an impenetrable heart.” — Kal Skirata

Fun to make, but it doesn’t solve any of the problems Boba’s armor had.

V2.0, a sketch I just finished:

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Of course this isn’t perfect. There are still issues. There isn’t space under the armor for temperature control, and the sniper rifle might not fit over the jetpack. But it’s a start.

To be continued with V3…

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Why Thrawn is still the best Star Wars villain

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Mitth’raw’nuruodo, more commonly known as Thrawn, was first seen in Heir to the Empire, but has come a long way since then. He was the villain in the Thrawn Trilogy, Outbound Flight, and now Star Wars: Rebels Season 3. How Disney convinced Timothy Zahn to sell Thrawn to them after having trashed his life’s work, the expanded universe that he started–his expanded universe–by replacing it with the Force Awakens is a mystery, and a kinda pointless one. The point is that Thrawn’s here, and he’s awesome.

But why? Why is he such a good villain when he’s just another colorful alien who thinks he has a right to rule every other being in the galaxy? We’ve seen plenty of those (I’m looking at you, Jabba.)

  1. He’s a “friendly face.” And I don’t mean that he has a friendly-looking face. I mean that we’ve seen him before, and he’s proven himself. He has an instant reputation the second he walks onto the screen.
  2. He’s a capable commander. This one’s pretty simple. He’s been in one army or another since before the Clone Wars. He knows what he’s doing.
  3. He’s a genius. It’s obvious, but it’s important. He always seems to figure things out early. He’s always a step ahead of the rebels, as well as other Imperials.
  4. He keeps his head. Really, who prefers a bad guy who smashes machinery when he’s mad over one who can keep his head and tear his enemies apart piece by piece, even when all seems lost?
  5. He can see the bigger picture. When it comes to military tactics, he can focus on the entire war, not only the  battle at hand. He takes everything into consideration, not just what he can see.
  6. He can fight. He took down two assassin droids with his bear hands, and beat Agent Kallus in seconds. Understanding strategies is one thing, but being able to fight hand-to-hand is always good.
  7. He has a really cool voice. Seriously. Watch the show and you’ll see.
  8. He knows more than just battle tactics. He understands his enemies before he attacks them, and can use that to predict their movements and take them down more effectively.
  9. He’s original. He invents his own strategies. He comes up with new and interesting ways to crush the rebellion instead of the old “shoot and charge” approach everyone else seems to enjoy–and fail at.
  10. He knows his place. Sometimes, it’s nice to see a villain who’s not a hot-headed glory-seeker who wants to dethrone the Emperor and rule the galaxy.

Star Wars, rewritten as a TV show

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Season 1: Sidious murders Plagueis, Qui-Gon trains Obi-Wan, Maul gets more character, etc. Sith reveal themselves in the last few episodes, and the duel in The Phantom Menace happens in the finale.

Season 2: Anakin grows up, the Confederacy (Seperatists) is created, the clone army is created, Padme becomes queen and then senator, the Jedi try to track down the Sith Lord. Concludes with the battle of Geonosis.

Season 3: The clone wars begins, General Grievous, Savage Oppress and Asajj Ventress’ backstory is shown, Ahsoka is introduced, Maul returns, and the Clone Wars TV series starts.

Season 4: The good parts of the Clone Wars happen (the boring parts are left out), but in longer and fewer episodes.

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Season 5: Omega Squad and the Nulls from Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series are introduced. The Republic Commando storyline develops.

Season 6: The Republic destroys the Separatists, General Greivous is hunted down, the Clone Wars ends, the events of Revenge of the Sith happen. Also shows Han Solo’s childhood. Ends with the final battles of Revenge of the Sith.

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Season 7: The Rebels come together, Star Wars: Rebels happens, the Rebel Alliance is formed, and the backstory of Rogue One characters is shown.

Season 8: the Rebels timeline continues and ends in the finale of whatever season will be the last.

Season 9: Luke and Leia’s childhoods are explained, the events of Rogue One and events leading up to it are shown, Obi-Wan and Yoda get attention, Han shoots first, A New Hope happens, and the Rebels destroy the Death Star the in the last episodes.

Season 10: The Empire plans it’s revenge, Rebels expand their fleet, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi happen, but with more detail about Jabba and his bounty hunters, the race for Han (why Boba was the best), how Boba lives, etc. Ends with teddy bear party on Endor.

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Season 11: Leia builds a New Republic and mops up the rest of Imperial forces, Thrawn takes control, the Empire is reorganized and makes a last stand against the New Republic, Luke forms a new Jedi Order and hunts down the last of the Sith.

Season 12: Rey, Finn, Poe are introduced, the First Order rises, corruption becomes a problem in the Republic, Snoke trains Kylo, and The Force Awakens happens.

To Be Continued…

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What do you think? Is it better like this, or will infinite spin-offs be a better way to expand the universe? Comment your opinions below!

Gurlanins

Gurlanins originally appeared in Karen Traviss’s increasingly famous Republic Commando novels, set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. They are the only native sentient species of the planet Quilura. They are best known for their neat little feature: shapeshifting. Their natural form resembles a large, black canine, but they can morph into not only other living beings, but even inorganic substances. If they choose to, they can become invisible to infrared and thermal sensors, and can mask their Force signatures. How do they manage this? I have an idea.

As you know if you’ve read the books, Gurlanins can communicate telepathically from different sides of the galaxy. Their minds are somehow linked. When they morph into nonliving objects, they have no organs to keep them alive, but if my theory is correct, then they can use the fact that their minds are linked, and keep each other’s minds alive when their bodies are unable to support them. You can think of individual Gurlanins as cells, and the species as a whole as a multicellular being. Any one cell would die on its own, but relying on each other, they can all stay alive.

It sounds unlikely, but I can’t think of a better explanation. What do you think?

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The Best Ralph Mcquarrie Star Wars Concept Art

Ralph McQuarrie was hired by George Lucas to create concept art for Star Wars. He is responsible for the look and feel of A New Hope, but his influence didn’t stop there. The Force Awakens used many of the pieces left over from the original trilogy, and even the prequels, though Doug Chang was hired for The Phantom Menace.

Here are the 12 best pieces of Ralph McQuarrie concept art:

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12: Ewok village (I’m making these names up. McQuarrie didn’t name them).

Apparently this…monster…inspired Yoda’s look. It’s hard to tell whether the ewoks are small or the monster is big, but it’s cool either way.

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11: Imperial Walkers

This is not the first drawing McQuarrie made of ATAT walkers, and probably not the most iconic either, but it really captures the feel of the walkers. The unused creature is a bonus. The rocks to the right are in a shadow–maybe there is a cave. It would make sense to run into a cave where the walkers can’t follow.

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10: Original Millennium Falcon

The cockpit was the only part used in the film. The design may have inspired the Tantive IV.

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9: Cloud City

Despite what they did to it in the movie, this picture makes it seem like a architectural wonder and a really expensive high-security capitol building. Maybe it would be if Vader and his sadistic thugs hadn’t holed up there.

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8: Millennium Falcon 2

this is the version McQuarrie made after Lucas told him what he liked and didn’t like about the old one. It really captures the feel of the scene where it’s introduced.

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7: Snowspeeder

This was before the harpoon idea, apparently. The AT-AT looks even more menacing now that there is nothing else in sight.

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6: Luke vs. Vader, version 2

This is easily the most iconic Star Wars scene. It’s also a pretty convincing futuristic alien cityscape given that it was made in the ’70s. And it’s just as dizzying as it was in the movie.

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5: Mos Eisley Cantina

C-3PO and a short version of R2 (inspiration for Chopper?) can be seen at the far left, along with a Tatooine sandtrooper. In the center, what would later become Han Solo is facing an idea for Greedo with Nightcrawler’s triangle shaped* tail, holding Padme’s gun. There is also a creepy owl sitting at a table.*

*   /\ Illuminati confirmed. Whoever they are, McQuarrie knows something.

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4: C-3PO

It’s hard to imagine that 3PO was ever this graceful, or that R2 walked instead of rolling (look at the footprints. They’re not continuous). But apparently Tatooine has two moons as well as two suns.

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3: Mos Eisley Lookout

This drawing inspired the landspeeder, C-3pO, Zam Wessel’s sniper rifle, the dual sunset scene and the Mos Eisley spaceport, while setting an empty, desolate scene with seemingly little of interest. It makes a good desktop wallpaper on a computer.

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2: X-wing vs TIE fighter

In one picture, McQuarrie invented the two most iconic starfighters and the Death Star trench run. The design for the original X-wings were slightly altered because of the limited budget for the film, but The Force Awakens incorporated it for the new T-70 X-wing.

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1: Starkiller vs Vader

This is one of the first drawings McQuarrie made for Star Wars. It’s also one of the most famous, as it inspired Darth Vader’s look and invented the lightsaber.

Based on the pictures above, can you tell which one of these is from Ralph McQuarrie?

The answer will be in next week’s post.

Comment if you think you know!

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