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In The Force Awakens, it would seem a lot of the "new" designs for characters and objects are, in fact, highly informed by concept art that was generated during the early stages of development on the original Star Wars.

In particular, Rey seems to be very similar to the concept art produced by Ralph McQuarrie during a period of time when the character that would become Luke Skywalker was going to be female:

Ralph McQuarrie Concept Found at: www.StarWarsUnderworld.com

The article cited in the link above merely speculates that these designs were used to influence the character, but I'm looking for concrete evidence that the production team involved in designing The Force Awakens purposefully used McQuarrie designs, and the Female Luke design in particular, in their concept stage. Was this explicitly mentioned anywhere in any articles or interviews?

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    Unless we are somehow thinking of different characters, I don't think Rey looks anything like that at any point in Star Wars: The Force Awakens beyond being a female human. – Dr R Dizzle Dec 18 '15 at 21:32
  • Fair point. I will say that it's not that she looks exactly like the above at any one point, but more that there are aspects of the design that seem to have been used at various points in the movie. The helmet and goggles can be seen as influences on her look in the initial scenes on Jakku, and towards the end of the movie she wears a gray bodysuit under the loose tan fabric as opposed to the white/tan pants, arm wrappings, and tunic from the bulk of her earlier scenes. – vynsane Dec 18 '15 at 21:54
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    Visually, they do seem similar. But I think the general Disney POV is now, “We own all of Star Wars so we will mix and match as much as possible with no regard for deep influence or ‘canon’…” Meaning, the design cues are all bits of button pushing. – JakeGould Dec 19 '15 at 7:29
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    I can't speak for a general sense, but Snoke was designed based on the concept art for Emperor Palpatine. – Slacklord the Terrible Dec 21 '15 at 19:33
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Based upon the information in The Art of The Force Awakens, I'm going to say "not likely".

The book makes it clear that a number of elements, particularly locations, were based on old art by Ralph McQuarrie, but his name is never mentioned in regards to Rey's designs in any way.

The only character designs mentioned that were influenced by McQuarrie's work are Lor San Tekka (his robes are influenced by a sketch of Boba Fett) and for a "Yoda like character" that existed in the earliest stages of the concept art phase (much of this was done before a script had even been turned in, and was just the artists kicking around ideas).

Glyn Dillon seems to have done a fair bit of work on Rey's (known as Kira during pre-production) costume designs. Dillon makes specific mention of the goggles, but does not mention McQuarrie:

The idea was that we wouldn't be able to see who Kira was; we wouldn't know if she were a man, a woman, an alien, or something else entirely. And I thought it would be great fun to have her fashion her own goggles out of scavenged stormtrooper lenses. (page 161)

If McQuarrie's old art was an influence, and it's definitely possible since the artists were combing through the archives, it was likely something subconscious amongst the artists.

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