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Ralph McQuarrie was the leading concept artist of the original Star Wars trilogy. His artwork often reflected the evolution and changes in the story development of George Lucas' writing process. There is a number of concepts that never made to the final films but, in fact, were later recycled in books etc. and the TV series Star Wars Rebels.

Now, this piece of McQuarrie's art made me wonder...

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It is supposed to be an illustration of the Rebel base on Yavin 4. There are two stone cones on the edges of the hall, and they're connected with a beam that seems to come down from the ceiling. The beam forms yet another, a holographic cone between the others, and an ominous face within. To me, the figure somewhat resembles Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream.

This concept was reused as an inspiration for Temple of the Blue Leaf Cluster in some novels and the online game Star Wars Galaxies. But what was the original meaning of the illustration when McQuarrie created it? Was there a reference to the such cones, the beam, and the figure in any of Lucas' early drafts of Star Wars?

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4 Answers 4

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It can be an hologram of "a planet (or even the DeathStar) with two people in front of it", like this : a planet (or even the DeathStar) with two people in front of it

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    Where have you got these images from?
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 13:49
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    I took the image posted by Essen in the original post, and I colorized it myself to bring out my vision of Ralph McQuarrie's illustration, so that we better understand what I meant by "It can be an hologram of "a planet (or even the DeathStar) with two people in front of it""
    – iammg
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 14:33
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    Anyone else also see the old woman with the big nose? Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 18:35
  • Wow, talking about perceptual bistability! Great discovery, @iammg, you're probably right with your interpretation! However, we still haven't found the story (draft) behind the illustration.
    – Essen
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 15:33
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That particular piece of artwork wasn't produced for the pre-production of Star Wars, but was one of about two dozen specifically commissioned for the 1997 book: 'The Illustrated Star Wars Universe'. It used a combination of old concept art by McQuarrie, Rodis-Jamero, Johnson and others, from various Star Wars projects including (at the time) all three theatrical movies and the two made for TV Ewok movies, alongside the aforementioned additional new pieces to weave it all into a travelogue type narrative.

So that particular painting isn't depicting anything from an early draft, but exactly what it says in the body of the text; an advance Rebel survey crew surveying the other structures near the Great Temple on Yavin IV. The notation specifically states: -

"In the ruins known as the Temple of the Blueleaf Cluster, a strange crystalline centerpiece seems to throb with dark energy from some event in this world’s past, as if trapped spirits reside in the crystal."

Given that the the author of the book was Kevin J Anderson, I suspect the intent here was that it's meant to be the trapped spirit of Exar Kun, as per the events of his 'Jedi Academy' trilogy of novels and the 'Tales of the Jedi' comics.

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  • Did you come to this answer yourself or use this answer and just grab the quote? If the latter it would be better form to just edit the quote into the other answer.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 11:07
  • I have the book right in front of me, so no.
    – Kris
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 22:16
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From what I recall from Star Wars Illustrated Universe

It was there before the Rebels showed up just like in EpIV and EpV etc.

I believe it was supposed to be a Massassi temple who of-course were no-longer there.

In my copy of that book, I used to read it as a child so unfortunately mine has silly doodles on it.

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  • This answer would be improved if you could check the book and maybe even add a quote/scan to back this up.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 7:33
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thats the sith lord naga sadow imprisoned in he bean similar to a sith holocron he fles.to yavin four with a army of massasi who under his supervision built the great yavin pyramids amd temples

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    Please edit this answer to cite the source/s of this information. Also, your answer would be easier to read if you added capital letters and punctuation (where appropriate). Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 13:08

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