What could DARTH VADER have looked like in “Star Wars”? Here are the first conceptual sketches

Lukasz Budnik

19 August 2023

Darth Vader is today an iconic character, much like his costume and helmet. How might the famous villain from Star Wars have originally looked? Conceptual sketches created by artist Ralph McQuarrie can be found on the web.

The original design of Vader’s costume initially did not include a helmet – it was McQuarrie who suggested that the character should wear a breathing apparatus. George Lucas wanted Vader to be a tall, intimidating figure. Ultimately, McQuarrie combined the breathing apparatus with a samurai-like helmet – even in the initial sketches, Vader bore a resemblance to the final version, although his helmet and mask were elongated (a similar design was later used in the animated series Rebels).

Below are a few other versions of Vader’s design, somewhat diverging from the final version:


Łukasz Budnik

Lukasz Budnik

He loves both silent cinema and contemporary blockbusters based on comic books. He looks forward to watching movie with his growing son.

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