How did one of the most famous titles in the history of sci-fi come to be?
Just as the history of the first Star Wars film is a convoluted and complex affair, so too is the history of the film's logo. The very first version of the logo that would identify George Lucas' space-opera vision was created by legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie.
“It was done while we were working on costumes,” said McQuarrie. “This was how we first pictured Han Solo. It could be a sort of Luke character, but I think it’s more like Han. Anyway, George decided that Han Solo should be a more relaxed character, and his costume was changed. But this decal was designed before the change.”
Eventually the "The" was removed and the film became simply Star Wars. The initial new logo designs were lettered by Joe Johnston (who famously got his start on Star Wars before moving on to things like Captain America: The First Avenger), and conceptual posters included art by now-legendary comics artist Howard Chaykin.
The year before the film's release, as Lucas was working to design a Flash Gordon-style text crawl to go along with the film, Dan Perri created a new logo that can still be seen on early posters.
Eventually, artist Suzi Rice was called in to design a new logo. Her design will be very familiar to Star Wars fans ... except for that "W".
The final change to the logo came when Johnston again returned to the design, altering Rice's "W" so that it better matched the rest of the logo. The result was the iconic title image we know today.