The Sith Lord's black visage, as designed by Ralph McQuarrie, is one of the most iconic sights in all of pop culture. But what if you were to return to how George Lucas described Vader in his screenplay for Star Wars, and bring those words to life?
ignoring all they know of the Vader they've seen in movies, comics, and video games, a host of artists rose to the challenge, redesigning Darth Vader using these words as their only guide:
INTERIOR: REBEL BLOCKADE RUNNER -- MAIN HALLWAY. The awesome, seven-foot-tall Dark Lord of the Sith makes his way into the blinding light of the main passageway. This is Darth Vader, right hand of the Emperor. His face is obscured by his flowing black robes and grotesque breath mask, which stands out next to the fascist white armored suits of the Imperial stormtroopers. Everyone instinctively backs away from the imposing warrior and a deathly quiet sweeps through the Rebel troops. Several of the Rebel troops break and run in a frenzied panic.
While some of these artists may have strayed a bit from the assignment—for example, nowhere in that script snippet does it mention lightsabers—what they came up with is still pretty grand.