George Lucas appears to be having a smashing time at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, relaxing with the knowledge that his empire is being well tended to by Disney and seemingly at ease amid the throngs of faithful attending fans. Not arriving at the party empty-handed, Lucas brought along a bit of show-and-tell during yesterday's 40 Years of Star Wars panel, hosted by Warwick Davis, in the form of some early conceptual character sketches for Star Wars: A New Hope.
These rough sketches depict evolving versions of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and R2-D2, with the dashing Skywalker figure looking uncannily like the bearded Lucas himself.
Lucas also discussed the delicate process of casting for Star Wars starting way back in 1975 and how he came to the decision to hire Mark Hamill as his starry-eyed farm boy of destiny:
“We did a lot of testing for a year, a year of sitting in a little room, talking to actors every five minutes, weeding those out ... We went on and then we did screen tests. We did screen tests with all the finalists for three main characters and we would mix them. I think we had maybe two or three of each of you and you would each test with another person. We found the combination of the group that worked the best together. The group that was ready to be an ensemble and played it as old friends. I was trying to get that even though they start out not knowing each other. I wanted to have the chemistry built in. That, and the fact that he was shorter than I was.”
Have a look at these time capsules into the conception of Star Wars and tell us if you notice a certain resemblance in the lightsabered lead.
(Via Geek Tyrant)