Star Wars: New 'The Last Jedi' Featurette Confirms Ralph McQuarrie Inspirations

In the final showdown between the First Order and the Resistance on Crait in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker makes a stand that reignites hope across the galaxy.

The scene was stunning, a visual feat, and a new special feature posted by IGN reveals it was inspired by a painting created by Ralph McQuarrie.

The clip from the special feature "Showdown on Crait" shows how Lucasfilm created this epic scene, and how writer and director Rian Johnson was inspired by McQuarrie's art. The concept artists created an image of Luke standing before the assembled First Order forces as Kylo Ren exits his shuttle, with the setting sun lighting the horizon.

"Rian referred to this Ralph McQuarrie painting of a probe bot from Empire Strikes Back," said James Clyne, concept artist for Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco. "He just loved the palette, he loved the look of it. He said, 'Let's take that painting and see if we can find the emotion behind it.'"

The deep, rich yellows of the sun and the cool, muted blues of the sky in the finished shot are ver reminiscent of McQuarrie's art, so the visual team nailed that aspect in the film. Johnson also explained that this particular scene was all about "peace and purpose," as is the title of this section from the official score by John Williams.

"I knew I wanted to bring Luke to this ending. I didn't want it to be a violent defeated," said Johnson. "But I wanted it to be a peaceful win. Peace and purpose were the defining words for that scene."

Johnson previously spoke about telling Luke's story in this film and how he wanted to honor the legacy of the character and give him a satisfying ending, but the first thing he had to do was find a compelling reason why he's exiled himself for all this time.

"So I had to come up with a reason he was there that was one, active; and two, positive. And I guess, three, something that I could genuinely believe I could think if I were in Luke's shoes," Johnson said on the Empire Film Podcast. "And the thing that I came to, that seemed to make sense to me… was this notion that he sees this hero worship of him and of the Jedi as something that is detrimental to the galaxy. The universe has put its faith in this false god of the Jedi and they need to basically forget the religion… so the light can rise from a worthier source, basically."


Another clip from the same featurette shows how Lucasfilm created the set for Crait, and how they were able to execute all of those beautiful explosions with popping red colors.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be available on Digital HD on March 13th, followed by its release to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on March 27th.