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Amazing Concept Art From Famous Fictional Universes

We here at Top Design Magazine are celebrating the release of the first sneak peak for the latest Star Wars installment (if you must really know, the release of the title a few weeks back, coupled with the new trailers to Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies has had us go into a bit of a nerd frenzy the past weeks). In case you hadn’t heard, the next episode of Star Wars will bear the title: The Force Awakens, you can read all about it right here and we’re getting a sneak peak this Black Friday on iTunes see all about it here.

As a token of our appreciation of one of the greatest franchises of our times, we have decided that we should write an article about it. Given that when we started off with the idea we just knew that we wanted to write something about Star Wars and not what in particular, it got kinda complicated, kinda fast. See, the thing is that we all have a lot of memories tied to this particular fantasy world. I, for one, remember that The Empire Strikes Back was the first film I ever went to see with my family, one of the only fond memories of my father that I still have was of me sitting on his lap to better see Luke’s failed attempt of getting his fighter out of the swamp (I may be guilty of even having cheered him on in a silent cinema full of well-behaved people, but, hey, I may also have had a small crush on him). Bogdan on the other hand cherishes the memory of the weekend he took off of his life to watch a Star Wars marathon without any outside disturbances. So it was hard to settle on just one theme for this article, with the vast repository of both fan-made and original artwork tied in with Star Wars, not to mention the gadgets or the amazing costumes and makeups. Then one of us stumbled upon an article about the original concept art for the first films in the series and then another one of us read about George R.R. Martin launching a companion book for his Song of Ice and Fire series where he would show how his original vision for some of the most iconic settings in his universe and the matter was settled. Here is the concept art for some of the greatest fantasy and sci-fi worlds that we’ve encountered so far.

Star Wars original concept art was drawn up by Ralph McQuarrie an American conceptual designer and illustrator who passed away in 2012. He was contacted by George Lucas in 1975 who commissioned him to draw up scenes from his script. Even though McQuarrie believed that the film was to expensive and complicated to ever be a commercial success, he nevertheless drew up some amazing artwork for both sets and well known characters like C-3PO, R2-D2 and Darth Vader.


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm


Ralph McQuarrie / Lucasfilm

Now, if with George Lucas and Ralph McQuarrie some things made it to the films, others didn’t, when it comes to the world that George R.R. Martin imagined…let’s just say that HBO toned it down a bit, what the author had in mind was a tad more…grand.\

The Iron Throne


Marc Simonetti / George R.R. Martin



Ted Nasmith / George R.R. Martin

Red Keep at King’s Landing



Ted Nasmith / George R.R. Martin

Castle Black at The Wall


Ted Nasmith / George R.R. Martin



Philip Straub / George R.R. Martin

Star Trek (the reboot)


Ryan Church / Star Trek


Image converted using ifftoany

Ryan Church / Star Trek


Thor: The Dark Word


Ryan Church / Thor: The Dark World

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Films)


Quicksilver concept art from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron by Ryan Meinerding



Scarlet Witch concept art from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron


Hawkeye concept art from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron by Ryan Meinerding

Lord of the Rings


Barad-dûr by John Howe


Frodo and the Nazgul by John Howe


Minas Morgul by John Howe

The Hobbit

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Let us know what are some of your favorite universes and share the art associated with them on our Facebook and Twitter.


I read, I write, I sleep.