How LSD Helped This Man Design Your Star Wars Nightmares

Rancor
Mar 08 2016

How LSD Helped This Man Design Your Star Wars Nightmares

Whether it’s a giant space-worm, lumbering AT-AT walkers or the a man-eating Rancor, Star Wars is full of trippy and colorful behemoths. Since 1977, many a college kid has dropped acid and watched Star Wars—and it turns out that one of the most important creative forces behind the iconic films had exactly the same idea.

Legendary animator Phil Tippet designed and animated many of the vehicles and creatures that have been replicated millions of times over as toys—and crept into the nightmares of children the world over. And while he was designing Jabba the Hutt and the Rancor for Return of the Jedi he was also experimenting with LSD. According to him, it helped fuel his creative process.

Tippet describes a visit to the Jedi set while tripping balls: “I decided to go back to work and I was at ILM [Industrial Light and Magic] and I wasted into the blue screen stage and it’s huge—everything’s just super-illuminated, bright blue—and it was just like, ‘Aaaah, I took like way too much.'”

While on acid Tippet, claimed that he was able to communicate with his cat Brain—making Tippet resemble C-3PO and Hans Solo who are also able to communicate with furry creatures, like Chewbacca and Ewoks.

With or without LSD, the force is still strong with Tippet. He is currently crowdfunding his magnum opus Mad God, which, unsurprisingly, is trippy as all Hell.