We’re getting closer and closer to the full introduction of a brand-new storytelling era in the Star Wars universe. Fortunately, we have some great art to tide us over.
Recently, StarWars.com revealed some new designs from The High Republic era in a showcase of concept art and choice interview quotes. The post explores the ways in which the design language builds off of and extrapolates from the ideas already present in “later” eras of Star Wars, and how old designs are cannibalised and recycled into creating new, exciting looks.
Take, for instance, the new Jedi Starfighter, the Jedi Vector. Not only can you see slight references, in its broken-up design, to the ships the Jedi use in the Prequels (which, in-universe, would be referencing the Vector), but it’s a fantastic design in and of itself. Small, nimble, elegant. Very Jedi-like.
“Taken as a whole, the prequels track the march from hand-crafted artisan technology to machine-stamped assembly line tech, so given we were dialling the clock to before Episode I, there were a lot of design explorations that had that delicate, streamlined feel that felt relevant,” said Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group. “Even heading into Episode III, there were Clone Wars designs that had a foot in the past and a foot in the future, and from there we found a great contender for the Jedi Vector. It looks very insectile — slim and delicate but with a definite sting.”
This ethos, Hidalgo said, was how they designed the technology of the era broadly — moving backward from the existing material to figure out what, precisely, that was a corruption of.
“We all found a lot of inspiration in how the prequels opened up a more refined era of the galaxy, but by virtue of those films’ proximity to the originals, it had to start showing early signs of corruption. By moving further in time, away from that downfall, we’re able to see the Republic at its height in this storytelling,” he said. “
In the Core Worlds especially, that’s reflected in fashion and technology. A lot of the visual exploration in the High Republic is taking what we know, but idealising it.”
That means that, while the tech and fashion in Star Wars typically feels like corrupted retro-futurism, this is the purer, more idealised form. It’s striking stuff. Check out more art and more quotes in the article, and get ready for The High Republic to kick off in January.