October 15, 2014 – A tremendous amount of concept art appears to have somehow leaked from the production crew of Star Wars Episode VII. While Disney/Lucasfilm have not confirmed or denied the authenticity of the artwork, they do appear to visually buttress earlier rumors as to the appearance of a certain “blue alien” character, the use of cyborgs or androids, and the rise of the Dark Side.
SPOILER ALERT: If you wish to avoid all Episode VII spoilers, stop reading now and leave this page.
To see the leaked concept art, scroll down below. Both MakingStarWars.net and StarWarsUnderworld.com claim to have an “inside production source” vouching for the authenticity of the artist sketches, which reveal a lot and yet open up even more questions.
The color of the lightsaber (blue) is an important clue. Before Luke constructed a new lightsaber (green) in Return of the Jedi (1983), he had lost his first lightsaber (blue) – along with his right hand – in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) in his confrontation with Vader on Bespin. Do these artist renderings show Luke’s daughter (or another female character) in re-possession of the long-lost lightsaber? And what do we make of the earlier rumors of a mysterious “blue alien”, who reportedly found Luke’s weapon floating in space? (Of course, you’ll have to forget about the pesky laws of physics, including the likelihood that Bespin’s gravity would have incinerated Luke’s amputated hand and the lightsaber as they left the City in the Clouds.)
Always nice to see the return of the familiar Wookies. But this rendering shows one of the Wookies with a prosthetic limb à la Darth Vader and à la Luke Skywalker. What is the symbolism of the part-machine/part-sentient beings in the Star Wars universe?
Furthermore, additional artist sketches of unknown characters tell us we are likely to meet cyborg-type creatures in Episode VII – echoes of The Terminator movie franchise and the rise of the dirty metallic machines. It looks as if Director J.J. Abrams is taking us back to the grittier, banged-up feel and emotion of the original trilogy and away from the over-use of CGI and oversaturated colors of the Star Wars prequels.
Creatures and vehicles have always played an important part in George Lucas’s space saga, so these concept designs are a great harbinger of things to come. Thankfully, the production crew is relying much more on physical props and models – and far less on computer-generated magic – to recreate far away venues.
You’ll recall that Vader and his TIE fighter were last seen hurtling uncontrollably into space, just before the destruction of the Death Star II, in Return of the Jedi (1983). Thirty-two years later, we are about to find out exactly where Lord Vader crash-landed and what he’s been up to over the last 30+ years. These final concept renderings offer up some important clues. Star Wars Episode VII premieres 18 December 2015.
CORRECTION: As the reader comment below correctly notes, Vader is long dead. Somehow the weed or alcohol were particularly strong (and the Force was weak) when we goofed and wrote the final paragraph above. The paragraph should have said: “Thirty-two years later, we are about to find out exactly what happened to Luke’s missing lightsaber and what Luke and the gang have been up to over the last 30+ years.”