Check Out Some of the Stunning Design Work for Star Wars: The High Republic

A new Nihil ship design from The High Republic.
A new Nihil ship design from The High Republic.
Illustration: Disney/Lucasfilm

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.

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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 cannibalized 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.

The Jedi Vector.
The Jedi Vector.
Illustration: Disney/Lucasfilm

“Taken as a whole, the prequels track the march from hand-crafted artisan technology to machine-stamped assembly line tech, so given we were dialing 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.

The Republic Longbeam, a new ship design.
The Republic Longbeam, a new ship design.
Illustration: Disney/Lucasfilm
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“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 idealizing it.”

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That means that, while the tech and fashion in Star Wars typically feels like corrupted retro-futurism, this is the purer, more idealized 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.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

DISCUSSION

alliterator85
alliterator

So now we know that we’re not just getting books and comics set during the High Republic, but an entire show, too (The Acolyte). I wonder if they will set any movies in that era? It will be interesting to see an entire era that with either no Sith or very, very well-hidden Sith, since they can’t show up until the Prequels, and Jedi that act much more like peacekeepers than soldiers and generals.

I do wonder what they are going to do for anything post-Rise of Skywalker. So far, the only thing that I think is going to take place post-ROS is Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron, but there’s still a lot to explore — heck, if they could convince Daisy Ridley and/or John Boyega to come back, I would love it if they did a Jedi Academy movie or trilogy.