Over the past few weeks, the folks at IndieRevolver, Making Star Wars, Badass Digest, and several other outlets have been giving out descriptions of concept art from [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158) that vary here and there on detail. Luckily (for curious spoiler-hounds, at least) someone recently dumped all of that concept art onto the internet for fans to see. Has the commentary lived up to the hype? Let's take a look.
WARNING: The content below contains POSSIBLE SPOILERS for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII.
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The Millennium Falcon
While the changes on the Falcon aren't exceptionally apparent, it's worth noting that ol' rustbucket has undergone a few adjustments, including getting a new satellite - which seems to get knocked off a lot. For now, the Falcon is being referred to as The Carousel, and while some fans speculate that the Falcon will have a miniature version that acts as a second ship, I'd say the scale comparison was made for set designers to go off of.
More importantly, where the Falcon is docked in these pieces makes for some interesting scenarios.
Here, we see it sitting outside of a castle at what I presume is the Michael Skellig seaside cliff location, which means that either Daisy Ridley's "Kira" piloted the ship there or she came with a crew , as she has a pretty pivotal role in this scene according to other pieces of concept art (which I'll detail in a bit).
This hangar seems to reflect the industrial architecture of Tatooine, and while it's always nice to see the staple planets from the original movies, I'm holding out hope that we might see some variety in our sandy planets within the Star Wars universe.
FORGET EVERYTHING, THAT IS DASH RENDAR'S OUTRIDER! Upon closer look, you can see that this ship is NOT the Falcon - it instead belongs to Han Solo's long-time friend, Dash Rendar, one of the primary characters in the early expanded universe and the star of my absolute favorite N64 game, Shadows of the Empire (which was adapted from the EU story). Kathleen Kennedy said very clearly that Star Wars creators were going to have the freedom to pick and choose from the EU, so does that mean we're going to see an older Dash!? God, I hope so.
One last shot shows the Falcon as we saw it on the Greenham Common set, which is said to be a new rebel base.
"Kira" Costume Design
Previously, we were given a drawn example based on a description of these photos, courtesy of MakingStarWars.net - but now, we have a much better look at the design concepts of Daisy Ridley's character.
Since these are just concepts, the end result may have changed a bit, but her outfits thus far seem to reflect the original descriptions to a certain point. I, for one, love what seems to be her primary outfit - the rugged, armored look that seems to mature with her throughout different scenes. While it doesn't exactly match the righthand sketch, the same major points are there.
It's no secret that Daisy Ridley and John Boyega's characters will lead Episode VII, but it seems as though "Kira" might have a whirlwind of a storyline in the new films. Despite starting out as a "good guy" that finds Luke's lightsaber, as seen below (with a character that may have grown into John Boyega's character), she faces some major changes throughout this concept art.
In another piece, she's seen battling a villain with her own lightsaber as another male character looks on:
The icy setting of this shot might reflect the planet with "mountains and snow" that Roger Moore recalled after his visit to set, but it also looks similar to another piece of art that IndieRevolver released (below), where a presumed hero faces off against a Sith who also has the higher ground (heh heh heh) - though their lightsaber colors aren't the same, and the third person's position has changed radically.
Concept art also reveals her entering a cave and approaching a robotic, hooded figure, with the classic contrast of Jedi blue and Sith red cutting the scene in half. Which probably leads to this...
The presumed villain has Kira (looking very much like a younger Leia and even moreso like Jaina Solo, by the way) in their clutches as she stares blankly, with just a hint of melancholy, past a figure that looks on from the left. Rumor has it that our possible villain meets Kira on the Michael Skellig set, and lures her into the dark side. It looks very much like this rumored Sith Lord is looking for an apprentice, and if the rumors are true and Ridley's character is descended from the Skywalker line, she'd be the best candidate to continue the reign that her possible Grandfather started. Speaking of Vader...
One Baddie is a Vader Fan
We've actually seen concept art that is very, very similar to this one, thanks to Indie Revolver. Here, though, we see the character seated in the interior of a ship that looks very imperial in it's make. For reference, here's IR's shot:
While rumor has it that this is Luke Skywalker, I just can't bring myself to believe it. I'll side with the other rumor: that this is the primary [Star Wars Rebels](series:965946) villain, The Inquisitor. Unfortunately, there's one more piece of concept art that might be worth using in an argument against that:
Another very, very similar shot, where the cyborg's upper lip does not at all reflect the stark white skin of The Inquisitor. Something to keep in mind, though, is that Rebels' take on The Inquisitor isn't the only one - in the Star Wars video games and Expanded Universe stories, the pale villain takes on a more human form, and comes in greater numbers. Despite the EU being tossed away, Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy has made it very clear that the folks behind the new films are more than welcome to borrow from the EU storylines.
So while this might not be Rebels' Inquisitor, it can still be an Inquisitor. Either way, it's pretty safe to assume that this person's hand is the same one we see in a recent Bad Robot tweet.
While I refuse to believe this is Luke Skywalker, you do have to wonder what kind of person would have gone to Vader's gravesite and stolen his helmet (and possibly his clothes, which is creepy as heck). Granted, with the rumors that Emperor Palpatine may make a return, this could easily be him as well. The Emperor knew about the Skywalker line and wanted both of Anakin's children in his power. That being said, here's some concept art of Vader's damaged Helmet.
One last theory: This is Anakin Skywalker. Luke's hand was encased in a replica human hand, but Anakin was never really afforded that privilege. Could Vader have survived - and what does he want with Kira?
Kira's Ship and Home
One of the coolest bits of concept art was that of Kira's home, and a downed AT-AT where she stores her ship. Not only does her positioning (looking out onto the horizon) reflect the classic shot of Luke Skywalker looking toward the future under the twin suns of Tatooine, but it also gives us a look at her personal ship, and that's pretty neat.
What's more, Kira might just be using the AT-AT for ship storage as opposed to living in it, since there's a little hut off to the side. It isn't pretty, but it just might be home for our heroine.
Ships and Creatures
While quite a few of the leaked concepts were skematics and designs for the Millennium Falcon, we're also given a look at several creatures and ship concepts. Here are a few:
This downed TIE-fighter here might spell certain doom for an Imperial Lackey on a desert planet. But here's the kicker: it's believed that John Boyega's character, said to be a renegade ex-stormtrooper, is shot down over Daisy Ridley's planet and found by her. Could this be the remnants of his ship, and how the heck would anyone survive that?
I'd first thought this ship might belong to Daisy Ridley's character, but the artwork with the back-end of her ship under the AT-AT doesn't really reflect this design. Still, since these are concepts, they could have easily appeared much earlier than Ridley's home was designed.
Instead, I'd say this is Ridley's ship, as the shot seems to work within progression of the last AT-AT photo I posted - with Ridley's ship traveling alongside another character in a land speeder.
This particular creature (which MakingStarWars says is being guided by Daisy Ridley's character to drag junk parts along) has already popped up in set photos, but I'd also like to note the downed Star Destroyer in the background. Remnants of the war are clear and present in a lot of the artwork from this scene, making me think that this particular planet was at the very center of a major battle.
Max Von Sydow's Character
Originally thought to be a villain, it seems as though Max Von Sydow's character might end up being a little more than a menacing Sith. I wrote on this one a little before, including a description from MakingStarWars and Badass Digest, but here's the BA version again:
According to my sources von Sydow is playing a key character who gets the story in motion.
Remember that I told you the movie begins with the discovery of the lightsaber? Well, it isn't Daisy Ridley who discovers it but rather a blue alien guy. He brings it to a salvage yard where Kira - that seems to be what Ridley's character's name is, or at least what they're calling her on set - sees it. She's hanging out there with von Sydow, who is an old cyborg dude, a guy who maybe has dementia. He talks a lot of nonsense. But as soon as that lightsbaber shows up, he gets lucid. He recognizes it. He begins to talk about the old days, name drops a couple of Prequel Trilogy characters, even. And then, after Kira and the alien leave he makes a call to a mysterious figure. "It's here," he says. But who is he calling?
So while he may be working for someone else, I'd say that this particular story seems to reflect the character designs very, very well.
It's also no secret that the Imperial forces are still around and rebuilding again in alliance with the Sith. While Adam Driver's character has been rumored to be a villain who collects Sith memorabilia and commands Chrome Stormtroopers, recent photos of him in a Rebel flight suit seem to challenge that theory (unless, of course, Driver appears as a rebel in a flashback - we've been told that there are flashbacks with Vader and Leia, so maybe he's part of them) but I digress.
With Gwendoline Christie apparently taking on a role of command when it comes to all things Imperial, seeing how the Empire has rebuilt and changed is pretty interesting. Speaking of Christie, who is rumored to wear upgraded chrome armor with a hooded cloak, here's a piece of concept art that seems to back up the costume description:
While it's worth noting that Christie's role was originally written for a man, the curve of the character's chest plate is different between the left and right shots, perhaps reflecting concepts that were created at different times.
While close-up shots of new lightsaber designs were few and far between until now, shots of one lightsaber design have dropped on the internet. Smooth and curved, it reminds me of a weird mix between Luke's second lightsaber and Dooku's curved handle. It also reminds me a little of Naboo architecture, but it's not really been hinted at that we'll be returning to Amidala's home planet in the new films. Fans are assuming this one belongs to Daisy Ridley, so far.
The only real assumption I can make from all this concept art is that Abrams and his team are working hard to deliver a visually stunning and emotional Star Wars for both generations old and new. Bringing back old-fashioned set models and mixing them with the sleek designs that appeal to a modern audience is exactly what I wanted in VII, so these pieces give me a lot of hope.
What do you think of all this new concept art? Any guesses on the story so far?