Done for Sony Online Entertainment's Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game.
Shout out to Roger Chamberlain, Art Director for the project.
Work is copyright to Lucasarts Entertainment (explains why you don't see signatures anywhere on the work as well...). You can find the higher res wallpaper versions here: [link]
this is what a picture myself as when i play some of the Empire at war mods
Imperial > rebel scum
each Star Destroyer with numerous pods, and be people like these that Veers was referring to in Empire Strikes Back.
this sort of cyberpunk aesthetic really fits for the Empire though, one of the great things about having a Galactic wide setting is being able to have multiple, radically different aesthetics in the same franchise, or even on the same ship. J.J. Abrams did this with Trek, from the almost surgical ward sterile Bridge, to the dirty Steamworks of engineering.
Suffice to say, SW -now after Ep1 to 3- doesn't deserve a cyberpunk look. No offence to any fans, but yeah. They could've gone hard sci fi and hypercult like have mentioned, but they chose 'seudo renaissance', and it should stay that way. It has its own charm, and I think its universally alot more appealing to a wider audience than a niche, dystopian look. Smart choice.
Sure, no jetsons styled floating cities but you have an incredibly posh and upmarket designer waterfront clone facility that looks like it leapt off one of Apple's product studios. Flatscreens with 'better' graphic and visual design (I actually understand whats happening on screen and not just looking at random mess of unintelligible lines and arrows...obviously informed by what they felt was 'cool' back then).
Regarding scale- I don't feel scale is a fair comparison for 'rogress'. Look at the pyramids. Or the great wall. What part of those are more 'advanced' than any modern man-made marvel? They're bigger in every way, but technologically not more advanced. In the star wars universe where every generation had repulsor or antigrav technology.. I think mass becomes the least of your worries when it comes to construction. So in this sense scale is out of the question. Which brings me to:
Superweapons. That's just ww2 thinking. The fact that ep 4-6 degenerated into a ww2-mentality with the construction of the biggest, loudest planet-sized light saber tells me that they went backwards in thinking, not forwards. They could've spent all that resource on an arguably more effective fighting force of a million ships. More flexible, more versatile and can meet more operational demands. Not putting all their eggs in one planet sized basket. So to speak.
Ultimately I feel it still rests in the design trends of the first 3 films. Cleaner lines, less 'random greeble'. Stormtroopers were essentially Ski googles + pilot flightmask + 2 pods to each side, melded together and painted white. Clonetrooper helmets don't share any recognisable element from modern day/ww2. The entire design is self-contained, so to speak.
Overall, tech wise, less parts that felt kitbashed from a WW2 model kit. I don't see anymore MG42 stocks, nor Sten gun receivers melded in with the gun designs. No more industrial looking tech merged with militaristic design from the 70s on the legs of the walkers. Its all streamlined, cleaner (less wear and tear), more romanticised somewhat. More progressive. The golden age perhaps.. before the galaxy fell into ruin. I think that was the excuse they used most often, to explain how the art direction changed so much.
As for your last paragraph, I think you're forgetting the fact that the first trilogy takes place in a different part of the galaxy (more or less) than the new films. The 70's films told the story of the rebels, who had to hide in the shittiest of locales, whereas the new movies take place in the political and and cultural center of the galaxy. Environmentally speaking, I'm not surprised that things look different. (just a thought)
Also, I'd say that while the overall design of the new films is much better thought out, and executed, it's not as interesting. The originals had grit, and they communicated the soul of entropy. The Empire was Soviet. again,EP 1-3 had clever design in terms of function, but still, everything looked somehow kitschy.
Fun fact, McQuarrie did develop the look of Coruscant which the Prequel artists used as their basis. We could have had it back in '83, but I guess Ewoks were more fun.
In any case, I never said EP 4-6 was any less decent in terms of artistic direction or expression. By advanced, what me and Shtl were originally driving at was the 'sense' of technological advancement that Ep 1-3 had over 4-6. In fact what we were REALLY saying, was "we love 4-6, and wished 1-3 made more visual sense to us as designers in terms of continuity".
I still feel that EP 1-3 looked more advanced in many ways (technology/timeline wise again) than it could/should have been. This is precisely why, to my mind, it has the kitsch element that you mentioned. It could have been more 'hyper cult' like the originals but it ended up kitsch, as you said yourself.
If Ralph Mcquarrie designed Ep1-3..how would that turn out. I think that's where I'd park my sentiments really.
Oh, like the sets of THX 1138, a film Lucas made years before ANH?
"Flatscreens with 'better' graphic and visual design"
Like Tarkin's war room 3D graphics and Ackbar's hologram of the DSII?
"I don't see anymore MG42 stocks, nor Sten gun receivers melded in with the gun designs."
They used similar stocks for the clone rifles, actually. Same WWII-basis stock.
Now I was merely sharing an observation with a friend. I wasn't expecting to get star whored.
Why do you fanatics do this all the time? Chill pill. Jerk off with the force or something... Or go listen to some mp3chlorians. ha ha ha.
and the details, aswell as the mood, and the general idea.
Keep it up! More starwars art much appreciated.
The dark environment looks amazing!!
Nice idea turning those wierd brick-pattern metal thingies into mounting racks.
Does anyone else get an eniac vibe from star wars, I get the feeling that's what your getting at. All the light up buttons.
Above all, I'm totaly obsessed by thoose "inside the meka" style cockpit thingz from Shirow. Then you had this kind of stuff with that beard guy hacking systems from a truck in the anime Gits (he has this cool thing he puts on this shoulder, and all thoose round stuffs and screens and so on).
Then when thinking of it, the first time I had too appreciate this, and what became our fav game while kids, was the inside of the ships (Tie-Fighters) of darkvador and his 2 personnals awesome dark helmet guards in SW ah... IV... We where building cockpits with what we found, chairs, table, trashes ... drawing screens and button with markers, and let's go for hours of fun killinng rebel scums !!! ^^
Dun't know, maybe some resurgence from very early childhood? (mother belly?) lol
Even now I tryed to arrange my workplace in this "fashion".
Soooo.... the thema is well rendered and means alot to me. And I usual show no mercy for thoose style images...
The helmet is cool. The "cheap 80's 3d" screens are really cool. (green red blue wireframe early graphik design ) Plus the atmosphere, the lighting... the backgroung TV screens details... everything from it is for me hypa kult, and you puted almost all of them in it, so...!
It was really fun and educational trying to identify and isolate the elements that made star wars what it was for me back then. And its everything you say I guess. A clever, calculated combination of hypa kult elements. Dunno about jar jar though.
Don't know if they truly pioneered, but when we where kid, for sure we had never seen such things before. Wuz so exiting and magic. And this image has indeed a great compilation of those 70's designs - round edges, bucky/dodeca shapes, darkforeground silhouetting, soft clair-obscure lighting, thin colorfull designs etc...
You managed to keep it simple even so there is something more modern in it... Don't know what. Anyhow, the atmosphere is spot on star wars old school with the correct balance of ukitamuki's touch,
Can imagine you did have more fun kicking ass in "stim armor", painting light in "set up", compositing the ships and so on... But this one seams to be just for me ! ^^
What is jar jar btw?