Author Topic: Redesign Star Wars  (Read 2254 times)

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Offline Weaver

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Redesign Star Wars
« on: January 13, 2018, 10:03:11 am »
Been watching a few videos about the early days of the Star Wars project and got thinking about how it could have been different...

So, it's 1974 and you've just been hired by some oddball Yank director called George...something-or-other to do concept art and/or models for his whacky new space movie called 'Star Warriors', or something like that anyway: the script's being re-written every week at the moment. What are your ideas?

Note: don't get hung up on the names things were eventually given: the names followed the designs, not the other way around. Your Rebel Fighter isn't necessarily going to be called an 'X-Wing' yet so there's no requirement for it to have an 'X' shaped configuration.


The Brief:

The movie is to have the visual style of 2001, but with a fast-paced adventure feel more like the old Flash Gordon series, mixed with dogfighting scenes inspired by old WWII movies. Spacecraft are therefore striking geometric shapes, with lots of detail and weathering to make them look like realistic hardware, and no concessions to aerodynamics (force fields will take care of any pesky air they encounter). Pointy, finned rocket-ships and flying saucers are definitely out.

The latest draft of the script envisages seven spacecraft types:

1. Rebel Courier Ship. This is a small warship, equivalent to a naval destroyer or frigate, which is captured by an Imperial capital ship (see below) at the start of the movie. Key requirements:

Small enough to be easily overmatched by the Imperial ship.
Large enough crew to resist a boarding action for a matter of some minutes.
Large enough interior for some drama involving running, hiding and secret meetings.
Equipped with escape pods capable of getting at least two survivors down to a nearby planet.


2. Imperial Capital Ship. A huge, imposing warship, capable of overmatching the Courier Ship. Basically a cross between a battleship and an aircraft carrier.
Key requirements:

Imposing appearance.
Large size.
Lots of firepower.
Lots of fighters.
Docking bay capable of holding the Courier Ship.


3. Smuggler Ship. A small 'tramp freighter' used for smuggling and other illegal activities by some of the major characters. Has a performance that belies it's battered and ramshackle appearance. Key requirements:

Small and agile enough to win a fight against a handful of fighters.
Enough firepower to hold off/defeat a handful of fighters, some of it possibly concealed, Q-ship style.
Big enough to hold a visible legitimate cargo and a concealed illicit cargo.
Big enough to act as 'home' for half-a-dozen people for an extended period.
Spacious enough interior for quite a bit of drama.


4. Planet Killer. A huge ship/station that can literally blow planets up. Key requirements:

Enormous size, such that it can credibly hold a planet-killing weapon.
Huge variety of interior settings: effectively a city in space.
Huge amount of firepower and fighters.
Docking bay capable of holding the Smuggler Ship.


5. Imperial Fighter. A small cheap, expendable fighter that the Empire can build in vast quantities to protect it's capital ships from being swarm-attacked. For reference, think of a Mitsubishi Zero: agile but fragile. Key Requirements:

Single pilot.
Small size.
High agility.
Just enough firepower to take out an enemy fighter.
No protection or armour.
Fragile appearance.
No FTL drive.


6. Rebel Fighter. Since the Rebels' main problem is recruiting pilots, their fighter is the antithesis of the Imperial one: it's a big, capable 'Cadillac' of a ship, semi-self-repairing, with FTL drive and lots of capability. For reference, think of any US late WWII fighter such as the Hellcat, Corsair, Thunderbolt or Mustang, as compared to a Zero. Key Requirements:

Single pilot plus a small robot for self-repair.
Medium size (for a fighter).
Enough agility.
Plenty of firepower to take out an enemy fighter and maybe damage a capital ship.
Plenty of protection in the form of armour and/or force fields.
FTL drive.


7. Rebel Strike Craft. A large, relatively sluggish 'fighter' whose job is to carry heavy weapons capable of taking out a capital ship. For reference, think of the Mosquitoes in the film 633 Squadron or the torpedo and dive-bombers in any WWII carrier action.

Two human crew.
Large size (for a fighter).
Relatively poor agility.
Plenty of firepower to damage a capital ship, plus rear defence guns to protect it from fighters.
Plenty of protection in the form of armour and/or force fields.
FTL drive.







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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 10:25:21 am »

..........think of the Mosquitoes in the film 633 Squadron.


Do I have to?  :banghead:

I'd get another headache I know. The darn thing was on TV just the other night and I'm only just recovering.
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

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Offline Jesse220

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 11:58:56 am »
Nice Ideas

Offline Weaver

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 01:41:16 pm »

..........think of the Mosquitoes in the film 633 Squadron.


Do I have to?  :banghead:

I'd get another headache I know. The darn thing was on TV just the other night and I'm only just recovering.

That was literally the inspiration for the trench run in Star Wars. Lucas cut bits of it, plus other WWII movies, into Star Wars footage to make daily 'roughs' when he hadn't yet got the special effects footage.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 01:45:44 pm »
Nice Ideas

Umm, not sure if you're confused or not, but they're not 'ideas': they're 'neutral' descriptions of the actual ships in Star Wars. The idea is to come up with your own designs to the same movie requirement. From top to bottom, they are:

1. Tantive IV frigate (Princess Leia's ship)
2. Imperial Star Destroyer
3. Millennium Falcon
4. Death Star
5. TIE Fighter
6. X-Wing
7. Y-Wing
Neophyte: Is Eris true?
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MtY: Even false things are true.
Neo: How can that be?
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Offline sandiego89

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 06:40:46 pm »
Well from just watching the latest one, The Last Jedi, I would not have bombers that had to fly above the evil star cruiser and have gravity realese bombs fall straight down..they even had bomb bay door and racks, with the hero pilot having to scurry down and trigger the manual release! It was all well done, but it’s space!!!
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

Offline Weaver

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 07:28:55 pm »
Well from just watching the latest one, The Last Jedi, I would not have bombers that had to fly above the evil star cruiser and have gravity realese bombs fall straight down..they even had bomb bay door and racks, with the hero pilot having to scurry down and trigger the manual release! It was all well done, but it’s space!!!

Really?  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I missed TFA at the cinema and only saw it when the DVDs appeared in a bin at the supermarket for £3. After watching it, I begrudged spending the £3, so I'm in no rush to see TLJ...
Neophyte: Is Eris true?
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Neo: How can that be?
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 07:40:40 pm »
For the Imperial Fighter, it strikes me that it, rather than the Rebel Fighter, should have folding or VG features. It's intended to be cheap and numerous, so folding fins/wings would help it to stow in a smaller space, thus increasing the number that could be carried on a larger ship. What I have in mind is a spherical cockpit (not copying the TIE Fighter here: it's just the most logical pressure vessel) with a smaller-diameter power plant on the back of it. The power plant would be surrounded by four 'petals' that fold down for stowage and out for flying, making it star-shaped in flight. Each petal would have a combined thruster/blaster unit at the end that could push backward or shoot forwards, but not both at the same time. The fighter could thus choose all-thrust for max acceleration, all shoot for max damage or two thrust + two shoot for a mixture. Ideally the thrust/blast units would be fed by 'laser beams' from the central core, but that might be beyond the SFX technology of the 1970s.
Neophyte: Is Eris true?
Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true.
Neo: Even false things?
MtY: Even false things are true.
Neo: How can that be?
MtY: I don't know man, I didn't do it.
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Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 10:26:36 pm »
Very early pre-production concepts; drawings, paintings and models, by Colin Cantwell for a project
originally called Adventures of the Starkiller, (Episode One) “The Star Wars”.
http://www.originalprop.com/blog/2014/11/13/colin-cantwell-video-interviews-star-wars-prototype-models-nasa/

Plus sketches by Lucas that he gave to Cantwell as a starting point, from the Kitbashed site:
https://kitbashed.com/blog/a-complete-history-of-the-millennium-falcon

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Offline zenrat

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 01:24:49 am »
If the robots were allowed to pilot the fighters then they would have a huge advantage over those with human crews as they would be able to withstand vastly greater G forces and thus easilly out manoeuvre their "soft centred" opponents.
This is why Battlestar Galactica is wrong.  Vipers would have no chance against Cylons.

However, is there a need for fighters when (if we extrapolate from events in TLJ) an imperial capital ship can be taken out by strapping a hyperdrive to an appropriately aimed rock?
Fred

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Offline Weaver

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2018, 02:21:16 am »
If the robots were allowed to pilot the fighters then they would have a huge advantage over those with human crews as they would be able to withstand vastly greater G forces and thus easilly out manoeuvre their "soft centred" opponents.
This is why Battlestar Galactica is wrong.  Vipers would have no chance against Cylons.

However, is there a need for fighters when (if we extrapolate from events in TLJ) an imperial capital ship can be taken out by strapping a hyperdrive to an appropriately aimed rock?

All fair points (as are several others), but remember:

a) It's 1974. Every military fighter has a human pilot and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Even though aircraft geeks know that a few 'robot planes' exist, limited-purpose missiles have just made a dismal showing in Vietnam and the USAF has just officially reinvented the dogfighter with the F-15 & F-16/17. NOBODY in 1974 is going to allow robots to fly fighter planes.

b) It's a movie in 1974. Movies are about people doing heroic stuff and robots aren't people. 'Real' robots that can act well enough to support the empathy of the audience are well off into the sci-fi future of the 1990s, both in terms of what the SFX industry can actually do and of what the general public will buy. Yes you can point to C-3PO and R2-D2, but remember that they're supporting cast, not main players, and they are also essentially human characters in metal suites, with a range of human frailties that (especially in the case of C-3PO) are utterly unrealistic. They're there to add light relief and a constant reminder that this is a sci-fi world. If the SFX hadn't worked well or the actors hadn't been able to work in it, then the story would have changed little and suffered little for them being removed and/or replaced by biological characters.

TLJ is a LONG way in the future at this point. We're still talking about Flash Gordon meets 2001 at this point and trying to get a studio to cough up for even just the one movie.
Neophyte: Is Eris true?
Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true.
Neo: Even false things?
MtY: Even false things are true.
Neo: How can that be?
MtY: I don't know man, I didn't do it.
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Offline zenrat

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 03:02:08 am »
I know H.  I was just stirrin'...
 ;D


Fred

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Offline Weaver

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 06:21:47 am »
I know H.  I was just stirrin'...
 ;D

You're bucking to fly the Spoon-Wing aren't you?  :wacko:
Neophyte: Is Eris true?
Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true.
Neo: Even false things?
MtY: Even false things are true.
Neo: How can that be?
MtY: I don't know man, I didn't do it.
Principia Discordia

Twitter: @hws5mp
www.minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Snowtrooper

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 07:18:03 am »
The "Stingray" is a bit unclear, but looks a lot like XF-85 Goblin. Since it's already a diminutive, minimally armed short-range fighter would perhaps be a better starting point for the Imperial expendable fighter.

The "Finned Sausage" for the Imperial fighter looks a lot like a tailless Starfighter (pun intended). If the Goblin will be the starting point for the inspiration for Imperial fighter, then this will possibly end up as a Rebel fighter.

The Strike Fighter, depends if you want everyone under the same canopy or not. On the other hand, it could be F-105 without intakes, Bf 110 shaped cockpit glazing to allow for tail gunner, and X-shaped tail surfaces to clear the field of fire for the lascannon. On the other hand, something like A-3 or swept-wing Il-28 (if you want a more pronounced tail gun) or a mix and match could be the starting point.

From that perspective, the blockade runner and/or pirate ship resemble the B-70 a lot, so that could be another starting point. (What became the Tantive IV was for a long time actually the Falcon, even well into the shooting, leading to a few reshoots because the exterior sets didin't look right.)

At the time, the two leading space station archetypes in SF illustrations are probably the 2001-type rotating ring station, and the more contemporary "modules and trusses". The ring would seem more scifistic and less fragile for the Death Star, place the superlaser in the middle in the non-rotating part and have the Trench Run set along the rim somewhere (handwave that the even the superlaser itself is too strongly armoured to be hurt, and the MacGuffin weakpoint is located somewhere in the rim).

Of course, these would be just starting points, it's not like the final designs would be just 20th century planes IN SPAAAACE, but there you go.

Offline perttime

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Re: Redesign Star Wars
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 08:47:37 am »
A big ring with spokes, and the weapon in the hub, would work for the Planet Killer. Then you'd just need a different menacing name, instead of Death Star.

The Rebel Fighter needs to look familiar enough that people will immediately recognize it as a fighter. The X-wing configuration always seemed a bit silly to me. Maybe something more like the E-Wing that appeared later. There's some variety of artwork around. Some show it quite stubby, some more sleek.





The Imperial Fighter surely needs to look alien and sinister. If it cannot be a ball with plates on either side, it could be a short sausage with a windmill or ring somewhere along its length.