June 13, 2024

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The assistant took Star Wars back in time by taking things away

The assistant took Star Wars back in time by taking things away

Kevin Jenkins is star Wars A veteran at this point, having worked in a variety of design roles across multiple films, starting with Rogue one to The Rise of Skywalker. But as a production designer on a Disney Plus series the assistantHe faced a whole new challenge: finding a look that couldn’t be relied upon star Wars Staples like Stormtroopers or Star Destroyers. “Unlike others star Wars“This wouldn’t have been found in a book,” Jenkins says. the edge. “When I did the sequels, and even when the prequels were done, we had this template star Wars to go from. And [on The Acolyte]“We removed 75 percent of the mold.”

This is because the show goes back in time to a previous century The imaginary threat. It is the first realistic project to take place during the era of the High Republic, a time of relative peace and prosperity. There is no galactic war, no evil empire, and no rebels fighting against it. This opened up room for the story to explore new characters while also giving the visual team plenty of room to figure out who’s older star Wars It can seem era without many of its most iconic elements.

“It provided the opportunity to be almost uninhibited in looking for that look no matter what, without being too beholden,” says Jenkins. “I had a clean record,” adds costume designer Jennifer Bryan. “I didn’t have a lot of restrictions [as if] It came close to the schedule that had already been filmed and televised.

Naturally, this created some challenges. Jenkins notes that when you remove many of those tokens star Wars Visually, it can be difficult to explain what makes something visually fit within the universe. “There are some tricks to star WarsMeaning it goes back to the original collections and Ralph McQuarrie. “It’s like a style in architecture. You can look at different styles and say: ‘This is a Brutalist building, this is Art Deco.'”

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Jord Vandar (Charlie Barnett) and Tasi Loa (Thara Schon) show off their luxurious new Jedi robes from the High Republic era.
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Say hello to Pep.
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Wookie Jedi Kelnacca (Jonas Suotamo) next to a speeder bike designed for cruising.
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

There are still some key points in the show. The sprawling city planet of Coruscant, which featured heavily in the Prequels, is located in… the assistantAs it is home to the Jedi Temple. The Jedi also appear, but in a slightly different appearance. Brian describes the Jedi robes in the show as “more accurate” to fit the time period. “It’s definitely more put together and more thoughtful,” she explains. “Especially for Jord (Charlie Barnett), who you meet in the first two episodes. He’s so sensitive. He’s such an elegant Jedi.”

Bryan says her process for designing many of the show’s looks is a bit like reverse engineering. Viewers should be able to see a natural streak of fashion the assistant On to subsequent films and shows. The Jedi robes are just one example – not only their cut but the color as well. “I wore their ivory and off-white uniforms, colors that symbolize peace and not dark or foreboding,” Brian explains. The overall goal was to “bring elegance to the Jedi”.

A similar process has been undertaken with respect to technology and vehicles. There are a few robots in the assistantFor example, because the technology is not as advanced as in the later films. This ties into the story: main character Osha (Amandla Stenberg) works as a ship mechanic at a time when ark units like R2-D2 were rare. Instead, she has Pip, a portable gadget that’s also a cool robot. Likewise, Jenkins points out the Jedi speedbikes featured in the early episodes: they’re just for exploration, unlike most motorcycles. star Wars Vehicles, which are designed for combat.

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May (Amandla Stenberg) wears armor that includes both chainmail and bamboo.
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Not everything in the show is inspired by history (or the future, depending on how you look at it). star Wars, althoug. Brian says she drew a lot of ideas from real historical cultures, from the Roman Empire to samurai warriors. This led to one of the show’s most distinctive appearances: assassin May (Stenberg), whose armor combines chainmail and a bamboo chest plate. “You think of bamboo as a fruiting plant, swaying in the breeze,” Brian explains. “But it is deceptive. If used in the right way, it becomes a protective substance.

The result is a show that not only feels different from the rest of the series, but is also arguably more accessible because of it. He nods to the other star Wars The stories are there for fans, but they are not essential to understanding the assistant. “This show has no barrier to entry, much like the original star Wars “When I first saw him in 1977,” Jenkins says. “It explains itself in its own way. There’s no homework to do, either visually or story-wise.