Welcome to “One Week of Star Wars”, a quick series of 7 articles that will be released daily celebrating some of my favourite things in the Star Wars galaxy. Today, we’re looking at Starship Sunday
Right from the famous opening of A New Hope where the Tantive IV and the Devastator fly over the camera, you know you’re in for something special watching his film. Despite being made back in the 70s, the ships look amazing and so realistic, you forget how old the film is!
Starships are a necessary part of the Star Wars story – you need some way to get between planets and to fight in space – but they transcend beyond that to the point that some ships like the Millennium Falcon feel like characters themselves.
I remember watching Doug Chiang’s panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago earlier this year and hearing him talk about “The Three-Second Rule”: that the audience must be able to look at a ship for 3 seconds and understand what they need to know – where the pilot sits, what direction it is going in and its purpose. It was something I have never thought of before, but hearing that and thinking about it, the ships of Star Wars have always been so easy to understand, while also having such iconic looks that they are instantly recognisable. From the TIE fighter and all its variants that we continue to see more of as the need arises, to the X-wings and their opening S-foils, the look of the ships on each side of the conflicts were deliberately so different in their look that it was clear to everyone who was on which side.
The ships have also done a great job of helping you understand a character of a population. The ships of Naboo are sleek and elegant with minimal weaponry, while you just have to compare the look of the Falcon when owned by Lando compared to Han to get an idea of their personalities.
Like with stormtroopers, I understand why some people may not like the way that each film appears to add some new variation of a ship – likely to make more money on toys – but as long as there is a legitimate reason for their introduction (like Rogue One being the first time we have seen the Rebels need a troop transport so bringing in the U-wing), then I have no problem with it and look forward to seeing the latest designs on screen.
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…