Howdy CWK Fans! This is my first blog on Coffee with Kenobi. I only wrote a handful of blogs on the ol’ Star Wars site. My title there was ‘Darth T-Bones House of Ramblin’. That is reflective of my thought process and questionable writing style. I jump around, I ramble, and mumble as I write. I was never good in English class and I regret that to this day. Why do I say this? Basically, so I’m not totally judged on punctuation, run-on sentences, and a general sense of “what is he trying to say?”.
For my first blog I wanted to come up with a topic that would cover the entire saga (except EU, sorry) and some of the gaps I hope “Rebels” fills for us fans. One gap in particular interest to me is that of the vehicles and their evolution from the Prequels, the Clone Wars, and the Original Trilogy.
Close your eyes and think of that first scene in ANH with the Imperial Star Destroyer hot on the tail of the Rebel Blockade Runner. Ah, there it is. I think most fans could agree that was a “hooking” to the saga. That moment created a sense of awe at such a massive vessel. Fast forward the last 37 years (wow, really?) and think of the number of ships, speeders, walkers, skiffs, barges, Falcons, and battle stations (not a moon) that we have seen. It’s pretty amazing of you ask me.
If you have read the graphic novel adaptation of “The Star Wars” (or least issue #0 for an intro to the original concept of the first Galaxy) you see a lot of what George Lucas imagined for vehicles was brought to life one way or another in the Prequel Trilogy. He had vision of an “Air Tank”. As we saw during the Ground Assault on Naboo, “Air Tank” became the Armored Assault Tank (AAT).
Oh but that wasn’t it for the prequels by any means. GL’s first draft was a very clean, sharp, art deco-type world that Ralph McQuarrie represented so well in those early concept drawings. A New Hope ended up being so dirty and grungy compared to those original drafts. In my opinion it had to be for the sake of the story. Worlds under the Imperial fist for close to 20 years would not be so pretty.
The Prequels were a chance to show how these worlds looked before the Empire. The Phantom Menace was a visually beautiful movie. The ships on Naboo captured that McQuarrie-esque feel with the smooth edges, sleek chrome bodies, and again…clean. In Attack of the Clones we see a switch from form to that of function. The Clone Wars turned that function into fighters. There was so much customization in the CW, it became overwhelming (especially to collectors like me). Anakin would tweak a fighter, and we had to buy it all over again. Revenge of the Sith was all about “Fight Fight Fight”. We started getting into a lot of ground assault vehicles like walkers and massive tanks.
The Original Trilogy was definitely two-sided. The Rebellion was just trying to keep their fleets running. At least they had ship designers like Dodonna and Ackbar on their side. It’s always nice to have tech support in your hangar. The Empire just kept punching out the cookie cutter ships for the ground and the air in staggering numbers. They learned you could rule a galaxy with quantity over quality. Of course, that is if you don’t leave things like thermal ports on your Death Star and weak neck joints on your AT-AT vulnerable. Sometimes the simplest plans can have overlooked details.
The Jedi had their Starfighters that were a basic triangle very reminiscent of the future Imperial Star Destroyers (can something really be “reminiscent of the future” – I guess so). However, they did not evolve into a bigger ship. They became more of a tactical fighter during the Clone Wars and by Revenge of the Sith we see more vertical wing tips and a shorter cockpit that might as well have been a TIE Fighter windshield. I am happy to know that Rebels will bring us the TIE Fighter!
The ARC-170 started a love of S-Foil technology that carried on to the design of the X-Wing. The X-Wing is one ship I am hoping to see in Rebels. That ship is the backbone of the Rebellion. I do think they may still be holding onto some Y-Wings, but we’ll just have to wait and see if the preceding letter of ship makes its debut in Rebels. Speaking of which, how is it that in a world of Aurabesh (with no letter pronounced like its English equivalent) did we get ships called “A-Wings”, “B-Wings”, etc???
How about that Death Star? You know we’re going to see that baby completed in Rebels! Starting in TPM the Droid Control Ships had a very large sphere as part of their design. Enter AOTC and the start of the Battle on Geonosis. Did you see those big round ships trying to take off? They were called the Trade Federation Core Ships. They just kept getting bigger, rounder, and more deadly every movie. ROTS gave us one big cliffhanger with the first Death Star plans revealed at the end. The first Death Star was the size of a small moon. In keeping with tradition, the second Death Star was about 150% the size of the first one. That one didn’t even have to be completed to be “fully operational”. Who had the time to finish such a thing? According to “Clerks”, it was a lot of independent contractors.
Will Rebels give us the Millennium Falcon? Sure, there was a YT-1300 light freighter for a millisecond in ROTS, but even GL said “it’s not the Falcon”. Again, it was enough screen-time to get a Hasbro “Titanium” die-cast version that I had to buy. I’m sure the Rebels story-line will not have the Falcon unless we happen to see a backroom Sabacc game in which the ownership changes hands from Lando to Han. What if it wasn’t won “fair and square”?
I can’t wait for Rebels to start and bridge the gaps that we were promised to have filled by a live action show. Like any true fan, I hold no grudge and am just happy to have new Star Wars. What will the next Trilogy bring to the Galaxy as far as ships are concerned? Like you, I’ll be waiting to see.
Questions, comments, or tutoring?
Email me at TROYM@COFFEEWITHKENOBI.COM
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