In the wake of Star Wars day, which enthusiasts of the franchise celebrated yesterday, let’s look at this Star Wars inspired model space craft that Porsche Design has created in collab with Lucas Film
Words Aninda Sardar
If you’re a child of the ‘80s or the ‘90s or the 2000s, there is absolutely no way you don’t know about Star Wars. Over a 32 year period, the franchise that started in 1977 with A New Hope, has moved far beyond the realm of being a simple sci-fi movie series. It’s an epic sci-fi opera that has unfolded over time and spun itself into nothing short of a legend. The franchise has spun off video games, attractions in theme parks, comic books, clothes, stationery, themed parties you name it. On a personal note I loved the outlandish futuristic (for the ‘80s) costumes, the masks, the light sabres and the sounds of laser guns during the battle sequences. My favourite though had to be those oh-so-cool space ships. Now, this iconic franchise and those magnificent space ships seem to have tickled the sharpish brains at Porsche Design and together with Lucas Films, they have created a model starship that brings together the DNA of the two very different brands.
The collaboration story
“This collaboration is an amazing opportunity to merge the design aesthetics of Porsche and Star Wars. I found it to be creatively challenging and extremely inspiring,” said Doug Chiang, Vice President and Executive Creative Director for Lucas Film. “It is thrilling to infuse Star Wars with Porsche styling to create an iconic new spaceship that could exist, both on Earth or in the cinematic universe.”
The initial ideas and drafts were created by the project team comprising members of Porsche Design and Lucas Films working out of their respective studios in Weissach and San Francisco over a two-month period. Named Tri_Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter, this fantasy space craft was presented as a five-feet long model at the premiere of the last Star Wars movie titled The Rise of the Skywalker.
The project however was fraught with challenges. For starters, when you see the starship on screen, you only see it in 2D but a classic series production vehicle will always be seen in all three dimensions. Also, when you see a starship on screen in the movie scenes, you only get to see it for fleeting moments during which you recognise it. Like its online counterpart, the classic series production’s design also has to be instantly recognisable in a matter of seconds, which is easier said than done. The other challenge was to retain enough elements of Porsche in the design to ensure that people recognise that it’s a collaborative effort.
So, at a glance you will recognise the shape as a starship and there are enough visual cues for you to be able to associate it with the franchise. However, should you look closer, you’ll notice that the front of the craft is reminiscent of the air intakes that juxtapose with the headlamps to give the Porsche Taycan its distinctive look. Between the blasters, or gun barrels located at the left and right tips of the front, are four-point day time running lamps that are almost a Porsche signature. Meanwhile the louvres at the rear and integrated third brake lamp is inspired by the iconic 911. Not to mention the marque’s trademark light bar at the rear. On the inside, a low seating position for the pilot and instrumentation clearly inclined towards the pilot remind one of the 918.
Although legal requirements mean that there were certain restriction on the creativity of the project team in the classic design process for a series-production vehicle, this project does open up a whole new dimension for those pursuing creative freedom. The design teams have brought the differing worlds of Porsche and Star Wars together to make a very special gift for the fans of the two brands,” said Kjell Gruner, Head of Marketing at Porsche. Porsche also showcased the all-new Taycan at the premiere event of the film The Rise of the Skywalker in Los Angeles.