Today the Royals visited the Star Wars Episode VII set at Pinewood studios in the UK, and Prince Harry was photographed sitting in a very familiar star fighter.
That’s right, he’s sitting in an A-Wing. It’s sightly modified from the Original Trilogy version (just like the X-Wings were in The Force Awakens), but it poses a worrying problem for Episode VIII. Will the movie, like The Force Awakens before it, be so mired in pandering to nostalgia and a product of “Star Wars by Focus Group” that we won’t see any cool new ship designs?
Every movie in The Original Trilogy introduced us to a new star fighter, as did every movie in the Prequel Trilogy. Just look at the OT for example:
- A New Hope introduced us to X-Wings, Y-Wings, and TIE Fighters.
- The Empire Strikes Back brought us the Snow Speeders, TIE Bombers and the cool Cloud Cars.
- Return of the Jedi showed A-Wings, B-Wings, TIE Interceptors, and the Imperial Lambda-class Shuttle (which was added to the ESB SE).
The Force Awakens gave us minor changes to X-Wings and TIE Fighters. There were some wild new star fighter designs done for the movie (such as a cool “U-Wing” style craft), but these were obviously tossed aside when the Star Wars Focus Group checklist demanded familiar ships in a movie set thirty years after the last one.
I really hope there will be some new ship designs seen in Episode VIII. Hopefully Rian Johnson can overrule the nostalgia brigade and give us something that Star Wars fans haven’t seen before. The reliance on Original Trilogy nostalgia was one of the problems that The Force Awakens had, so I’m hoping this A-Wing is just a one-off and something “safe” they were able to show the press at this set visit.