Yahoo! Movies interviewed Doug Chiang, who served as the Design Director for the prequels, and also worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The interview covers a variety of Chiang’s past work with Lucasfilm, including working with George Lucas on the prequels and his thoughts on the crossguard broadsaber in The Force Awakens.
Check out Chiang’s thoughts on The Force Awakens below and head over to Yahoo! Movies for the full interview as well as an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the upcoming Blu-ray!
How about Kylo Ren’s lightsaber, what was the thought on that?
Part of it is trying to create iconic visual images that help support the story of the character. Early on, J.J. had always described Kylo as this next-generation villain who’s going to be as bad as Vader, and as powerful. And he said, he’s kind of like a knight, a dark knight. So it works well, that the blade has a crossguard. You bring in those little elements that start to reflect the character. I love it when designs can do that, inform who the character is. And at the same time, I remember when I first saw the crossguard on the lightsaber, it put a smile on my face. It was so unexpected but felt right. I know it took risks of, how would you explain it? Would it be practical? You can explain that afterwards.
One of the discussions was, how can we surpass the Death Star? The simple answer was, let’s make it big. The Death Star was moon-sized, so I thought, how about a planet-sized weapon? And one of the first exercises I did was to stick the Death Star dish on a planet, just to see if it would work. At first, it seemed like a ridiculous image. But what I like is, when you push designs and take those risks, sometimes those are the right answers, even though it makes you very uncomfortable. And after the fact you go back and you start to figure out, how can we make this real?