With the new Han Solo film coming out shortly, people are once again talking all things Star Wars. It’s not surprising, given that Star Wars is one of the most popular franchises of all time; the characters, the stories and of course the gadgets are well known and well loved by millions all over the world.
Carrying on the conversation, we thought we’d take a look at some key star wars tech and gadgets and see how they’ve evolved throughout the films in the 40 plus years the movies been around..
C-3PO and R2-D2 were firm Star Wars character favourites from their first appearance in the original trilogy. In The Force Awakens (2015) we saw the introduction of BB-8, and K-2SO in Rogue One (2016). Droids have always been an important part of the stories – often playing sidekicks to lead characters, R2-D2 to Luke Skywalker for example, and BB-8 to Poe Dameron. You can see a clear evolution in technology and automation from the first films through to the latest, but the place and purpose of droids in the films hasn’t changed.
When you think of Star Wars, you think of lightsabers – the weapon is synonymous with the Jedi. The latest films have taken a step back to the original trilogy in the depiction of lightsabers and show them actually emitting light. Conversely, in the prequel trilogy (1999-2005) the lightsabers are depicted as just a straight bar of light. In The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017) Kylo Ren has a crossguard lightsaber design which caused some controversy, however there is a history of changing the design for specific characters – like the double bladed lightsabre used by Darth Maul in the prequel trilogy.
Star Wars movies wouldn’t be what they are without the ships. From the massive destroyers that are basically floating villages (with weapons) to the iconic millennium falcon - many are instantly recognisable as belonging to one person or group - you think Han Solo, you think the Millenium Falcon – and they become an extension of the character. The majority of the famous ships are seen in the original trilogy right through to the modern films; in The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron fly’s an X-wing, although it is a T-70 rather than the original T-65. Rather than changing the designs completely they are retained but refined, so they are instantly recognisable. The keen eyed among you will probably have spotted that in an X-Wing fight sequence in Rogue One, they actually used clips from the Death Star Assault in a New Hope.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is released on 25 May in the UK. Adding additional films to this highly successful franchise is always a risk and with such a dedicated fanbase expectations are high, but we’re excited – will you be going to see it?