Porsche And Lucasfilm Team Up To Design A New Star Wars Spaceship

I know this is all just a branding exercise conjured up by the people at Wired who like to turn people’s obsessions into money, but as far as these things go, this is a pretty fun one. Porsche designers and Lucasfilm designers teamed up to design an all-new spaceship, which will be presented at the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker later this year. There are talented designers in both camps, approaching this design challenge from very different places, so the results should be pretty good. Besides, who doesn’t like new spaceship designs?

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I think this pairing is interesting, because I’d always thought of the Star Wars vehicular design vocabulary and Porsche design vocabulary to be pretty dissimilar.

Star Wars vehicles always tend to have some very industrial-looking elements, lots of exposed piping and detail, where Porsche design hallmarks have tended to be more about clean, enveloping shapes with minimal surface detailing and a certain overall simplicity.

Of course, there’s places where both design schools slide into one another’s territories, such as the Naboo N-1 fighter, or a 1980s Porsche 930 Turbo race car:

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So, I think there’s likely enough overlap here to keep things interesting.

According to a video on the site, the ship is going to be a “blend of the X-Wing, Y-Wing, and U-Wing with the Porsche Taycan.”

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The video also mentions some specs they’d like the ship to stick to:

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Between two and four engines, seats up to 5, big rear hatch, and they also said two front entry doors. I’m not sure how Incom landed the sweet contract to build these, but good for them.

So far just some sketches have been released, but they’re looking pretty exciting. The website shoes some concept sketches from various designers on the team:

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Salar Vakili’s take combines a Porsche-like and largely featureless main body with some X-wing-ish engine pods mounted on struts at the rear, with a pair of mandibles upfront.

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Shuichi Yamashita has a more traditionally Star Wars-looking ship here, with a vaguely insectoid type of design and smaller, high-mounted engines.

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Gilsung Park’s design is novel, and it looks like there’s two variants shown here, one with one forward vertical blade, and another with two and canted ‘wings.’

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The engines here are faired into the body and fed with intakes on the upper surface. It looks like you could plug the twin-bladed one into a U.S. wall outlet.

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Shuichi Yamashita has another design, with more of a classic GT car set of proportions—long hood, short deck, though this one does appear to break the engine number rule, as it looks to have six.

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Doeke De Walle has an interesting design here, with a central teardrop-like passenger pod flanked by a pair of curving blades. I like that it seems to have some sort of taillight on the rear vertical stabilizer.

These are interesting! I’m curious to see what the final design turns out to be, and to see if it’s visually recognizable as a Porsche. I’m not sure I can say that about any of the sketches so far, but, well, they’re not done yet.

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I just hope they have provisions to dock an astromech droid. And maybe one of those hologram monster chess tables. 

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)