Comic artist Sebastian Piriz recreates Darth Vader’s original design and Leia’s Jedi history in jaw-dropping Star Wars fan art.
New fan art of Darth Vader recalls Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art for the Star Wars saga, while giving the Sith Lord a vicious pointed lightsaber that speaks to the cruelty and darkness lurking in the heart of pop-culture’s ultimate villain.
Ralph McQuarrie’s original art was hugely influential over the franchise’s big-screen direction, and has continued to influence it via comics like The Star Wars (which retells the story based on George Lucas’ original movie draft and McQuarrie’s art) and animated shows like Star Wars Rebels. While McQuarrie’s designs differ in places from the final product – a more inhuman C-3PO and whispy, ethereal lightsabers – the artist’s influence is difficult to understate. As Star Wars continues to bring elements of McQuarrie’s work into canon, new fan art of Darth Vader brings back his original concept art design, making the Sith look as imposing as he ever has in an amazing character portrait lit by his red lightsaber.
The art comes from Sebastian Piriz, the artist behind comic series We Ride Titans and Black Beacon – stories characterized by their own outlandish but lived-in technology and ambitious monstrosities. Piriz is a prolific pop-culture fan artist, often sharing work on social media, and has created a number of theoretical Star Wars situations, few more evocative than his image of a Sith Yoda wielding multiple lightsabers via the Force. Shared on Twitter, Piriz‘s art of Vader poses the Sith in shadow, as a pointed red ‘saber holds the center of the image. It’s a stunning visual, and the thinner, more pointed blade suits the Sith particularly well, despite being more ‘solid’ than McQuarrie’s imagery.
Also shared on Twitter, Piriz‘s art of a Jedi Leia sees General Organa follow a different path – one that’s been explored in previous novels and comics, including Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back, in which Leia replaces Luke as Yoda’s student, becoming an incredibly capable and influential Jedi master. It’s easy (and fascinating) to imagine these two versions of the characters going toe-to-toe in a different telling of the saga; one which fans may get, should Marvel decide to treat Star Wars with the same creativity as previous license-holders.
While Darth Vader’s design is iconic, the one thing it lacks in its modern use is variety. Recent comics saw a disgraced Vader rebuild his suit using spare droid parts, giving him a chunkier and less regal look, but it’s rare that the core design sees much experimentation. Ironically, one of the biggest changes was Vader’s white armor, as seen in the Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi comic, where Leia works to help rehabilitate her father as a force for good in the galaxy.
While the movies know exactly how to use Darth Vader’s iconic look, the longevity of comic storytelling often necessitates visual reinvention (hence why superheroes have so many costumes), so it’s not surprising that a comic artist would be the one to re-present Darth Vader’s original armor in such a stunning new way. While Marvel is currently doing a fascinating job of revealing Vader’s unseen war against Crimson Dawn during the timeline of the original movies, the publisher would be well served to take some of the same risks as Sebastian Piriz, rekindling the long tradition of inventive Star Wars stories that revel in aesthetic and narrative experimentation, even when it comes to characters as widely recognized as Darth Vader.
Batman Names the Surprising Hero Who Sees Straight Through His Hype
About The Author