Get a first look at the concept art of the iconic Jedi Master from The High Republic
Although Star Wars: The High Republic was ultimately delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans around the world are gearing up for what promises to be the mother of all literary events. With expectations at an all-time high, StarWars.com is pulling back the curtain on the project and has revealed our very first look at our beloved Jedi Master Yoda – as we’ve never seen him before.
Here’s the official line:
Yoda will feature prominently in Daniel José Older’s Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic, coming 2021 from IDW Publishing; the Jedi Master that Older depicts in his series, however, won’t be quite the same sage-like being we know.
“It’s especially exciting to be able to introduce him in the era of the High Republic,” Older revealed. “The High Republic Yoda is a journeyman out in the galaxy.” According to Older, the Emperor’s “little green friend” will still be treading somewhat familiar ground — that of the teacher.
With an appearance in a visual medium, that would mean a new design for the iconic character. It was a challenge not to be taken lightly. “The goal was to update Yoda, but to be careful and be true to the Yoda that we all know and love,” says Troy Alders, Lucasfilm art director. “Also, to really make sure that the new look was believable, as this is really the first time that there has been an opportunity to update his look and his clothing. It felt like a daunting and enormous responsibility to embark on and get right.”
Once design work began, Lucasfilm didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken. At the same time, there was an obvious need to show that these were earlier days. “Well, Yoda is not that much younger — around 700 years old instead of about 900. But we thought that with it being hundreds of years earlier, he would definitely have a different outfit, maybe even more than one,” says Alders. “His age, as far as the way that his hair and face look, is maybe just slightly younger, but fairly close to his look in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” And since the thinking was his appearance wouldn’t be radically different from that of Episode I, Alders went to one of the talents who visually defined that film.
“Right away, concept artist Iain McCaig felt like the go-to artist to help us start to explore this new look for Yoda,” says Alders, “so we called him up and started to talk about what directions to explore.” Other artists contributed, as well, with Disney Publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas and Star Wars: Dark Legends artist Grant Griffin playing key roles in defining the final look.
Personally, I think Yoda looks awesome. A contemporary, yet classic look. And with our beloved Jedi Master involved in the project right from the off, Star Wars: The High Republic is setting itself up to the not to be missed literary event of the next decade. What an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan.
Be sure to head over to StarWars.com for the full reveal.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter @philthecool where he uses the force and babbles frequently!