The Last Jedi ship design reaction

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OK, let’s get a few things out of the way:

  1. I’m a nerd. I mean a proper, hard-core nerd, who cares about reactor volumes and power to weight, internal consistency to long forgotten lore, armor grazing angles. Stuff like that, stuff that movie audiences don’t really care about. I get that I’m different, and that’s it’s absolutely ok not to pander to me or to people like me in making movies.
  2. I’ve been doing CGI SW ships for a long time now. I did a CGI Executor in 2001, and an ISD in 2003, the old version of which basically everyone uses (including for commerical projects…mumble mumble). I’ve done dozens of original designs, some of them for official sourcebooks (Essential Guide to Warfare). I think I have a decent grasp of what a star destroyer-type ship ought to look like, and where to go with it. Go to the rest of my website (http://fractalsponge.net) and see for yourself.
  3. The Force Awakens was fine. Sure it was a reshoot of ANH with nice CGI. Sure Rey’s character was a Mary Sue. Sure the villains didn’t stand up to Palpatine and Vader. Sure Starkiller Base was wanky. But it was visually beautiful and scratched a nostalgia itch and had a charming cast of heroes and just plain dared to make something cinematically new in Star Wars, however incrementally. The ship designs weren’t instant classics like in ANH but they were fine, some were even awesome (Kylo’s shuttle for instance). I have zero problems with not using original trilogy designs when making a new trilogy.
  4. I know it’s too late to change anything. By the time we’re seeing renders like this, the production process is going to be pretty locked in.

So, we’re here a few years after TFA and some designs from The Last Jedi are coming out. I’m going to focus on the New Order Dreadnought. It’s 8km long.

Here’s my art direction reaction to the design: it sucks. But rather than leave it at that, I’m going to go into a lot of detail as to why I think it sucks. I mean a LOT of detail. Turn back now if you think you can’t handle it.

——

You’ve been told to make a giant spaceship, a huge one, a city in space with engines. But no one’s ever built one in real life, so your sadly Earth-bound audience has no idea what it really should look like. There’s opportunity there because there aren’t a lot of pre-conceptions about what it ought to look like, right? But let’s be honest, this is Star Wars we are talking about. People absolutely DO have expectations regardless of how the actual future turns out. It’s McQuarrie and Cantwell and that classic “oh shit” moment when we all saw Devastator fly overhead chasing the Tantive IV for the first time. No, it doesn’t mean Imperial Star Destroyers and X-Wings forever. It categorically does not mean that, please Disney do not do it. But those old ships and many new designs in the prequels and EU had a shared design ethos about them, used and functional looking despite just being tons of Tamiya plastic model kits glued onto styrene and fibreglass. Complex, full of character and screaming that there was a history behind every little box and turret. Now we’ve all heard about how strong designs should be captured in a few strokes. Yeah, design integrity is good like that. But IT DOESN’T STOP THERE. You can’t draw 3 splines, extrude them, and call it a day when building ships for Star Wars.

Here’s a practical example. Assuming you know nothing about ships, what ship looks bigger?

Now if you knew something about ships, you’d know HIJMS Fuso (bottom) is bigger than USS Zumwalt (top). But you’d also know that Zumwalt is >90% of Fuso’s length. Does that surprise you? It should, because simple shapes look a lot smaller than bigger shapes. Turns out surface complexity, and obvious surface complexity, makes a ship look bigger. Take this ship, my design:

It looks very similar to the FO Dreadnought. Slab bridge module and a big simple triangular plan. But the fact that things jut outward from the model makes it look complicated. The ships might look about the same size. But this thing is 600m, and scaled for it, vs 8km for the FO ship. That ship is the size of a damn city, but does it look like one? No.

Big constructs, in most settings, are built. They are not carved from monolithic blocks of material (except for structures in universes where that is explicitly true). A bigger ship generally has structures on it from smaller ships and that helps to build the sense of scale. Like how Resurgent added more layers of terraces to the ISD, so that even without the bridge module as a direct comparison, it looked pretty big and looked plausibly like a design successor from the ISD. That wasn’t automatically bestowed upon it by being a triangle.

Here’s another example from my stuff:

It’s <4km. Still smaller than that ILM ship. Does it look bigger? I think so! The surface is broken up by obvious structures, and the profile is irregular. It looks like it may have been *built*, rather than just injection moulded and painted splotchy grey.

Now there’s a ton of random stuff hanging onto the top and brim of the ILM ship. Great. But it doesn’t matter. Because when you see the whole ship in an establishing shot, no one can count windows or see how many little turrets there are – they are just bumps. And when they are just bumps without any obvious granularity to them, their scale becomes impossible to guess at, and it melts into background noise. If it does that, why bother to model the little nurnies and surface bits at all then? It’s a waste of polygons and computational power.

I’ve made the exact same mistake before:

This ship is supposed to be big, and has some nice detail on it. But the problem is the profile wasn’t broken up enough. It’s plausibly any of a huge variety of sizes, because there aren’t enough scaling cues, and the complexity that is there doesn’t break up a fairly monotonous outline enough. But I am some schmuck on the internet. The people making The Last Jedi are the designated successors of Mcquarrie. They should be doing better.

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Kaz
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Kaz

Have you noticed how the FO Dreadnought looks exactly like the Destiny from Stargate Universe? Even the main weapon is placed under the ship. I think there’s a lack of proper art direction in the new Star Wars movies. It started with the new Tie (with its magical second seat) and the Starkiller Base (and its ability to hit several planets from different systems at the same time while being stationed at another place in the galaxy). Most of these new ships don’t look like they belong to the same faction. The landing craft is obviously based on the vehicle… Read more »

Andrey_M11
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Andrey_M11

Funcional analog New Order Dreadnought from RW:
comment image
comment image

Bob
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Bob

Stop picking on my beloved RN coastal monitors, dammit! Lol.πŸ˜‚

Chris Bradshaw
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Chris Bradshaw

Well, The Last Jedi didn’t screw up on all their ship designs. The MC75 was appropriately scaled and named as a heavy cruiser, and the secondary resistance ship designs felt consistent in their roles as successors to original trilogy rebel vessels.

The Free Virgillia corvettes look great as uparmored/upgunned CR90s, the Vakbeor cargo frigates seem like speedier logical evolutions of the GR-75 transports. and the Nebulon-C definitely fits in with the Nebulon lineage.

ILM hasn’t lost its groove, its just Rian who shouldn’t be micromanaging.

Snoke
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Snoke

that’s the issue “successor to the rebel ships.” This is the sequel trilogy where the New Republic has been victorious for 30 years. The ships should be of a New Republican style, not rebel influenced.

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

I could see the NR sticking with tried-and-true ship manufacturers (i.e. the Mon Cals) alongside whichever Core-world companies started offering their heavy metal, but they could’ve certainly commissioned sturdier-looking Nebulon & CR90 successors.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Keep in mind in current cannon Mon Mothma shortly after the capture of Coresant, which happens a lot more quickly than in the EU, pretty much immediately begins pushing a de-militarization and disarmament program. BTW, the “Cargo Frigate” in this last episode is a Kuat product, explained by the Empire allegedly “suggesting” KDY purchase the existing Gallofrey assets, and was allegedly a venture of theirs (failed), to push into CEC’s market combining some of Gallofrey’s designs with the frame of a Nebulon B to make a larger transport able to fight off pirates.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

…so as far as the Disneyboot’s concerned, NR leadership were so eager to jump on the peace pipe (*without* accounting for Imp Remnant resources in any sane fashion) that naval requisitions was lucky to get new(ish) corvettes & frigates in the first place. You’ll have to excuse me if I’d much rather headcanon enough brains to fill a Jawa’s canteen from the people who kept a Rebellion running under Palpy/Vader/Tarkin’s nose.

Chris Bradshaw
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Chris Bradshaw

The Alliance picked those ships to standardize on for a reason: they’re really useful. Besides, the Nebulon-B was a Kuati light warship built to Imperial specs, the CR90 is a ubiquitous utility corvette dating back to the Republic, and the GR-75 is a no-frills medium transport. All those roles still need to be filled for the New Republic fleet list, and I think the new interpretations aren’t bad.

30 years isn’t even that long in terms of warship life cycles. Baseline tech in Star Wars is relatively stagnant, and IRL Nimitz has been chugging around for 43 and counting.

Ward
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Ward

I kind of like the concept and design behind it. The fact that it uses projectiles instead of laser weaponry like old death star tech for it’s big guns makes it unique. Projectile weapons are also something that we do not see a lot of in Star Wars so, much like the A-10 Warthog, this was a platform built around it’s weapon(s). It’s Orbital Bombardment Cannons in this case. It’s size is to accommodate the weaponry. The point defense turrets are a response to lessons learned fighting the resistance and rebellion. Smaller craft still kill big ships (RIP Executor …… Read more »

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

Color me rather skeptical about a skinny profile making much difference WRT detecting five miles of ship in vacuum. Point-defense turrets are well & good, but certainly not without precedent on Impstar-and-bigger craft…and let’s face it, two dozen light guns for something that size is flat-out anemic. Hell, if the ship were a little thicker it might have enough space & juice for the anti-theater-shield phalloturret *plus* enough defensive weaponry to fend off one X-wing ace & a barely-highway-speed bomber formation.

Galantis
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Galantis

I can respect mr. (or miss idk) Fractalsponge’s views enough to not argue
Just want to lay it out there, that the designs here on this site I believe, are just way WAY better than the MandatorIV of the last jedi
It certainly is no Bellator, assertor, legator, any star dreadnought seen here really

Spaceman+28
Guest
Spaceman+28

Little did we know that there were TWO dick guns on the bottom!

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Phallocannons that can pop a (theater?) shield (and presumably sitting-duck Rebel flagships) with a single volley, but which conveniently aren’t part of the ludicrously plus-sized flagwing’s arsenal, ’cause…less food-court space?

AlexHurlbut
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AlexHurlbut

nevermind the big ass turbolaser bolts that can arc the flagwing has…. like does it really needed those Dreadnought’s bombardment cannons? πŸ˜›

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Since evidently the Resistance were sweating bullets WRT said phallocannons’ ability to one-shot Raddus, which went on to spend a good half-day tanking the flagwing’s fire…if nothing else, it’s a little funny that Snoke would be down with siege pizzas being that much deadlier than his personal ride.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I saw a really good redesign of the First Order Dreadnought. It looks much better than the ship they gave us.

MidnightPhoenix
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MidnightPhoenix

Link?

Harbinger Ace
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Harbinger Ace
PhoenixKnight
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PhoenixKnight

Thanks

PhoenixKnight
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PhoenixKnight
Grand Admiral Thrawn
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Grand Admiral Thrawn

Think about how many ISDs that could have been built instead of this ugly tactically inefficient thing!

Coulden Pettit
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Coulden Pettit

I was never really a fan of the Mandator-IV’s design. It’s basically an underarmed, flat, metallic pizza slice with a ventral dick cannon; it looked so crude, unfinished and horribly toylike to the point that any bored 8-year old could draw. Also, that First Order Dreadnought was listed as being almost 8 km long. The first time when I said ‘underarmed’, I mean it had like only 24 cannons, which is far less armament compared to the Venator-class Star Destroyer’s 52 laser cannons, or 66 weapons if you count the turbolasers and proton torpedo tubes. If the Mandator-IV’s whopping armament… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Whats wrong with the design?? Its a completely new and unique approach to a SD and the lack of sloping is what gives it a cooler look, definitely a great upgrade in the Mandator line.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

You know being just looking new and unique doesn’t make it good by default it is the execution that matters and this execution was bad, Also great upgrade in the Mandator line my ass! The Mandator 3 was 12 km in length and it is very tough and powerful this however have way too little weapons it carried, it is the smallest of them all at 7.6 km in length (the first 2 was 8 km) but worst of them all is that’s all of it’s so called anti air cannons got destroyed by a fighter that was supposed to… Read more »

Idk
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Idk

I quite agree completely, This ship should not have been part of the Mandator line it really shows no upgrade going from the last one to this trash.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

>Whats wrong with the design??
Geez Louise, you can’t be serious.

Sorican
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Sorican

speaking from a practical engineering perspective, here. The flat pizza-wedge design would require maneuvering to keep all of it’s cannons (if it even has turbolaser cannons) firing on any given target. the flat plane of the dorsal/ventral sections prevent any turrets mounted there from firing at negative/positive elevations, respective to which side they’re on. next, being so…thin… well, its sort of like snapping glass or plastic sheet, big, long and easier to snap. Sure you could make it thicker, but then, you’d have all that extra interior volume, you wouldn’t need to make it so big and long… The only… Read more »

Hambone
Guest

If you’re interested and aren’t already aware of them, I think EVE Online’s citadels and space stations do an excellent job of conveying their scale.

For example: This flyby of an Astrahus-class Citadel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bswplOLP7ng

Or this one laying Manhattan down on the larger Fortizar-class Citadel.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn9mlk6u5zM

Amur_Tiger
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Amur_Tiger

On the subject of EVE ships, the Chimera was always a favorite of mine, in particular because of it’s fairly unique and sensible launching off point for strike craft.

Kurt-051
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Kurt-051

Definitely. EVE online’s Dreadnoughts LOOK like proper Dreadnoughts. This piece of hot garbage looks like someone saw and ISD and said “make this bigger and flatter!”, and that was that.

Darth Ashes
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Darth Ashes

First of all, love your stuff Ansel! The Bellator is my favourite ship, ever. It was the first of your models I saw pictures of, and I fell in love with it! This is the kind of ship I want to be seeing on the big screen! Second, that flying pizza wedge with ‘whale-tail’ spoiler and big d**k guns is awful! Porgs, (come back Ewoks, all is forgiven! Lol), ape-walkers, pizza in space, honestly, I’m getting scared in what direction the sequel trilogy is taking the Star Wars universe. I was very dubious about TFA, but after seeing it, was… Read more »

flavivsaetivs
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flavivsaetivs

I have to thoroughly agree with your conclusions here. The design aesthetic for the sequels has, as a whole, been pretty bad. The Prequel designs were amazing, easily as good as the Original Trilogy designs. Although the Acclamator kind of suffers from the same problems you point to – lack of interrupting surfaces to guess scale. That being said, my issue with the new Praetor-IV Class, as it is called, is that it defies Star Destroyer design logic. 1. It’s flat, like a slice of pizza, so it lacks the elevated gun turrets the ISD and the Venator/Acclamator (or any… Read more »

flavivsaetivs
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flavivsaetivs

Mandator-IV, not Praetor. Sorry.

valoren
Guest

It has never been that big of a problem for the acclamator in my opinion, because it’s not really a large-scale warship.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Theres nothing wrong with the shape of the bridge… Space remember? No gravity?

Zellnotronus
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Zellnotronus

The problem with the bridge is that it’s very obvious and ludicrously large. This becomes an easy target for enemy star fighters as you’re practically painting a bull’s eye on your most important section and shouting “Shoot here to win!” at the top of your lungs. The Executor, a 19km long space knife, had this flaw as well. And that bridge was TINY in comparison to the rest of the space frame. This is why the Resurgent-class had no obvious bridge. Hell, it had two bridges. When you put your command center on a long stick jutting out from a… Read more »

Grand Admiral 517
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Grand Admiral 517

Hello there!
I’m a hardcore EU fan and therefore I despise Disney canon. But tbh I would be a lot more ok with Disney canon if they had been smart enough to hire you to make their capital ships.

PhantomFury
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PhantomFury

Agreed!

Annonymous
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Annonymous

Join the club. God I hate the Dis-verse. Right there with you on that one.

Eric Otness
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Eric Otness

Well, if it’s of any consolation, they’ve just released the Supremacy, aka the Flying Wing-style Star Destroyer they alluded to. It’s hard to tell right now since the picture is pretty small, but it looks somewhat impressive, especially compared to the so-called Dreadnought they released. And it’s apparently a whopping 60 km as well, dwarfing even the Executor/Eclipse/Vengeance/Eye of Palpatine at this rate.

Gruma
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Gruma

I agree and I do barely like any of the new designs they made so far. The Designs from the OT are still top notch, nothing from the PT & ST era comes near. The OT designs do look believable and thats why I love them. This 8km long dreadnought has only 24 turrets, how the fuck did they manage to get only this few weapons on a ship, that is nearly 3times larger than the Resurgent SD that is listed with 1500 weapons. Oh yeah, becouse of the two oversized cannons on the bottom… Just look at the new… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Then what about this walker the MT-AT? (Mountain-Terrain Armored-Transport)
:http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mountain_Terrain_Armored_Transport

Mark
Guest

If someone had put that design up on my studio wall for scrutiny, I would’ve asked them to take it down and try again. It’s boring and uninspired, with nothing of interest to suggest scale or pull the eye in. The ape walker design they showed today was a disaster, too. (did they guy just look at some Zoids or what?) Quite honestly, from Kylo Ren’s mask to these latest, the new trilogy has been a case study for art department failure.

Eric Otness
Guest
Eric Otness

Eh, I’m not fond of the ape walker either, but at least there, it does avert to some degree the tow cable weakness, so it’s got some good regarding strategy there. There’s literally nothing good with this dreadnought design, being as bad as the Starkiller Base concept in… well, pretty much everything.

Mark
Guest

A spider/crab design would’ve averted the tow cable issue (and is a more stable firing platform, to boot) although to be honest an actual fighter could fire torpedoes at the things and blow them apart as well. The Rebels’ main issue in Empire was that they were using tiny speeders with blasters against that thick armor, not X- or Y-Wings with proper anti-armor ordinance.

I wasn’t a fan of the Finalizer either, TBH, but at least it wasn’t just a pizza wedge with a wing and two too-big cannons on it. That’s just bad design.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

I’ll confess to giddily visualizing AT-ATs with toothy jaws, galloping animation & scaled-up rotating lightsaber ‘tusks’ in place of the chin & cheek guns, but agreed that blatant Animal Robo(C) aesthetic doesn’t quite jive with OT walker design. Again, Fractal hits closer to the mark with those Dark Empire-derived biped designs & the utterly monstrous AT-SP.

countvertex
Guest

Two small attempts to put some sense into the design of this thing: A) Ridiculously large gun. Problems: – Insufficient space in the ship’s bulk to accomodate an adequate reactor for the gun. – Strong doubts that it scales (in a logical way) in destructive power for orbital bombardment with what Deathstar I can do on the one side (see Rogue One) and what a Star Destroyer can do on the other side (sources anyone?). Possible solution: One could argue that the size and length of the gun is mainly for purpose of extending range – not firepower. The extra… Read more »

Valoren
Guest
Valoren

What the Death Star did in rogue one was literally nothing compared to what it did in A new hope. Alderaan explosion was like 8/9 orders of magnitude stronger than The ones of Jehda and Scarif.

countvertex
Guest
countvertex

Completely true – but I would say the Alderaan event does not fall under the term ‘orbital bombardment’ anymore.
I just wonder where the new ship will fit in between Deathstar on lowest setting (=destruction of country size) and Star Destroyer orbital bombardment (=destruction of city size, I suppose).

countvertex
Guest
countvertex

To elaborate more:
Destructive power of this gun will have to be placed somewhere between DS and SD (and it should be much more on the SD side of the scale). Since we have not yet seen what a SD can do to a planet surface from a primary source, this new ship will be a definition factor for SD destructive power too.

valoren
Guest

In fact, I was a little mistaken. I obtained the 8 orders-of-magnitude figure assuming 4e+23 j for Jehda (roughly 100 teratons) and 2,4e+32 j for Alderaan, but realistically it could be up to 1e+38 j, so more like 14 orders-of-magnitude. Which logically mean that the superlaser was operating at less than a trillionth of a percent of it’s maximum capacity. I didn’t even think it could be used as anything less than pure planetary destruction.

Valoren
Guest

To be frank, it was just a convenient figure to compare it to the chixculub impact, since both the superlaser and the asteroid left a crater relatively similar in size (superior to a 100 km in diameter). Obviously the means of those explosions are both completely different, so if anyone has a way to obtain a more precise figure, then please show me, but I doubt it would come very far above the power output of a single ISD (which should be around a petaton).

Joannes808
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Joannes808

I have to agree. The first time I seen this designed I fully believed it to be a cruiser, an updated Vindicator specialized for heavy planetary bombardment, and anti-capital-ship operations, a long way from the 7 km long star dreadnought that it was stated to be right underneath it. The giving designation as a Mandator IV class vessel set me off even more, as to seeing the significant contradiction the design had to the the previous 3 generations of vessels in that well covered and recognizable line of Republican and later Imperial capital ships, including the well beloved Bellator. Overall,… Read more »

Jackalope
Guest
Jackalope

And I also agree about those guns, way to huge. If they were 1/3 the size and 4-6 of them it would make more sense, I mean they’re alsmost the size of a Providence destroyer (Invisible Hand for those who don’t know what that is).

Jackalope
Guest
Jackalope

Also the shape of the hull mean that it will have to increase the armor on its bow and bridge immensely.

Jackalope
Guest
Jackalope

Ok so besides looks I understand its build from a tactical view, the flat hull will allow it to minimize its profile, the weapons are very similar to WWII battleships, massive weaponry augmented with anti-fighter turrets, though by itself it’s very vulnerable as it has no turbolasers to defend itself, probably requireing a resurgent escort at all times. Personally I can just barley stand the pizza design, but the bridge just makes me cringe. The first order gets rid of the bridge in the resurgent battlecruiser due to the weakness in previous imperial ships, and then completely takes a step… Read more »

Eric Otness
Guest
Eric Otness

Yeah, tactically, I could understand big guns, but not even World War II guns were as big as the guns there, where they seemed to take up more than half of the ship in sheer size alone.

We’ll see how it works as a weapons platform, though they definitely shouldn’t have called it a dreadnought.

Mynock
Guest
Mynock

I honestly don’t mind the flat profile that many people seem to dislike, or even the indent where there should really be a huge reactor bubble. (I’m willing to just believe the shit has several smaller reactors or something and go with it :\). In fact I would even say there’s some degree of freshness and ‘coolness’ to those features. What really bugs me are the following: 1.) The totally uninspired and honestly ridiculous bridge construct – fractal did a great job lampooning that piece of trash. It’s too big and too blorg-like for the Star Wars look. 2.) The… Read more »

Mynock
Guest
Mynock

*the ship has several smaller reactors or something, lol it is a shit though

Arvenski
Guest
Arvenski

“3.) THE ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS OVERSIZED BELLY GUNS. I totally understand the need for an orbital siege weapon both militarily and for whatever potential story purposes Johnson has, and frankly I like the idea, but those things are ridiculous. They could just have easily been way smaller and greater in number and still accomplish the same goal. They don’t look threatening, they just look stupid.” Agreed, they’re dumb. I’m afraid they’re going to be yet another superweapon, too. It’d be super silly if there was yet another Death Star/Starkiller Base in Episode VIII, so instead, we’ll have these things. I guess… Read more »

Arvenski
Guest
Arvenski

Also, star destroyer dick.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

I can roll with ovoid or cylindrical reactor shapes, mainly ’cause there’s no way Mon Cals or other Alliance/neutral shipbuilders were using KDY-regulation spheres…but you still need a certain volume of hull space for said machinery (especially if you’re powering superheavy guns), and this First Order siege-slice is notably lacking in that regard compared to virtually every official or Legends-consigned battlewagon design (well, besides the Vengeance, but that one’s ventral surface seems to be 70% hangar cutout). Thirded on points 1-3, though; I’m seriously starting to wonder if ‘villain tech=ugly=satisfying to watch ker-splode’ might be the name of Johnson’s game.

MidnightPhoenix
Guest
MidnightPhoenix

Wish granted sort of

valoren
Guest

It’s funny, I have some childhood drawings who look like this, in more complicated. Look where this habit of comparing imperial designs to pizza-slices has got us, we now have a star dreadnought quasi-literally shaped like one. And it look as big as one too.

Arvenski
Guest
Arvenski

Agreed, that FO dreadnought looks pretty bad. It’s similarity to the Vindicator, and to some extent the Arquitens, was probably the first thing I thought of when I saw it. Honestly, I don’t know why they thought it would be a good idea to take a frigate-like design and scale it up to be an 8km-long dreadnought. And what a boring design it is. The main wedge is flatter than a slice of pizza, except for that center well, and the command tower, while not totally flat, is very similar. I imagine it’ll be all right in the movie, with… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

So fractal how would this first order dreadnought fair against the Bellator? (I think the Bellator would most likely win against it)

Sans
Guest
Sans

I don’t know if you have read the article about the designs of this ship and the AT-M6, they sound extremelly childish about it. Saying things like “He wanted a triangle with turrents on top and big guns on the bottom”. I don’t doubt Rian Johnson’s ability as a director, he is great, but I don’t think he is going to care that much about ship design the same way J.J. Abrams didn’t care that much about the physics established in the Star Wars universe. At this point every single ship design that we have seen for the Last Jedi… Read more »

Hecatomb
Guest
Hecatomb

I personally like your Praetor model; it’s one of my favorites and looks absolutely massive to me. As for the First Order dreadnought, I completely agree that it looks awful. The Finalizer teased new and bigger warships to come, and this is it? I really hope this thing is unfinished, or some concept that isn’t being used in the final film.

Arvenski
Guest
Arvenski

Same here, I’m a big fan of that Praetor. It’s big and imposing, without being as overly massive as a SSD. It’s surface is fairly smooth overall, giving it sleek lines and no exposed Executor-style cityscape on top to soak up damage. It has a relatively small, sheltered command tower (between the two wedges supporting the reactor, correct?), which I think is brilliant. Like the Finalizer, it’s a striking departure from earlier Imperial designs, but still recognizably Star Wars and recognizably Imperial. I really like it.

And I’ve gone off on a tangent, sorry…

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Eh, I dunno how much component exposure/concealment matters once a given battlewagon’s shields have been briefly breached or hammered down-SW starship armor seems not to matter much against turbolaser volleys, and bridge modules/hangars/reactors are still easy to pick out at cinematic spitting-distance ranges. Most Imp murderwedges seem to concentrate their larger soft spots on the ventral surface, leaving the dorsal for sensors/helm & primary guns-Praetor contrasts in that respect with a rather ‘hardened’ belly & teeny-tiny bow launch bays, which adds to that distinctiveness you rightly noted.

Astro1derboy
Guest
Astro1derboy

Well spoken! (Disney/Lucasfilm should have used your input as part of their steering committee.)

Steve Bannon
Guest
Steve Bannon

What’s sad is that Kevin Jenkins is otherwise a solid art director, being the guy behind the whole X-Wings over a lake idea, and delivering a suitably fascist Starkiller Base aesthetic. The real culprit behind this dereliction of duty that is the Mandator IV Siege Platform (I refuse to call this thing a Star Dreadnaught) is Rian Johnson, who may be a competent storyteller, but clearly is no equal to Lucas in artistic vision. Johnson demanded a completely flat surface from the art team with small turrets on it, removed the radar dishes, made it clear that the Mandator IV… Read more »

Xeno
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Xeno

I totally agree. The Resurgent-class was different, but conceivably an evolutionary design. I could see some neofascist totalitarian state like the First Order deciding to build a few dozen/hundred Resurgents to replace their Impstars – they’re more expensive, but bigger, badder, and meaner-looking. First, to me, it doesn’t make sense that the FO would just decide to crank out some 8-kilometer dreadnoughts from scratch. Where do they get the funding, the materiel? When the Empire had, at most, two dozen Executors, and maybe a further hundred smaller ‘naughts (and had both the Clone Wars era designs and 20 years of… Read more »

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

I suppose asteroid/sterile world-mining might get an interstellar micro-dictatorship further along the superweapon road than casual observers might expect, but Starkiller *plus* a fleet of glorified BDZ-monitors, from an organization tapping the Empire’s rump remnants? I could see one *or* the other, but not both in rapid “switch to Plan B” succession (much less simultaneously). Plus, agreed that the thing resembles a refugee from some mid-90s LucasArts first-person shooter.

Maphisto86
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Maphisto86

I too wished Lucasfilm contacted you to work for them. Alas, we are stuck with what we got. I love your Assertor class vessel. That would have made for a great First Order dreadnaught with obvious design cues to the Executor without being a carbon copy.

Jason
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Jason

I totally agree. I don’t know WTH is going on at Lucasfilm. The only good TFA designs, IMO, were the new Star Destroyer and the X-Wing, which was a McQuarrie design. People love to crap on Lucas over the Prequels, but he did have the vision to keep the concept artists on course. He told them what he needed, they designed, and he picked ships he liked or combined parts to make what he wanted.

Eric Otness
Guest
Eric Otness

Speaking of the HIJMS Fujo, what makes that sorry excuse of a Dreadnought for the First Order even MORE sad in its design is that according to Kevin Jenkins, the design supervisor for The Last Jedi, they actually TOOK cues from, among other things, the Yamato-class battleship (not to mention the lead ship of the class and most famous example, the Yamato), not to mention various naval vessels from World War II and the Korean War, heck, even all the way up to the sixties. And what’s even worse is that they were planning to give a more Flash Gordon-style… Read more »

alphameek
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alphameek

The Bellator model, even at several years old now looks vastly superior. It’s even about the right size. Those huge turbolaser turrets would make for an awesome planetary bombardment. Or even better, use Wrath!

Soren
Guest
Soren

Is this a reply to my question..?

DanielShenise
Guest

I think they tried, fairly poorly, to put the detail, the grainularity, and different sized shapes in the trenches leaving the dorsal and ventral sides barren in an attempt to be different. But it does create a ship that visually looks no bigger than a standard issue Impstar. Even at 8km, I’d doubt the depth of the hull is much more than the overall depth of an Impstar. They got the volume of the ship all wrong. Though the Executor was relatively thin, for a 19km ship, you still got a sense of scale and proportion because of both the… Read more »

Eric Otness
Guest
Eric Otness

Regarding your comment about jokes and the planetary attack cannons, I’ve heard very dirty jokes about the design and guns, stuff that wouldn’t be given in civilized company (let’s just say that people are jokingly “identifying” the dreadnought as male like they would a dog because of those guns). And yeah, agreed full well about the overall design. It’s just downright bad. I just hope they aren’t too late with having to redesign it, because that design REALLY needs a good cleaning up to even be considered remotely acceptable. To paraphrase Myers Jr. from The Simpsons (you know, the head… Read more »

Eric Otness
Guest
Eric Otness

*Meyers, Jr., not Myers, Jr. Also, full name was Roger Meyers, Jr. The quote came from The Front when chewing out an employee (or rather, a soon-to-be-ex-employee).

Soren
Guest
Soren

In your defense, the Preator model you made was based of drawings and basic visuals of the ship from comics and such. (At least that would be my guess… Correct me if I am wrong please.) So it is not your fault it came out so… uhm… unpleasing to the eyes.. However, I completely agree with you, the FO Dreadnought is a stain on SD-like ship design and a stain on the Mandator line of dreadnoughts too. It doesn’t even look or sound practical, the flat design is very useless and ugly, the supposed “24 point defense laser cannons” that… Read more »

Soren
Guest
Soren

Also, if you had been asked to use one of your already existing designs to be used as a new FO capital ship, which would you pick?

Steve Bannon
Guest
Steve Bannon

Yeah, the Praetor is a pretty faithful model of Giel’s flagship, the Helmsman from Marvel Star Wars 60, so Fractal didn’t have a lot of leeway on it. Even if the Praetor isn’t that good at showing off how large it is without anything to compare it to, ( Why KDY skipped the bridge tower on this model still irks me a bit), at least it makes sense within the internally consistent rules of Star Wars as a capital warship with excellent firing arcs, volume for a sizable main reactor, and enough engines to deserve the title of Battlecruiser. The… Read more »

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Dunno if Fractal’s Praetor render is *that* tough to scale; seems to me all you’d need is the dimensions of that big ball turret (and possibly an Impstar’s octuple battery for extra reference). Mandator IV’s phallocannons are too damn disproportionate for easy comparison to anything but that ion emplacement from ESB.