Ever since the first Star Wars: Episode 7 trailer hit the airwaves, some fans haven’t been able to let the new lightsaber design slide. J.J. Abrams has even said how many bonkers emails he gets on the subject. However, if you’re looking for the culprit (or culprits) to blame, the director is not alone. Apparently, Apple design chief Jony Ive was the one who sparked the idea in Abrams to have this, shall we say, unexpected look.
The New Yorker recently published a profile on Ive, who has been influential in the designs of the iPad and iPhone. Speaking with the magazine, the designer revealed that he met Abrams at a "boozy" New York dinner party, at which time he suggested that Abrams go with a "more analog and more primitive" look for the new saber. However, he did note that the cross-guard look was not his conception.
I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty.
As described by the New Yorker profile, Ive is one of the two most powerful people at Apple, having also designed the build for the iMac, the MacBook and the iPod. So, when Abrams heard a suggestion from one of the most prominent tech designers in the world, he had to at least listen.
While Jony Ive seemingly planted the seed of the cross-guard saber in Abrams’ mind, the end result was a product of an extended series of conversations. "This was not done without a lot of conversations," Abrams said recently. While he promised to reveal the entire story about the weapon in the future, as it is apparently a long story, he did say that it began as a sketch that prompted a number of discussions.
For J.J. Abrams, what’s great about it is seeing all the talk among the fans. There’ve been think pieces written in defense and against the design, while celebrities are getting into the conversation, as well. "Original Star Wars fan" Stephen Colbert made the hilarious defense for the new "menage a sabre" on The Colbert Report after Thanksgiving.
And even if you still hate the design, let’s be honest: this three-pronged lightsaber can’t have ruined your childhood more than Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels.
It’s also funny to see how folks are pre-judging the entire film based on 90 seconds of footage. The rest of the trailer still looked pretty badass. It had John Boyega’s Finn on the run in the desert of Tatooine dressed as a Stormtrooper. It had Daisy Ridley’s Rey riding a speeder. It had the new droid BB-8 riding a soccer ball. It had Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron piloting an X-Wing. We haven’t even seen any of the original cast members yet, or some of the franchise newbies, like Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones heroine Gwendoline Christie. We’ve got all the way till December 18, people, so let’s keep our heads above the water.