Star Wars: Episode VII's Big Reveal Isn't Just An X-Wing, But A Entirely New Kind Of X-Wing

Star Wars fans haven’t had a lot of concrete information to pore over. Sure, there was that cast photo of the world’s most famous table read. And J.J. Abrams allowed a puppet to wander through one of his earliest set videos. So this morning, when Abrams pulled his camera back to reveal a full-blown X-Wing Fighter, you can imagine the debate that raged around the Internet as rabid Star Wars enthusiasts tried to figure out which model Abrams and his crew had constructed.

Original X-Wing fighters looked like this...

Star Wars X-Wing Fighters

The general consensus among fans online today was that Abrams was showing us a Z-95 Headhunter. In the Clone Wars saga, those ships looked like this.

Z-95 Headhunter

But if you look closely at the J.J. Abrams’ reveal you can tell the wings of the ship, unlike those of a Z-95, do split. They just don't split in the way we're used to from classic X-Wings...

J.J. Abrams X-Wing Split

Instead of being two wings that come together, when the foils are closed on this ship, it forms a single wing, a single wing which splits into two parts. Look closely at the two cannons on the end and you can see how the wing splits to form the classic X profile...

The odd thing here is that this X-Wing, unlike the traditional one we're used to, only has two engines on it, instead of 4. Here's a comparison of the engines old X-Wing with its foils closed, next to the new one...

So maybe it's not an X-Wing or a Headhunter, but something else entirely? Nope. The official Star Wars Twitter feed set the record straight, calling the new ship "an Episode VII X-wing, not a Z-95."

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It could be that the ship shown in Abrams’ video this morning is based on concept art submitted by trilogy artist Ralph McQuarrie back in the 1970s, which show the engines on the wings of the X-Wing splitting in half as the wings separate, rather than as two separate panels which flatten together. That fits with the design we saw in the JJ Abrams video Check it out...

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So what Star Wars has just shown us, isn't just an X-Wing. It's an entirely new kind of X-Wing, created just for Star Wars: Episode VII but based on classic Star Wars concept art.

The debate blazing around these images suggests just how passionate fans are for the small details J.J. Abrams is placing into Star Wars: Episode VII. So far, it looks like the director is making all of the right moves. Can he keep it up? Find out when the next Star Wars movie reaches theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.