The Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter was a class of starfighter that was manufactured by Incom Corporation and was equipped with two engines, a pocket for an R2 series astromech droid, at least two frontal laser cannons, and a cockpit for a pilot and two passengers.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "The worldwide appeal of the Star Wars and Porsche brands is shaped decisively by their iconic designs. We are bringing together two worlds with this project: the exotic film design of a galaxy far, far away and the precision work that goes into developing emotive Porsche sports cars. This collaboration promises to produce an innovative design that will blend the best of both brands to create an exciting new starship worthy of Porsche and Star Wars."
- ―Doug Chiang
The Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter was a collaboration between the car maker Porsche and Lucasfilm Ltd., who teamed up specifically to create this starship as part of the marketing and promotion for Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. Its design was revealed in a video published by the car maker, and was stated to appear in future Star Wars media.
The Designer Alliance teamEdit
- "Michael and I, our role is really the the guide to the designers to bring the best of both teams together to create one strong design."
- ―Dough Chiang on his and Michael Mauer's roles in the project
The combined effort was marketed as The Designer Alliance, as the team consisted of seven members from Porsche and Lucasfilm, with the team being led by Lucasfilm Vice President Executive Creative Director Doug Chiang and Porsche Vice President Style Michael Mauer. Team members included Lucasfilm's Amy Beth Christenson, Ryan Church along with Porsche's Salar Vakili, Doeke de Walle, Emiel Burki, Fabian Schmoelz,Tobias Benedini, and Sophie Tillema, and the alliance first met at Porsche headquarters in Weissach, Germany. Later meetings included meetings in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and in Skywalker Ranch in San Francisco California, with the design phase of the project lasting six weeks.
Design and productionEdit
- "Porsche design philosophy is based on six key elements. What are these major ingredients of a successful product, the proportion, the architecture, the height to width ratio, proportions, proportions, proportions. You will recognize this element in all our products."
- ―Michael Mauer on Porsche's principle design elements
After meeting in Porsche Headquarters and a tour of the Porsche Museum, Doug Chiang led the design brief for the team. They started with identifying how to create a blend between an X-wing starfighter, a BTL Y-wing starfighter, and a U-wing and mix it with the Porsche Taycan with the goal of creating a new class of vehicle. Overall, the project was to blend Porsche's design pathos of .... and the simplistic design criteria of George Lucas which was overall the design principles of the Star Wars saga. There were several key design specifications for the new vessel, which included in-universe specifications. It was going to be a New Republic Light Assault Starship manufactured by Incom Corporation, it was going to have a maximum of four engines or a minimum of two, its crew was going to vary from two to five, a large cargo door for other passengers, along with two entry doors into the vehicle. According to Doug Chiang, for the starship to have personality, they were going to design a "good guy ship." As a result, the starship could not be dark colored similarly to Darth Vader.
- "The idea is we're going to create a new class of vehicles imagining that it's going to be a blend between the X-wing and the Y-wing and the U-wing with the Porsche Taycan. How do you blend the two based aesthetically they're very different."
- ―Dough Chiang on the design
To begin the design process, the team started with a blue sky iteration and after two weeks, both Doug and Michael were meant to define the direction. After that, in a week and a half, the team planned to work together as a whole to determine the design direction. The schedule then called for a hero design and 3D modeling two and a half weeks after the previous checkpoint.
Because a focus of the starship was to be a "sports car spaceship," the design shapes needed to be streamlined and a big engine to demonstrate power. The design process for the engines began with thinking how the engines were going to be arranged and were first added to the ends of the wings. With this, the design team realized that the closer the engines were to the cockpit, the craft looked more like the sports orientation of the vehicle and looked more automotive.
Four weeks before the deadline, the team used video conference calls and technology to coordinate and lock down on a proportional design package for the vehicle. After Dough Chiang advised the team that the wings could be configured in different ways to demonstrate more power. As such, the concept artists worked extensively on different designs, with Ryan Church using Porsche's four fender shapes that he turned into wings, while another artist designed the wings to move separately and independently like a bird. Another concept designer observed insects and assembled the wings in different positions and angles, and designed them to be rotational.
After some time, the members of Porsche travelled to Lucasfilm headquarters to determine the final design of the starship and used two days to go more in depth into the styling and details of the ship. With the various designs printed out, the team began physcially cutting and pasting design features to assemble new designs. Initially, the cockpit designs were wider, but were later forgone in favor of a more compact space and putting the pilot in the middle with two co-pilots behind. This allowed for a narrow cabin, similarly attributed to that of a jet fighter plane or Formula 1 car. The way the pilots sat in the vehicle had to be Porsche-inspired and have a "sporty" vehicle. Two weeks before the deadline, the final design language of smaller and wider proportions was put in place. The collage of designs that were cut and pasted was given to Rene Garcia, a Concept Modeling Supervisor at Lucasfilm, to render the final digital model of the craft. _____________
"The design of the spaceship is harmoniously integrated into the Star Wars film world while at the same time demonstrating clear analogies with the characteristic Porsche styling and proportions," says Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche at Porsche AG. "The basic shape of the cabin, which tapers towards the rear, and a highly distinctive topography from the cockpit flyline to the turbines establish visual parallels with the iconic design of the 911 and the Taycan. The very compact layout conveys dynamism and agility, lending emphasis to the Porsche design features mentioned."
"This collaboration is an amazing opportunity to merge the design aesthetics of Porsche and Star Wars. I found it to be creatively challenging and extremely inspiring,” says Doug Chiang, Vice President and Executive Creative Director for Lucasfilm. “It is thrilling to infuse Star Wars with Porsche styling to create an iconic new spaceship that could exist both on Earth or in the cinematic universe."
While legal requirements impose certain restrictions on creativity in the classic design process for a standard-production vehicle, this project opens up a whole new dimension of freedom. At the same time, the Style Porsche team faced fresh challenges, since creating a purely virtual design is demanding, too. On the screen, the starship is only seen in two dimensions, while classic series-production vehicles appear physically in three dimensions. In addition, starships usually only appear dynamically in the film and are only visible for a brief moment – so the design has to create an impression and be recognizable within a matter of seconds.
A glance at the details reveals a number of features familiar from the Porsche design style. The front is reminiscent of the so-called "air curtains" (air inlets) that go together with the headlights to create a single formal entity in the Taycan. In addition to the four-point daytime running light typical of Porsche, the so-called “blasters” – long gun barrels at the front – are located at the tip. The rear grid with the louvres and integrated third brake light was inspired by the current 911 generation, and the rear section of the starship bears the brand’s hallmark light bar. Porsche design criteria have been applied to the interior, too: the instruments in the cockpit are clearly aligned with the driver's axis, while the low seating position is reminiscent of the sporty ergonomics in the Porsche 918 Spyder. All in all, the design follows a basic principle that is characteristic of the brand: all the elements on the exterior have a clear function, and purely visual features have largely been dispensed with.
Marketing and releaseEdit
On December 13, 2019, the ship was revealed citing its inspirations as being the Porsche products 911, Taycan, and 918 Spyder. The fantasy starship, named Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter, was presented as a detailed model measuring 1.5 meters (5 feet) in length at the December film premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in Los Angeles.
“Our collaborative project with Star Wars goes perfectly with the launch of the Taycan. The design teams have brought the differing worlds of Porsche and Star Wars together to make a very special gift for the fans of the two brands,” says Kjell Gruner, Head of Marketing at Porsche. Porsche also showcased the all-new Taycan at the premiere event in Los Angeles. A special behind the scenes look at how the finished starship came to be is now available online at www.thedesigneralliance.com which was produced in partnership with WIRED Brand Lab.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Introducing the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved on January 3, 2020.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Official images from Introducing the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved on January 3, 2020. of the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter include a Resistance pilot due to the uniform and Resistance starbird. Since the starfighter is a New Republic Light Assault Starship, it cannot have been part of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, since according to Aftermath: Empire's End, the Alliance transitioned into the New Republic.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Designer Alliance. Archived from the original on December 9, 2019. Retrieved on March 15, 2020.
- ↑ Porsche and Lucasfilm present starship design. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved on December 13, 2019.
- Porsche and Lucasfilm jointly design a fantasy starship. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved on October 23, 2019. (First mentioned)
- Porsche and Lucasfilm present starship design. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved on December 13, 2019. (First identified as Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter)
- The Designer Alliance. Archived from the original on December 9, 2019. Retrieved on December 13, 2020.
- Introducing the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved on January 3, 2020.