Feedback for that crossguard lightsaber design in The Force Awakens teaser was mixed, to say the least. And it may have been inspired by an unlikely source.
In The New Yorker’s extensive profile of famous Apple designer Jony Ive, it’s revealed that Ive made some important suggestions to director J.J. Abrams. Ive wasn’t commissioned to design any Star Wars weapons, though he did influence how they look.
According to Ive, he and Abrams once sat next to each other during a dinner party in New York, where the two exchanged ideas. The New Yorker said Abrams described “very specific” suggestions Ive made about lightsaber designs, which would be reflected in upcoming Star Wars movie.
But don’t start blaming Ive for that controversial crossguard design; he apparently didn’t have any say in what fans saw in the trailer. Instead, Ive’s input was more about the kind of mood a design might convey.
“I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty,” Ive told the New Yorker. Ive also recommended these lightsabers could be “more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”
Very little about The Force Awakens has been confirmed, though one prominent rumor has claimed the cloaked character we saw in the teaser made that crossguard lightsaber from scratch, which is why it crackles more than usual. It certainly seems more primitive than what we’re used to seeing, and the resulting effect achieves that more ominous tone, as Ive suggested.
While Ive didn’t design the lightsabers directly, Abrams has already admitted his input will be reflected in The Force Awakens. Ive’s portfolio is extensive, ranging from phones, to watches, to computers. But it seems you can also add lightsabers to that growing list.