A Teasing Look At Star Wars: Episode VII's First Ship

A Teasing Look At Star Wars: Episode VII's First Ship

We've already seen a few signs that Episode VII of the Star Wars saga will be embracing handmade practical effects in the form of aliens, creatures and costumes. But the newest sign is a big one. It's a ship. One big enough for a Rebel Alliance pilot to climb into.

The glimpse at the spacecraft comes in a video that shows director J.J. Abrams on set for the currently-filming sequel. Some fans are saying that this ship is a remodeled X-Wing, while others think it might be a Z-95 Headhunter. Whichever it is, it's definitely not CGI and that's probably a welcome development for most people who grew up on the original trilogy of Star Wars films.


    its not an xwing as they have 4 engine 'intakes'. Pretty sure its a z-95... yes I am a star wars geek.

      I think the thing that's confusing people is that the Z-95 usually only has one laser cannon on either side. This one has two, in similar fashion to the X-Wing.

      I think you're right, though. Even with the X-Wings S-foils closed they wouldn't be that thin.

        The laser thing is what throws me... you're right that Z95s normally only have one per wing.

        Is it possible that it's an x-wing with the s-foils to be added later with CGI?

        Z95s are supposed to be pretty old tech, like clone wars old. As this is supposed to be set after RoTJ I can't imagine them still seeing use...

          Definitely a Z-95 Headhunter, the rear of the fuselage appears to curve down like the Z-95 does as opposed to the squared back of the X-Wing.

          I'd say this particular Z-95 has been modified by the pilot or organisation using it. As I recall, the Z-95s were pretty outdated even at the start of the Civil War, though they stuck around for yonks because of their reliability (also since they were a good training platform for the X-wing).

          Considering it appears to be on the abu dabi set too, this ship would appear to be on Tatooine, so it could belong to a mercenary of some sort.

            Z-95 was what I was thinking too, but the Star Wars twitter account says it's a new X-Wing: https://twitter.com/starwars/status/491196351422554112
            The wings do look too thin, but someone on reddit pointed out that the s-foils could be behind each other instead of on top. http://i.imgur.com/dfHvsGO.jpg

            Last edited 22/07/14 9:15 am

              Wow, the curvature of the laser mounts is really obvious once it's been pointed out.

              Also, there are 4 engine outputs behind the shield projector... but they look smaller than the ones we know from earlier x-wings.

          It looks too short for an X-wing in my opinion... I think it's a re-modelled Z-95, just to update the design to be more canon? From memory the old Z-95 in games actually had a rounded canopy, not the angular one like on the X-wing but i could be wrong... Doesn't look like there's much room for an astromech either

            You're spot on imo.

            Odd that they've changed the design (based off official tweet) of the iconic X-Wing to look much more in line with the Z-95.

            Having paused the video at 0:59, you can see the lasers appear to arc up and down from the wings, suggesting that it will indeed have its S-foils split from the middle (one behind the other).

            Last edited 22/07/14 9:10 am

            Yeah Headhunters had a bubble cockpit...

              http://th01.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/f/2010/163/2/0/Z_95_Green_Squadron_by_Brandx0.jpg as a source of reference for what a Z-95 looks like (this image follows official designs)

              This new design seems to be a clear hybrid of the Z-95 and X-wing. very interesting.

                That's some beautiful work.

                  Don't forget guys, this is way way after RotJ, so there's every possibility that the ship has had parts cannibalized from all sorts of sources, cockpit from an xwing, laser mounts upgraded from an x-wing, whilst the body is that of a z-95. Just because it doesn't follow the spec guidelines to a z-95 doesn't mean it wasn't one originally :)

                I guess it could be like a T-65e version or something, an evolution of the original T-65? i mean i guess you have the FA-18 and the F-18 Super Hornet which is 2 different sized versions of the same plane... OH GOD I NEED TO STOP THEORISING ON THIS, MY TEENAGE SELF IS EMERGING! :P

                  It's a good theory. In RL, they tend to have upgrades and variants for years and years. Take the F-4 Phantom for example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_McDonnell_Douglas_F-4_Phantom_II_variants The F-4 Terminator 2020 is expected to stay in operation until at least 2014.

                  Yet, I'd like to think that if the Rebel Alliance won the war and seized political power, they'd phase out all of the old stuff within 20 years.

          I think that a laser short of being a Z95 is a much more likely evolution than an X-wing losing the iconic X shape.

          It looks more like a Z-95 than an X-wing - the s-foils have no way of opening, and there are no hinges for that next to the engine.
          But the dual lasers did throw me off as well.

            It opens like this.

      It looks most like Ralph McQuarrie's original x-wing. I have no hope that there's going to be any EU references.

      The official Star Wars twitter account has quite bluntly confirmed it's *not* a Z95 Headhunter & is the Ep7 X-Wing: https://twitter.com/starwars/status/491196351422554112

        Oh, FU JJ! The X-Wing is meant to have four engines and four intakes for all that power.

          Chill dude. Look back up to the links to Ralph McQuarie's concept art - specifically the "TIE Fighter chasing X-Wing" one (http://a.dilcdn.com/bl/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2014/01/31-Dogfight.png) - and you'll see that the original versions of the iconic ship had a single engine that split in two (which for the record. Given Ep7 is set an indeterminate number of years post EP6, it's not a stretch to figure the Rebels have upgraded/improved the original design of the T-65 to include more powerful engines and reduce it's overall size.

          I'm a fan. Can't wait to see it in action!

          Also I'm not sure those intakes... are actually intakes.
          After all, what good would an intake be on a spacecraft?

    Okay, that's it, I'm not watching any more news or spoilers, Star Wars blackout time for me now.
    I'll go back to restoring my 35mm print of the 77 film until this new one is released, that will keep me busy.

    Lots of people have missed the detail in the cannon mounts here...

    It is clearly not a Z-95 headhunter.

    Note the split in the brackets around the wing cannons. Those suckers look like they do indeed expand in to X-shaped S-Foils, but the wings split asymmetrically, with the rear wing panels raising and the forward panels dropping.

    Animated example (credit to /u/Wezbob) here:

    Not sure I like it. But then, we are talking about changing a Sci-Fi icon, so I'll wait and see what it looks like blowing up sith-spawned bad guys.

    Good to see they're not gonna kill the new Star Wars with CGI start to finish. Its the one thing that I hated about Star Wars Ep -3.

    Yeah it's a new x-wing. I wish it was a little closer to the Ralph McQuarrie's design, but we shall have to see it properly.

    Just google the Ralph McQuarrie's x-wing to see how the engine split works.

    The x-wing s-foil split is different. Look at the top surface of the wing. Line down the middle. So from the engine assmble outwards, when it splits the wing will be half a wide for each s-foil.

    Will have to see how it looks. I'm sure some 3d modelling is hard at work building an interpretation as we speak.

      Yeah, see here for an example.

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