When the teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens debuted last November, fans were divided on the redesign of the lightsaber from George Lucas' epic space saga. Like most things on the Internet, the new crossguard lightsaber, which looks more like an actual metal sword, inspired reactions that ranged from delight to outrage.
Now we may know who you should direct either your applause or anger toward: Apple's Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan "Jony" Ive.
In addition to his work at Apple, a profile of Ive in the new issue of The New Yorker details some of Ive's projects outside of the company. This includes designing a white polystyrene box for a book by Paul Smith and an aluminum desk he designed with designer Marc Newson for (RED). But apparently, a casual conversation Ive had over dinner with the director of the Star Wars reboot J.J. Abrams may become his most famous extracurricular activity to date.
Ive sat next to Abrams at a dinner party in New York and made what Abrams called "very specific" suggestions about how the new lightsabers should look. Abrams told The New Yorker that those ideas would be incorporated into the film, but it's unclear how.
This is what The New Yorker wrote about how Ive responded to Abrams:
"'It was just a conversation,' he said, then explained that, although he'd said nothing about cross guards, he had made a case for unevenness: 'I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty.' A redesigned weapon could be 'more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.'"
Ive's description here certainly seems to fit the more medieval look of the new lightsaber. However, it also seems like Ive is trying to downplay his involvement in the redesign a bit. The designer describes himself as "shy" in the profile, which also uses adjectives like "quiet" and "solicitous" to characterize him. Maybe the guy is just really humble. But boy, if Ive really did have some input on the look of the upcoming Star Wars film or will have some more in the future, this movie would definitely be even more of a force to be reckoned with.
Head over to The New Yorker to read the full profile.
[H/T Business Insider]