A series of stunning new concept art has been released from Star Wars: The High Republic, a published prequel series set centuries before The Phantom Menace. Aimed at adults and children, the series will span novels, books and comics and, crucially, features everyone's favourite Star Wars character – Yoda.
Yoda is the star of the artwork, depicted as a brooding young(er) Jedi. He's all grown up from the Baby Yoda we know and love but more refreshed than in later episodes – aged a sprightly 700 years old rather than the 900 we're used to. Brooding intensely at the camera, this Yoda full of purpose (wait, is he actually smouldering?), leaving us excited for what the series might hold.
According to art director, Troy Alders, designing the character was a "daunting" challenge (perhaps our character design tips might have helped). "The goal was to update Yoda, but to be careful and be true to the Yoda that we all know and love," Alders explained to StarWars.com.
"Also, to really make sure that the new look was believable, as this is really the first time that there has been an opportunity to update his look and his clothing. It felt like a daunting and enormous responsibility to embark on and get right."
It was important to the team that Yoda be more fashion-forward, so he's been given a range of different, richly-detailed costumes, based around his signature tunics and cloaks. With inspiration coming from wider Star Wars design, including Jedi temple architectural details, Alders describes Yoda's costumes as elegant – not necessarily a word we'd have associated with Yoda before this, we have to admit.
Daniel José Older’s comic, Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, is the first instalment of the series. Set to be released in January 2021, Yoda will play a main role in the story but he won't be the font of wisdom we know from later years. He is still a teacher though, and will be found travelling around the galaxy and helping out young Padawans who want to learn the ways of the Jedi.
Getting to know Yoda at a different time of life will add to our (already pretty deep) connection with the character, and we can't wait to find out what happens. If you don't yet feel you know him well enough, check out the stir Baby Yoda caused when he first appeared in The Mandalorian. And, for a different perspective, see the concept art depicting how he could have looked if the show had gone in another direction. Warning: you can't unsee it.
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