Few visuals are as iconic as those found in Star Wars. Places, vehicles, and characters are all distinct and easily recognizable to even the most casual of moviegoers. As with most big franchises, fans know these visuals better than anyone, but the more creative-types among them often add their own spin to the Star Wars universe. We've collected some of the coolest art in the galaxy, from fans and artists who have reimagined some of the franchise's most popular characters.
For this list, we'll be looking looking at visual redesigns for Star Wars characters, as well as ones that may change the story and characterization of their subjects. Don't fret, though, this isn't a slight toward the movies we've all come to love. It serves to highlight some well-crafted fan art that could have given us something totally different than what we got on the big-screen. Also, we have completely ruled out official concept art that went unused, as we have a separate list for that.
Obviously, nothing can replace the iconic characters we know today, but seeing them with these looks would have been unbelievably compelling. It doesn't matter how you feel about each trilogy or the characters within them— these designs are too cool to ignore.
Here are 15 Crazy Star Wars Fan Redesigns Way Better Than The Movies.
15 A Scarier Vader
It's weird seeing Vader without his mask, right? We know, we know — it's blasphemy to change his signature look — but imagine how intimidating he would be walking around like this?
This Darth Vader redesign by artist 1oshuart depicts the baddest man in the galaxy with totally different armor. Instead of sleek black metal and giant light-up buttons, this sinister design adds some sharp details and red accents to the armor, as well as omitting the full mask for a glass dome and breathing apparatus.
Functionally, it looks like it would work like Vader's regular outfit, but seeing his scarred face and dead eyes make him all the more terrifying. On the other hand, it also emphasizes his internal conflict: a man who threw away his principles, now clearly, visibly trapped alone with his own pain and anguish...
It's also a cool costume. Pretty great work!
14 Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
This piece, by artist Phillip Sanchez, gives Luke a more regal, dignified look. Sure, it isn't the traditional beige and brown Jedi robes — but it's way better. It might seem more at home in The Old Republic, but this vaguely steampunk outfit is a refreshing take on a classic hero.
The design has a cloak for fans of the typical Jedi outfits, but also sports armor. This suggests a more combat-ready uniform reminiscent of the padded outfits worn by Anakin and Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars animated series. Of course, this is a bit of an upgrade.
The layered hood and golden trim make Luke's black robes from Return of the Jedi look like hand-me-downs. An armored outfit such as this would not only differentiate Luke from the old-world Jedi Order (given his restarting of it and all), but it would make him look even more heroic. Because — and let's just admit it — Jedi robes are just plain boring.
13 Monk Warrior Maul
Fans of the Diablo games may especially enjoy this design. This monk-inspired interpretation of Darth Maul by artist sadeceKAAN could have been even more expressive than his plain black robes.
Maul was raised as a weapon of the Sith, and even with his long and storied history, he was always looking to make himself more powerful. Certainly he was already menacing, but a design along these lines could have better highlighted his warrior personality.
While it's mostly just an altered version of Diablo 3's monk, it still proves to be more unique than his initial appearance. His different designs in the animated series only made him more terrifying (with robot spider legs and what not), but for a younger Maul, this would be a decent fit.
We're not sure how we feel about the full beard, though. Can Darth Maul even grow hair?
12 Organic General Grievous
Despite poor implementation of the prequel villains, their designs were well received. General Grievous is no different, as the four-armed lightsaber collector is one of the more memorable antagonists in that trilogy.
This design by Mikhail Akimento takes Grievous' already striking aesthetic and takes it a step further, making him an organic, slightly grotesque alien creature.
Most Star Wars fans know that he was already an alien species — a Kaleesh with cyborg parts and armor plating — but this redesign does away with the cyborg element altogether. The skeletal look still maintains the design of his armor plates, but interprets them as fleshy spikes and muscle tissue. It's cool, but in a "so-gross-we-can't-look-away" kind of cool.
Some might argue that his robotic pieces are key to his character, and that removing them ruins his detailed backstory. While there is certainly some truth to that, this design is a great look into what could have been, and strikes much more fear into our hearts than the maniacal coughing General know today.
11 Hi-Tech Boba Fett
Boba Fett's armor is his claim to fame. Other than looking cool, he does nothing else of note besides fall into a sand-monster's mouth and die. Without his armor, he wouldn't be the (somehow) fan favorite that he is.
This cyberpunk-inspired suit might not scream Star Wars style, but it's an amazing redesign by Gregory Vlasenko that would really sell Fett's cool factor.
It boasts added functionality with more pockets and weaponry, but also adds a hint of personality to the character. The wanted poster and bag full of previous bounty tokens demonstrate his experience and perhaps some sort of twisted sentimentality. There also seems to be a silencer on his blaster rifle's barrel, suggesting a bit more calculation than the clumsy Boba Fett of the films.
We're not sure what all those tubes are for, though. Hopefully nothing important, because they guy is kind of accident-prone — he'll probably just get tangled in them.
10 Ben Solo, Jedi Knight
This popular piece by punmagneto made the rounds on the internet after The Force Awakens initial release. In this image, Kylo Ren seems to have traded in his mask and robes for a green lightsaber and a spot with the good guys. Or perhaps this is before his turn to evil; when Ben Solo was just a Jedi-in-training.
Interpret it however you like; this alternate look at Kylo Ren is his original self, regardless of where his story ends. He was originally just Ben, spending time learning from his Uncle Luke about the ways of the force.
Of course, this fan art could actually come to fruition, as theories of the character's turn back to the light side only get more compelling as we get closer to the debut of The Last Jedi. No matter where his allegiance lies, it's not a bad look for somebody stuck in his goth phase.
9 Knight Of... Rey?
Speaking of switching sides, this redesign by holepsi depicts Rey in Kylo Ren's place. What if she had been Snoke's apprentice instead of Ben Solo?
This piece mirrors Rey's normal design in all black, but features enough alterations to look like Maul's outfit in The Phantom Menace. This is only aided by the reinterpretation of her signature staff, now a dual-bladed lightsaber (complete with a hilt that seems to be modeled after Maul's, too). The artist even kept Kylo's scar — great touch!
Among many of the theories regarding Rey's parentage, one suggests she may be related to Emperor Palpatine; one of the strongest Sith lords to ever exist. Maybe it's just the similarities to Darth Maul, but if that theory were to be true, we imagine she'd look something like this.
If she stays heroic, maybe she can still keep the lightsaber? Wouldn't it be awesome to see our hero replace that metal staff with a blue one of these bad boys. She would already know how to use it and everything!
8 Streamlined Stormtroopers
This redesign for the iconic stormtrooper suit by Moh Z. Mukhtar is one heck of a welcome change. Stormtroopers might be the quintessential evil henchmen, but they've never been all that tough or imposing.
Reminiscent of Spartans from the Halo series, this sleek overhaul not only makes them look more combat efficient, but even hints at stronger, more skilled soldiers with some added muscularity.
Perhaps it's only because the armor seems like a tighter fit than previous bulky suits, but these guys are far more intimidating than the stormtroopers of old.
The Force Awakens revealed new designs for stormtroopers, and although they make for nice toys, they're too similar to what came before. The designs above would have been just enough of a change.
Besides, the First Order's army is supposed to be an elite fighting force trained from birth, according to General Hux. If Finn is any indication, they're still just regular people in suits — no offense, Finn. Maybe these new suits would help with that image problem?
7 Dark Fantasy Dooku
This piece might be a bit too "fantasy" for the Star Wars aesthetic, but we can't help but add it to this list. Count Dooku is a disappointing prequel villain played by an legendary actor who deserved much better. The late Sir Christopher Lee could have been one of the best antagonists the franchise had ever seen, but he received little screen time and even less fanfare.
Artist DesignSpartan reimagines Count Dooku with this fantasy-inspired design - one that could have turned Dooku from forgettable to badass. The flashy color palette and ostentatious armor presents a different Count Dooku; not some secretive and shadowy figure, but a masterful force wielder. Even his staff could have stayed, perhaps interpreted as a lightsaber like Darth Plagueis of the expanded universe.
It might stray too close to Saruman, Lee's character from Lord of the Rings, but a design something along these lines could have done wonders for the prequel character.
6 Tactical Rebel Soldiers
Were the original designs for the rebellion ever actually cool? Their oversized helmets and lack of armor don't exactly make them seem like a force to be reckoned with. Sure, there are better rebel outfits in franchise, but the standard uniform is laughable.
This redesign by TheDrowningEarth reinterprets those lame uniforms with added protection and tactical advantages. Here, their cloth vests actually have armor, their helmets aren't hilariously long and plastic-looking, and they sport tons of extra pockets, pouches, and holsters for gadgets and weaponry. These military-centric redesigns almost look like something that could have been cut from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
We understand that they're a rag-tag army with significantly less resources than the Empire. We also understand that these particular designs are usually for when rebels aren't actually heading into combat. Regardless, an army still needs to look somewhat prepared for battle — and some pockets and padding can go a long way.
5 Jedi Master Skywalker
Before The Force Awakens, everybody was eager to see an older, wiser Luke Skywalker. While the other Luke entry on this list depicts his younger self, artist SalvadorTrakal imagines older Luke as a veteran Jedi combatant.
We haven't yet seen elderly Master Skywalker in combat, but this art illustrates it just as we all hope — Luke facing overwhelming odds; calm, cool, and collected. And with his green lightsaber no less!
Instead of the flashy, regal outfit of the other Luke redesign, this one manages to echo his appearance in Return of the Jedi with fantasy-inspired details.
Mark Hamill might be up there in age, but he surely he's still got it. This is the Luke Skywalker we need to see: a grizzled adventurer. A wise Jedi. A lightsaber master. The hero we remember and imagine. We've yet to see if that's the case, but we can dream, can't we? At least we have some great art to hold us over.
4 Rey (Skywalker)
Inspired by Luke outfit's in Return of the Jedi, this piece by Tom Garden paints Rey as a more experienced adventurer whose design embodies trademark Star Wars visual elements. Leia's hair buns, Luke's blue lightsaber, Vader's belt, and the long Jedi-inspired cloak all fit perfectly within the universe's aesthetic, while suggesting that Rey could be a Skywalker.
Of course, that's just the assumption of the artist, but considering her parentage hasn't yet been revealed, this design works perfectly fine. Rey is still in training, so who knows how she'll dress when she's finally a full-fledged Jedi. Who better to bring back the buns than the heir to the Skywalker legacy?
...Unless anybody wants to put buns on Kylo Ren, but something tells us that he and his perfect flowing hair might not like that very much.
3 Medieval Kylo Ren
Here's another solid replacement for boring black robes and leather. This fantasy redesign for Kylo Ren by artist Christian Lonsdale is way cooler than what he already wears. Most of the design remains the same as the film's, but with the additions of an iron chestpiece and gauntlet.
It's weird that Kylo Ren doesn't actually wear that much armor, especially since he models himself after Darth Vader. This redesign keeps his mask and cloak, but swaps his robes for actual armor and shredded bottoms, helping to create the sense of strength and experience Kylo wants to exhibit anyway. It's a nice touch that changes our perception of the character, reminiscent of his early concept as the veteran warrior "the Jedi Killer."
Obviously the crossguard lightsaber is taken from the films as well, but it actually accentuates the fantasy influences. It builds a more complete medieval look — totally appropriate for a character that may obsess over ancient Jedi artifacts.
2 Sith Lord Jar Jar
There isn't a whole lot that can make Jar Jar Binks remotely cool. We would like to confess that upfront. However, if you partake in the popular "Darth Jar Jar" fan theory, then this one is for you.
A Jar Jar redesign by artist Chris_G brings that theory to life. For the uninitiated, the theory claims that Jar Jar Binks, clumsy nincompoop and unrelenting annoyance to the franchise, is secretly a powerful Sith lord working for the Emperor.
Do with that theory as you will.
All we know is that lightsabers make everything better, and so this fully-realized Darth Jar Jar is a mild improvement. His outfit is oddly similar to Kylo Ren's, other than the added shoulder pads and sharp collar.
His yellow eyes and Darth Maul tattoos are a nice touch, as well as the uncommon reverse-grip lightsaber fighting style. It doesn't make him cool, necessarily — just cooler.
1 Sleek Darth Vader
There are few designs for the Emperor's right hand as menacing as this one. Hui Zou's unique take on Darth Vader is something to behold.
This slimmer, sleeker interpretation of Vader is vastly different from the lumbering, strong man we've come to be familiar with. Instead, the piece suggests a faster, agile Vader with shadowy, ninja-like qualities. Perhaps his life-support suit is less encumbering, and more state-of-the-art here. He also sports a thinner lightsaber, more in line with a rapier than the two-handed swords often shown in the films — minus the prequels, where lightsabers were seemingly weightless.
Fans might riot at the thought of altering his traditional design, but this would be an intriguing change. If you're a Vader purist and happen to hate this particular redesign, we understand.
Sure, agility and precision might not seem like Darth Vader, and neither would the slim, ghostly silhouette.
Nevertheless, the contrast between the Vader we know and the Vader imagined here is extremely refreshing, and exemplary of the creative passion Star Wars fans have for its wide array of characters.
What Star Wars fan art inspires you? Maybe you've created some of your own! Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.