How Apple's Jony Ive Influenced That New 'Star Wars' Lightsaber Design

"I thought it would be interesting it if were less precise and just a little bit more spitty."
Walt Disney Studios

If fans are unconvinced with the new lightsabers, as seen in the first trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then they have an unexpected designer to blame: Jony Ive, the man responsible for the design of Apple's iPhone, iPad and iOS 7, among many other things.

Ive's role in the proceedings came to light via a New Yorker profile of the designer, currently senior vp design at Apple, which revealed that Ive made what Abrams described as "very specific" suggestions about lightsaber designs in future Star Wars movies — suggestions that Abrams said will be reflected in the movie.

Ive characterized his suggestions as being part of "just a conversation," saying that while he didn't come up with the controversial cross guard, he was behind the less even flow of the new lightsaber seen in the trailer.

"I thought it would be interesting it if were less precise and just a little bit more spitty," he recalled, adding that he suggested that the redesign could be "more analog and more primitive and I think in that way, somehow more ominous."

Whether the Jedi would want their lightsabers to be seen as "ominous" might not ring true — although the evil Sith undoubtedly would — which does raise the question of whether Ive's influence will be felt elsewhere in the movie. If the Sith are going analog to be more scary, might we see Jedi design going in a more Apple-friendly, clean-design direction?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18. Fingers crossed we see Oscar Isaac with an iPhone at some point.

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