11 Classic Star Wars Characters Reimagined by A.I.
Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Vader and more like you’ve never seen them before.
The vast franchised universe of Star Wars has no shortage of stylistic interpretations of the heroes, villains, aliens, planets and ships that many generations of fans have come to adore. TV series, computer-animated shows, video games, cartoons and graphic novels have implemented unique visions of their creators, each seeming to get cooler and cooler as time goes on. There are also novelizations of almost every major film and vast body of literature including novels, short stories, companion guides and online encyclopedias teeming with additional lore. I especially enjoy reading the movie novelizations and letting my own imagination re-render some of these familiar images with all the creative freedom my brain can muster.
And lately I’ve become hopelessly addicted to A.I. art—a never-ending fascination to see how these trained algorithms will interpret past artistic creations and present aesthetic desires of the human world. So, it was a no-brainer that I should see how the A.I. would render popular Star Wars characters. I decided to focus on eleven major characters from the original trilogy of films and use a similar painting and rendering prompts so that there are common stylistic threads that connect the characters in the same world. The results were pretty cool.
So, without further ado, here are eleven classic Star Wars characters reimagined by artificial intelligence…
1. Luke Skywalker
Raised on Tatooine by his aunt and uncle, Luke stumbled into the world of galactic intrigue when he bought a pair of droids containing a holographic message from a pretty young woman who was in desperate need of help from Tatooine’s local religious kook, one Obi-wan Kenobi.
Luke tracked down Obi-wan, who turned out to be a former Jedi Knight willing to mentor him in the ways of the Force—a magical religion mostly based on swordplay and telekinesis. After finding a pair of smugglers with a transport ship at the nearby space port, Luke embarked on a mission to rescue the pretty young woman, who was being held prisoner aboard an Imperial orbital battle station called “the Death Star.” It turned out that the droids also carried top secret data stolen from the Empire about how to destroy the Death Star, and delivering it to the Rebel Alliance—as well as rescuing the princess—put Luke and his rag-tag group in high esteem. Luke went on to join the Alliance and was instrumental in overthrowing the Empire and restoring democratic rule to the galaxy. Along the way, he discovered his true identity as the son of Darth Vader, a powerful Sith Lord serving as the Emperor’s ruthless enforcer, and that the pretty young woman—Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan—was actually his twin sister. Luke persevered in his struggle against the lure of the Dark Side of the Force, defeating both Vader and the Emperor to fulfill his destiny as a legendary Jedi Master.
2. Princess Leia
Captured by the Empire, Princess Leia Organa watched in horror as the massive Imperial orbital battle station—the Death Star—destroyed her home world Alderaan, killing everyone she’d ever known.
After being rescued by young country bumpkin Luke Skywalker—accompanied by an old wizard, some beat-up droids and a pair of degenerate smugglers—she helped lead the Rebel Alliance to destroy the cursed Death Star and overthrow the Empire. Along the way, Leia fell in love with one of those smugglers—a Corellian named Han Solo—for whom she and Luke had to mount a daring and cunning rescue after he was captured by the Empire and sold to a Tatooine crime lord. In the end, Leia discovered that Luke was her twin brother, and that they were separated at birth to protect them against their father, the now defeated and deceased Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
3. Darth Vader
Born as Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader was once among the honorable ranks of the Jedi, the protectors of peace and order in the democratic Galactic Republic. But he was unable to control his fear and anger, leaving him open to be manipulated by corrupt politicians of the Republic and setting him on a course to embrace an alluring brand of destructive magic called “the Dark Side of the Force.”
Before adopting the moniker Darth Vader, he lost a near fatal lightsaber battle with his former mentor, Jedi Knight Obi-wan Kenobi, forcing him to live in a full-body life support suit with a helmet and breathing apparatus that covered his face like a polished black skull. Vader then went on to serve as an enforcer for the militarized, megalomaniacal Galactic Empire that displaced the Galactic Republic, bringing destruction and terror to the galaxy. Eventually his estranged adult son, Luke, who trained to become a Jedi Knight, confronted him several times in personal combat as the Rebel Alliance struggled and finally succeeded in overthrowing the Empire. Through Luke’s influence, Vader was able to break free from the hold of the Dark Side, and in the final moments before his death, to look upon his son once again as his true self, Anakin Skywalker.
4. Han Solo
An egocentric smuggler from Corellia, Han Solo was on Tatooine in the employ of crime lord Jabba the Hutt when a local farm boy and an old man with two clunker droids propositioned him to bring them swiftly and safely to Alderaan. Having worn out his welcome on Tatooine, Solo and his crewman Chewbacca happily agreed, embarking on a journey that would draw them into the Galactic Civil War.
After discovering that the planet Alderaan was blown to smithereens, Solo and Chewbacca helped his new employers—Luke Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi, two nut jobs who wouldn’t shut up about their religion—infiltrate an Imperial orbital battle station and rescue the captive princess of Alderaan. Despite his misgivings for their cause and reluctance to join the Rebel Alliance, Solo and Chewbacca eventually found their moral footing and fought alongside their new friends over the course of several major engagements with Empire. When captured by the Empire and returned to the vengeful Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine, Solo spent some time imprisoned in hibernation via carbonite freezing before his loyal friends from the Alliance risked their lives to rescue him. Eventually the Rebel Alliance defeated the Emperor, his menacing Sith Lord Enforcer and the vast Imperial military on the ground and in space. And that princess from Alderaan? Her name was Leia, and over the course of their struggles, she and Solo fell in love. Not bad for a smuggler.
5. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Once a prominent Jedi Knight in the Old Republic, Obi-Wan Kenobi spent his later years leading a quiet, solitary life in exile on Tatooine as he watched over Luke Skywalker, the estranged son of the brutal Sith Lord Darth Vader. With the Empire at the height its power and Vader serving as the Emperor’s ruthless, high-ranking enforcer, Kenobi knew that young Skywalker was destined to confront the legacy of his family sooner or later.
The time finally came when a pair of droids with top secret data on the Empire’s latest weapon of mass destruction landed at Luke’s doorstep. Kenobi began training Luke in the ways of a Jedi Knight as he helped him return the precious data to the Princess of Alderaan so that an insurgent group called the Rebel Alliance could use it to destroy the Empire’s weaponry. Kenobi was killed in personal combat with Vader while infiltrating an Imperial orbital battle station, but lived on in the spirit world to guide Luke in using his nascent Jedi powers and to find Yoda, a Jedi Master who would complete Luke’s training. Kenobi’s legacy would be one of restoring peace and order to galaxy, as Luke was instrumental in finally overthrowing the Galactic Empire and defeating Vader.
A mighty Wookie warrior and fiercely loyal companion, Chewbacca crewed the smuggler ship the Millennium Falcon with his partner Han Solo. Using his strength, ferocity and marksmanship, Chewie managed to keep them out of as much trouble as Solo’s reckless, boastful, cowboy antics got them into. In the end, Chewbacca was instrumental in the fight to overthrow the Empire, and despite all odds managed to keep his devil-may-care friend Han Solo alive, even after he was captured and imprisoned back on Tatooine. That’s one loyal Wookie.
7. C-3P0 and R2-D2
Protocol droid C-3P0 and repair droid R2-D2 have traveled across the galaxy with a particular a knack for being in the wrong places at the wrong times. It’s no surprise then, that this bickering, galactic odd couple found themselves smack dab in the middle of the Galactic Civil War. And lucky for the Rebel Alliance, their loyalty to their friends and owners remained true, helping to finally overthrow the Galactic Republic.
Once the Jedi Grand Master of the Old Republic, responsible for training generations of Jedi Knights, Yoda was a peculiar, mostly solitary being who saw the rise and fall of galactic powers over the course of nine centuries. Small but immensely powerful, ineloquent but deeply wise, Yoda trained the Tatooine farm boy Luke Skywalker into becoming a skilled Jedi Master, empowering him to confront his father, the brutal Sith Lord Darth Vader, and to fight for the Rebel Alliance to overthrow the Galactic Empire.
9. The Stormtroopers
With its ranks filled by clones, conscripts, children kidnapped from birth and die-hard Imperial loyalists, the Stormtrooper Corp is perhaps the most poorly trained, poorly equipped and inept infantry in all of military history. They’d be the laughing stock of the galaxy if it weren’t for their sheer numbers and proven brutality—each willing to kill innocent civilians without a moment’s hesitation.
Their armor is next to useless, with body plates unable to absorb even a single shot from a low-powered blaster pistol, and even an off-angle thwack to the helmet can knock the wearer unconscious. Their marksmanship is abysmal, with whole divisions unable to hit even unarmed, stationary targets at close range with their blasters. And whatever vehicles they pilot— speeder bikes, TIE fighters, walkers or even dewbacks—cannot survive more than a few minutes in battle before being sabotaged by obvious, low-tech traps. Yet by their ubiquitous presence and ruthless methods, the Stormtroopers were instrumental in overthrowing the Galactic Republic and ushering in a new age of fascist rule in the galaxy. In the end, however, they were no match for the cunning, accurate and motivated Rebel Alliance, to whom the Empire lost two expensive Imperial orbital battle stations and suffered the defeat of its infantry and space fleet in the climactic Battle of Endor.
10. Jabba The Hut
A rich, powerful and luxuriously self-indulgent crime lord with ties to the Empire, Jabba The Hutt lived like a king in his palace on Tatooine, those around him trembling in fear or groveling to curry favor. He was known for feeding people to local monsters, such as racnors and sarlaccs, bringing agonizing death to his captives, enemies and even those in his employ just for fun. The great Jabba the Hutt met his end, however, when one of the captured rescuers choked him to death with the very chains he had used to tie her up and parade her around half naked.
11. Boba Fett
A bounty hunter who worked for both the Empire and crime lords like Jabba The Hutt, Boba Fett was the cloned son of legendary Mandalorian bounty hunter and clone army donor Jango Fett, from whom he inherited his characteristic armor, weapons, ship and legacy. Boba Fett outperformed all other bounty hunters by capturing Han Solo for the Empire, who imprisoned Solo via carbonite freezing and handed him over Jabba The Hutt. While overseeing Solo’s execution on Tatooine, Fett tried to put a stop to a rescue attempt by Solo’s friends from the Rebel Alliance, but was attacked and killed by a sarlacc, a subterranean monster known for slowly and painfully digesting its victims. It was a grisly end for the ruthless hunter.