I suppose for a generation of designers it's a throw back to what got them drawing in the first place place and has now become an art form in it's own right, away from the cartoons and comics.
So heres part one in my occasional series 'Great Character Designs'...
I'll try to stay away from the obvious... everyone loves a Imperial Storm Trooper... but some of the obvious may turn up just because they are so classic... like Storm Troopers!
So, my first, and the inspiration for the series: (drum roll)
The Phantom Menace is 10 years old this year. The fact that that makes me feel very old put to one side, it's the first movie that I remember as being an 'internet fueled' hype machine. After about 3 days of waiting on a 26k dial-up modem I had my own copy of the smallest trailer i had ever seen! But I felt liberated! :D
So, for my generation, who by definition, were far too old to be complaining about stuff anyway, the movie was a disappointment. There WERE some good vehicle designs but great character design was thin on the ground particularly with so much of the good stuff from the original trilogy standing out like Jabba, R2 and C3P0 etc. I'm a big fan of the new droids in SW:TPM, the destroyer ones that folded up into wheels in particular, but the stand out character, and one of only two reasons to go back to the film at all (the other being the pod race) is Darth Maul.
Darth Maul was just too cool for school.
If only he'd disposed of Qui-gon sooner.
Maul could have realised the error of his ways, Obi Wan could have seen the banal humdrum of the Jedi order for what it was and they could have met half way to become the Batman and Robin of the outer rim, a true rebel force keeping the scum in order and bringing balance to the SW universe. That would have been worth a watch.
As it was he got chopped in two and spawned the most pointless action figure ever (one that breaks in two BEFORE the kids get hold of it!).
But from his horns to his 'force kicking' boots he was a destined to be a design classic and one of the best baddies to come out of ANY universe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9UEV-b2Ws4
He even has a BMW... http://jalopnik.com/5259283/mwdesign-darth-maul-bmw-m3-the-dark-side-of-tuning
Peter Seranofiwics dubbed the voice but the stunts were all Ray Park, who suffered a worse fate than Darth Maul - a life of comic conventions!
So, ladies and gentlemen, your thoughts and memories please, on the tattooed tyrany of Darth Maul.