Client: The Walt Disney Company | Time: 2014 – 2015 | Credit: Concept Designer
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is a 2017 feature film written and directed by Rian Johnson. Daniel was hired in 2014 by The Walt Disney Company and production designer Rick Heinrichs, and is credited as Concept Designer.
Designing for an official Star Wars feature film is a bucket-list experience. As a 24-year-old, Daniel saw his first ever Star Wars film in a movie theater in Berlin, Germany, in 1999. Both the pod race scene on Tatooine as part of Episode I, and the drawings in the ‘Art of Star Wars’ books of the original and new episodes, are the single most important influences in Daniel’s career. Still at design school, but in fact spending most of that time at the VW Advanced Design Studio at the Spanish coast, he decided to change his graduation project from a car to a fantasy story—an unusual but gratifying decision. It is fair to say that Star Wars, and the discovery of designers such as Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston (whom Daniel closely worked with on Marvel’s Captain America in 2009 ), Doug Chiang, Ryan Church, Jay Shuster, and others, changed Daniel’s ideas of what a designer can do.
With the second trilogy coming to an end at that time, dreams to some day work on Star Wars faded. So it came as an incredible surprise to have the chance to do so, 15 years later. Daniel joined the Episode VIII Art Department in Los Angeles, under the direct guidance of director and writer Rian Johnson, and production designer Rick Heinrichs. Daniel can not claim any designs in the final film. But the experience of being in the very room where the story for such a global phenomenon is written, and where astonishing artists do their best work, feels like a wonderful circle closing. Never stop dreaming.