Feature

Luke Skywalker Can Finally Pilot His Weird Toy Spaceship In Disney Infinity 3.0

by Jeff Cork on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Star Wars nerds, this one's for you. Remember that little spaceship toy that Luke Skywalker was dinking around with in Uncle Owen's workshop during Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope? You're forgiven if you don't; as moments go, it doesn't exactly rank up there with the Death Star's destruction or even when that Jawa tried to sell a faulty droid. That ship's relative obscurity made it a perfect Disney Infinity 3.0 addition for superfans, as we learned from Rise Against the Empire play-set creators, Studio Gobo.

The ship in question is the T-16 Skyhopper, which was what Luke flew with Biggs Darklighter to control the local womp-rat population. While it did appear in toy form during A New Hope, audiences never saw the ship in action until Return of the Jedi's special edition, where it was shown soaring above Mos Eisley during the big musical finale. Its humble origins made it another great candidate for the game, according to Studio Gobo art director Paul Ayliffe. " We felt it would be a nice reference to the movie scenes to include it as a toy in the playset, given it's featured in the film as a toy. The Skyhopper is the first vehicle we unlock for the player in Tatooine. It’s used to teach the flying mechanics early on and also offers the player the chance to take it for a spin around Beggars Canyon."

The team used a variety of reference materials to bring it to the game, though they made a few notable tweaks – including a particularly silly one. "I guess the most memorable moment was seeing one of the team play around with some code that allowed you to attach a tow cable to the vehicle and then hitch that to a Bantha! It was only meant as an internal experiment – a bit of fun. However, once everyone saw this hulking Bantha being towed about by the Skyhopper and the resulting laughs it drew from the team,  we just knew we had to ship with this feature. It was just too funny not to!"

Looking back at that scene again, I wanted to ask Luke, "Aren't you a little old for a Skyhopper toy?" Apparently, Ayliffe and his cohorts don't share that line of questioning. "I think given we have a studio of thirty-somethings, many of which have ATATs, Scout Walkers, and X-Wings on their desks, I’m not sure I’m best placed to answer that question," he wrote, sealing the deal with a smiley face. 

For more on Disney Infinity 3.0 and its development, take a look at our coverage hub by clicking the banner below. There are plenty more behind-the-scenes features on the game, including an in-depth video feature about how Avalanche brought Star Wars characters to life, from the initial concept sketches to the finished figurines.