How Artist Moebius’ work was the inspiration for ESB’s ‘Imperial Droid’

Nov 4, 2021 | In A Far Away Galaxy

This post was originally published by In A Far Away Galaxy.

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Design inspiration for the Imperial Droid used on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back

Kitbashed has done it again with a flash of brilliance in demonstrating how (for this author) one of the coolest things in The Empire Strikes Back came to be in the film.

I’m talking about the Imperial Probe Droid that finds the Rebel Base on Hoth. Some keen folk call it the Viper droid or Probot.

So every usually goes on about how Ralph McQuarrie or Joe Johnston had the most artistic sway over how the Star Wars universe looked and felt. And this is true, but on this occasion, another very famous person contributed in the most minor way but that contribution left a pretty cool mark on Empire.

Mobieus draw a very small robot in the corner of a frame in what became a well-known piece of science fiction called The Long Tomorrow:

As to how the production crew of The Empire Strikes Back came to use the robot, Kitbashed ponders:

“The story supposedly goes (which is my way of saying that I’ve heard, but have so far found no evidence of) that the production team received permission from Mœbius to use his design. That may be true, after all Mœbius did himself go on to produce a number of drawings in the Star Wars universe, and Dan O’Bannon had worked with him, etc. But given how most of the other inspirational borrowings for Star Wars have gone down, I see little reason to believe that this one would be any different.”

So there we have it. Another example of Star Wars taking an idea from another piece of media and making something awesome.

Extra for Experts:

Leigh Bracket, who is credited on Empire Strikes Back also wrote a story called The Long Tomorrow, her story was different in nature being set in a post-apocalyptic America. It was published in 1955.

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Jonathan and James in Mos Espa

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Anakin’s Slave Quarters
Lars Homestead
Star Wars Canyon
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Short on time? Our Light Speed Tour includes the majority of Star Wars sites in Tunisia. You’ll still have plenty of time to take in the grandeur of Tatooine. Join us for the journey of a lifetime!

Jonathan and James in Mos Espa

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Luke’s Childhood Home
Ben Kenobi’s Hermitage
Tosche Station
Mos Eisley
Our Tatooine: Outer Rim Tour is a comprehensive itinerary, taking you to each site George Lucas made into iconic Star Wars landmarks. Tour the South of Tunisia with us and see them all!

Jonathan and James in Mos Espa

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Darth Maul’s Outlook
Chalmun’s Cantina
Historical & Cultural Museums
Coliseum in El Jem
Two great empires packaged into one tour! Our Roman & Galactic Empires Tour takes you throughout Tunisia. See history in ancient Roman ruins and the world of Star Wars all in one itinerary!

Jonathan and James in Mos Espa

5 Days / 4 Nights

Anakin’s Slave Quarters
Lars Homestead
Star Wars Canyon
Mos Espa
Short on time? Our Light Speed Tour includes the majority of Star Wars sites in Tunisia. You’ll still have plenty of time to take in the grandeur of Tatooine. Join us for the journey of a lifetime!

Jonathan and James in Mos Espa

8 Days / 7 Nights

Luke’s Childhood Home
Ben Kenobi’s Hermitage
Tosche Station
Mos Eisley
Our Tatooine: Outer Rim Tour is a comprehensive itinerary, taking you to each site George Lucas made into iconic Star Wars landmarks. Tour the South of Tunisia with us and see them all!

Jonathan and James in Mos Espa

13 Days / 12 Nights

Darth Maul’s Outlook
Chalmun’s Cantina
Historical & Cultural Museums
Coliseum in El Jem
Two great empires packaged into one tour! Our Roman & Galactic Empires Tour takes you throughout Tunisia. See history in ancient Roman ruins and the world of Star Wars all in one itinerary!