If you’ve ever wondered if the darkest Star Wars characters — think Darth Vader and Kylo Ren before his redemption — could fall even further to the dark side of the Force, we’ve found the answer, and it’s a resounding “Yes.”
Kevin Cassidy, a Senior Character Artist at Roundhouse Studios, has created incredibly intense artwork featuring some of the most famous icons in the Star Wars universe.
As most Star Wars fans know, canon has proven that the dark side has a corrupting and decaying effect on an individual’s appearance. Just take one look at Emperor Palpatine, people.
Judging by Cassidy’s incredible work, some of these characters have been very deeply impacted by their connection to the Force’s darker arts. Without further ado, let’s dive into Cassidy’s Star Wars character reimaginings.
Born Ben Solo to Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Kylo Ren — played by Adam Driver in the Star Wars sequel trilogy — Kylo Ren fell to the dark side after an unfortunate incident involving his uncle, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Ren became the leader of the Knights of Ren, serving Supreme Leader Snoke (no, we still don’t know exactly how he came to be, but hopefully Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will explain everything in The Mandalorian).
Eventually, of course, viewers witnessed Kylo Ren’s redemption in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019), but that has absolutely nothing to do with this particular piece of fan art.
In this artwork, entitled “Necro Knight,” Cassidy takes Ren’s armor and helmet to another level entirely. He almost looks like he could join Games of Thrones‘s House Stark in Winterfell in another life.
The attention to detail — as you will see in all of Cassidy’s Star Wars artwork — is absolutely incredible. From the marred mask that almost resembles the melted Darth Vader helmet Ren keeps as a relic in the films to the cape that looks like it could blow off the screen at any moment, this is one version of Kylo Ren we’d rather not run into while exploring a galaxy far, far away.
The only thing missing from this artwork? A terrifying version of the iconic red
You can’t create dark side artwork without paying homage to the Skywalker Saga’s Dark Lord himself, Darth Vader. Cassidy’s version, entitled “Necro Dominus,” looks as though he could be playing a part in Pirates of the Caribbean on Davy Jones’s cursed ghost ship, The Flying Dutchman.
This particular iteration of Vader looks even more menacing than usual — we know, you can practically hear James Earl Jones speaking through the mangled voice modulator — and would definitely be terrifying to grapple with in a lightsaber duel.
Speaking of which, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy recently promised the Star Wars fan community the “rematch of the century” when she confirmed that Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) will be returning in the upcoming Disney+ miniseries, OBI-WAN KENOBI: An Original Series.
Christensen will reprise his prequel trilogy role alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi actor, Ewan McGregor. The series will follow the Jedi Knight approximately 10 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Jar Jar Binks
While Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) was among the most maligned characters in the Star Wars prequel trilogy when it released, the Gungan has grown on some Star Wars fans — “some” being the operative word — in recent years.
Here, Cassidy has redesigned Jar Jar as we’ve never seen him before: a fully-fledged Sith Lord.
Frankly, this version of Jar Jar Binks doesn’t look he needs to provide any comic relief — he would serve another, probably more interesting, purpose entirely.
There have long been fan theories that Jar Jar’s unlikely political career and contribution to the Senate’s decision to give Chancellor Palpatine complete control were carefully orchestrated, and that he was actually working for the Empire the entire time.
The notion is intended to explain Binks’s extreme goofiness. Essentially, the idea is that his demeanor served as a guise to prevent Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) or anyone else from becoming suspicious.
Whether or not you buy into this theory, however, Cassidy’s Darth Jar Jar opens up a whole new world of dark side potential for the clumsy character, who is rumored to make his Star Wars return in OBI-WAN KENOBI.
Darth Talon — a female Twi’lek who became Darth Maul’s apprentice — was the villain George Lucas had imagined for his own version of the sequel trilogy, which also had Leia as the “Chosen One”.
In Cassidy’s rendering, “Necro Assasin,” Talon appears even more deadly than usual, with veined lekku and black teeth.
If you are interested in seeing more of Kevin Cassidy’s amazing Star Wars artwork, which includes scout troopers and stormtroopers, visit his Art Station profile.
Which piece of this intense Star Wars art is your favorite?