9 Incredible Cross-Sections Reveal the Architecture of Star Wars

Using a 0.18mm ink pen for outlines and gouache for color and detail, Jenssen meticulously recreates every detail of these iconic locations.

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some of the most amazing section drawings in the universe were created …

One of the reasons Star Wars is one of the most successful science-fiction franchises in history is that, when watching any of the many movies, you feel like you are right there. The immersive worlds dreamed up by George Lucas and his team for the original series contained a level of detail never previously seen in film sets, forming the perfect backdrop for the intergalactic drama to unfold.

The extraordinary complexity of the architecture within this world is often hard to fathom, as our famous protagonists spend the majority of time flying, running and rolling through the labyrinthine corridors of the Empire’s base or hiding out in caves on Tatooine. Any illustration that can provide a detailed overview of each space is therefore of immense value to fans, in order to make sense of the world at large and understand how each stage is set for crucial moments of the Star Wars story.

Enter Hans Jenssen, a masterful UK-based technical illustrator whose hand-painted cross-sections lay bare the wonderfully intricate interiors of key Star Wars structures.

Skywalker Homestead, Tatooine

Skywalker Homestead, Tatooine — detail

Carbon Freeze Vane, Cloud City

Carbon Freeze Vane, Cloud City — detail

Echo Base, Hoth

Echo Base, Hoth — detail

Using a 0.18mm ink pen for outlines and mixture of standard and acrylic gouache for color and detail, Jenssen meticulously recreates every detail of these iconic locations for publication in Dorking Kindersley’s Inside the Worlds of Star Wars series.

“Working on a sheet of paper with ink and paint has become niche but there is still no substitute when it comes to creating these kinds of richly textured, full-color illustrations”, explains Jenssen on his website. “Modern digital retouching methods also add a large degree of flexibility to a traditional artwork.”

Outland Club, Coruscant

Outland Club, Coruscant — detail

Sith Medical Tower

Sith Medical Tower — detail

Throne Room Tower

Throne Room Tower — detail

The architecture of Star Wars typically blends industrial, brutalist and futuristic aesthetics, striking a strong contrast with natural landscapes of planets such as Hoth and Tatooine. Within spacecraft — flying architecture, if you will — the illustrations look more like the inside of vast machines, heaven for engineering enthusiasts to pore over.

While buildings throughout the galaxy tend to prioritize functionality over form, each structure is nonetheless spectacular — and Jenssen brilliantly captures the monumentality of both the light and the dark side of George Lucas’ much loved universe.

Executor Super Star Destroyer Bridge

Executor Super Star Destroyer Bridge — detail

Tipoca City

Tipoca City — detail

Emperor’s Throne Room

Emperor’s Throne Room — detail

For more intergalactic architecture, check out these 9 architectural projects inspired by the Star Wars aesthetic, and don’t forget to explore the architecture of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” as well.

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