EXCALIBUR: THE SWORD FROM THE STARS
"Excalibur: The Sword From The Stars" is a fresh take on the King Arthur mythology that I am currently developing into a full product pitch. The concept is based in a historically grounded setting of Dark Ages Britain, where Arthur is on a quest to bring peace between the three warring tribes of the Romano-Britons, The Anglo-Saxons and the Picts.
Arthur is aided in his quest by an alien being from the stars, whom he names Meridan. The alien gifts him in good faith with the tool that may save Briton from itself, a tool of Meridan's race that is large enough for Arthur to ride and versatile enough to use as a weapon and a political deterrent. The Weapon is Excalibur, or as Arthur introduces it to the people of Briton, "The Godsend".
CHARACTER DESIGN: KING ARTHUR
In this re-imagining of Arthur, I visualized him as a determined but solemn individual, someone who is alone in his experience of having seen earth from the exosphere in the alien Meridan's spacecraft. The experience leaves him with the worldview of an astronaut from today, albeit with his sincere peasant's belief in a supreme Christian God. His emotionally potent experiences as a youth make his mind split between the myopic worldview of Anglo-Roman Christians and the consciousness expanding revelations of Meridan.
Arthur's burden through his story is to lead the citizenry of Briton under a Christian banner of faith, while knowing fully well that his Pictish & Saxon citizens are no less justified in their narratives of divinity. He sees that all faiths were ultimately attempting to understand the infinite grandeur of a universe that Arthur had seen from a unique perspective - one that had proven to him that no matter what anyone believed, they only had one another to count on in a boundless and frighteningly mysterious world.
Here are some early idea sketches, illustrating Arthur's first conversation with the Alien Giant Meridan and his subsequent acquisition of Excalibur with the help of his trusted friend Morgana.
EXCALIBUR: A POLITICAL DETERRENT
A.D 450: Briton
Arthur and Morgana introduce their newly acquired weapons - Excalibur and Braemaz - to their Saxon rivals. They do so in an effort to intimidate them and persuade their leaders, Hengist & Horsa to cease their attack on the Christian Romano-Britons, or else incur the wrath of Excalibur. In this telling of the Arthurian myth, Arthur often uses Excalibur as a deterrent to make enemies give up without bloodshed, but should need arise, he does use excalibur's tremendous offensive capabilities against opposing armies. The various functions of Excalibur and the logic by which it works is outlined below, in the prop design.
EXCALIBUR: PROP DESIGN
The design for Excalibur, an alien reconnaissance & defense ordinance, is meant to inspire fear and wonder in onlookers, both in the story and in the audience. Its silhouette is designed to be reminiscent of a sword and an arrow from the top and bottom, while its side profile and front are meant to look like a surf board with elements of a bird of prey in the visual aesthetic. In the world of Camelot, Excalibur's visual motifs and mechanics are all based in the culture of Meridan's Alien race, whom Arthur titles the "Stellarians". The combination of arcing and straight forms in the prop's design are rooted in the Stellarian's understanding of the cyclical nature of time, the radial nature of gravity and the linear motion of light. Theirs is a culture that is rooted entirely in their conception of the material world and their ability to manipulate it, which also make's Meridan's home world a dark and zealously industrial place - a world that he leaves to arrive on Earth.
EXCALIBUR: DESIGN REFERENCES
A very important aspect of Excalibur's design was to make it reminiscent of familiar human inventions and earthly objects, while being very alien in appearance to any human culture.
Excalibur's speed, strength and ferocity were inspired by modern superjet and sports car designs, with added elements of ornate ceremonial swords.
Its functionality as a tool of both analysis and destruction were inspired by sci-fi concepts such as the menacing AI of HAL 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and " Death Stranding" as well as everyday immolation equipment.
Excalibur's Ornamentation was inspired by a combination of Victorian Gothic Ironwork and Tibetan Buddhist and Ancient Indian Scriptures, to give the fictitious "Stellarian" culture a distinctly alien yet familiar feel.
The Lighting schemes were taken as a reference shorthand to communicate Excalibur's place throughout the story's evolution with only the use of lighting.
EXCALIBUR: DESIGN BREAKDOWN
Below is a detailed diagram of the functions that each of Excalibur's parts perform, followed by a layout of Arthur's Gauntlet's control links to Excalibur's primary functions.
EXCALIBUR'S FORWARD THRUSTERS
The Forward Thrusters are responsible for Excalibur's swift forward motion in the air. While the primary top opening gives Excalibur its forward thrust, the lower vents control Excalibur's angle of elevation and the gravity field emitters on teh stem give it vertical anti-gravity lift off, allowing it to rise off the ground without any ostensible force. The motions of Arthur's index & middle fingers control these operations.
EXCALIBUR'S YAW & ROLL THRUSTERS
The Yaw & Roll Thrusters are responsible for Excalibur's tilting and steering to the left or the right. The motion of Arthur's thumb controls this operation.
The Incinerators are Excalibur's greatest offensive aspect, capable of immolating forests, armies and even rocks with their intense heat burst.
EXCALIBUR'S HYPNOTIZER ARMS
The most rarely used tool in Excalibur's arsenal, the Hypnotizer Arms are Arthur's last resort when it comes to judging the truth of an accused person's innocence or guilt in the court of Camelot. It works by creating supersonic sound and hypnotic light motions to render a target vulnerable to all interrogation & suggestion.
Thank you for reading through this draft of Project Excalibur! I hope you enjoyed it and found the concept to be interesting. If you would like to discuss the concept or talk to me about any criticisms or suggestions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.