In the past I wrote about the “Wickermen” designs. There were some hints that they were part of the tree environment. As time went on it became more and more likely they were part of the village that the Imperials attack, presumable in their search for Boyega’s character that leads to violence. The design process apparently wanted to evoke the Tusken Raider vibe while making it something new. These could always be the scavengers that attack the crashed TIE fighter. But they’re so tribal, my guess is they are part of the village that’s burned. I also think if Stormtroopers burn a village to the ground, making them insane looking aliens will keep the rating PG-13 instead of R in the United States. This article will explore a few of the designs over several pages of art.
The first design is what I would call the “Techno Tusken.” He has head wraps on but his eyes glow red. He has a mouth piece like a Tusken Raider, but its about twice as big. It honestly looks like if a Tusken Raider clan went to a different planet and just kind of evolved differently than the ones on Tatooine. Another design is a copy and paste job of the design above, however, this one has a metal plate over the wrappings to protect the head. A third design shows this same mask but the mouth piece has tubes coming out of it, with a cowl over the head, and a weapons similar to Weequay on Jabba’s skiff.
Another design seems to be an alternate of the Wickermen. This one has a large blue skinned person (think Avatar). It looks very much like an Aztec warrior if he was blue with a headdress on that covered his face. The face covering is gold Like the other wickermen described, this one has a sniper riffle. A second design has the big wicker-hair piece but the face has goggles over it and two bone type things through the nose, almost like the monster in Predator.
There’s a really cool design in the bunch. This alien has taken a Tauntaun skull and turned it into a helmet. The eyes have diodes sticking out of it with red lenses. Part of the skull around the nose area is busted and you can see technology underneath it. Another almost looks like the same design but using an Ishi Tib type alien’s skull (it looks familiar but I can’t put my finger on it). Another one appears to use the skull for the design of Kaleesh or General Grievous race.
Another page of designs is more regal. They look like humans, dressed like Hondo from The Clone Wars, very pirate in their nature, but still less sophisticated. A man has a metal face plate, a bandana around his head with ornamental horns sticking out of the top of his head. His collar is bushy with some sort of animal fur. His coat is blue and he has a shank and a blaster, one in each hand. The one design has a brown robe on which appears to have been used by the TMZ set extras.
Perhaps the coolest design is a guy with a single red visor. The visor lights up red. The It almost reminds me of an early concept design for the Emperor’s Royal Guards. But he has a dirty cape, brown, with grey and brown shoulder pads on. He’s doing an action packed swipe with a staff. Wrappings are coming lose from the back of his head. Some alternate designs almost show a horse head with a leather mask on and a Tusken Raider’s mouth piece with diodes for eyes and it has horns. It’s just really bizarre.
Some more designs show female Tusken Raiders from Attack of the Clones. But this one wears a cloak with a pointy hood over the mask, proving these are meant to be the new “Sand People” of The Force Awakens. Another has a spider-face that’s metal with horns sticking out with head wrappings. For some reason, in the corner for reference there is a stock photo of a rustic statue, Google Images has no reference for it though.
There are also some hybrid deigns that mash up the various components. Interestingly, some of the primitives in these designs have flamethrowers. It makes me wonder if they kill the Stormtroopers and attempt to use the weapons of the Empire against itself. Of course, it might just be the artist’s implication and nothing from the script itself.
The common thread between all of these designs is horns, fur, bone, technology, and attack poses. If its not the village they’re a part of, they’re scavengers. One thing seems likely, they’re going to fight a Stormtrooper or fifty.