Star Wars is one of those franchises that has curiously gotten younger as time has gone on. Now don't get me wrong, I love Clone Wars (and probably get into more heated discussions about it than it warrants), but it would be nice to see a new Star Wars movie or television series that's aimed at people who were alive when Return of the Jedi came out. If you're interested in a more grown-up take on Star Wars, concept artist Kai Lim delivers hints of how it might look, with creepy monsters, chaotic battlefields and Stormtroopers who hit their targets.

Lim actually did create these images for a Lucas product: the now-defunct Star Wars Galaxies. It makes sense that this was concept art for a video game, since the Star Wars games are actually aimed at an older audience. But Paul Tassi at Unreality notes that these would be great concept pieces to spin into a more adult TV show or movie, and I have to agree. Maybe someone could point this higher up the food chain toward the folks working on the live-action Star Wars television show? Or is that hoping for too much?

There were so many things that I found unnerving as a kid on those first few viewings of the original trilogy, including the trash compactor monster and Jabba's description of the sarlacc. But there's been a definite lack of critters you wouldn't want to run into in a dark Star Cruiser corridor. And while there are plenty of giant spiders in Star Wars media, there's something particularly lovely about this creature, with its webs haphazardly strewn about. I can just envision the moment of surprise when some protagonist runs into eight legs of this lady.

Actually, the episode that won me over to Clone Wars was a horror episode. In the second season episode "Legacy of Terror," we learn that the slug-like Geonosian queens can control their dead warriors through the Geonosian hive mind. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out, if only to hear Dee Bradley Baker, who voices all the Clone Troopers, voicing the evil queen.

And the book Death Troopers introduced the world to the Blackwing virus, an Imperial bioweapon that has been known to turn Stormtroopers into zombies. I may be a special kind of zombie nut, but I would watch the hell out of a Death Troopers movie, especially if the infected looked like this guy.

Lim says he was actually asked to tone down this piece a little bit. The original had body parts flying from the blast. But even without the gore, Lim's battle scenes are exciting. The combatants are competent. Physical objects shatter when they're hit. And some of those droids have surprises up their sleeves. It creates the sense that these battles have consequences, and that the bad guys won't be taken down by a band of plucky teddy bears with tripwires. They may be too intense for the Clone Wars crowd, but they're just right for folks who've grown up and would like Star Wars to grow up a little, too.

Via Unreality, via Geeks Are Sexy.