How Thor: Ragnarok's Planet Sakaar is an Ode to Jack Kirby

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Trailers for Thor: Ragnaok have teased the film's psychedelic, space-age inspiration. Much of Marvel’s success from that period is owed to the legendary artist and writer Jack Kirby. The film even has a very special tribute to Kirby in the form of the planet Sakaar, home to Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster.

According to Nerdist, director Taika Waititi looked to Kirby’s '60s artwork to influence the look of the gladiator planet.

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“He came up with some Jack Kirby art, which is a head in a helmet, and it’s really wacky and quite surreal,” Production Designer Dan Hennah said. “He said, 'This is Sakaar.' So that just opened the floodgates.”

Kirby’s influence can be seen in the vibrant primary colors that make up the Sakaar sets, as well as the planet's geometric patterns and textures.

“The amazing thing about Jack Kirby is his artwork is dense," Visual Effects Supervisor Jake Morrison said. "One of the anecdotes about Kirby is he never erased anything. Like he only continued to draw forward.”

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This technique led to many of Kirby’s signature features in his artwork, including the “Kirby Krackle,” which defines the look of so many intergalactic-themed Marvel Comics titles and will remain a key element in Thor: Ragnarok. Morrison said Kirby’s dense visual style will allow the film itself to be visually dense.

Debuting in theaters November 3, Thor: Ragnarok is a production of Marvel Studios directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

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