‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3 References ‘Star Wars’ With New Set Piece

Season 2 of Apple’s remarkable Emmy Award-winning comedy-drama Ted Lasso saw the once shy, humble and considerate Nate Shelley – brought to life by the incomparable Nick Mohammed – descend a dark path that ultimately landed him in the lap of the series’ ultimate villain, Rupert Manion (Anthony Head) as head coach of the latter’s West Ham United team. To externalize the relationship between these two characters and to express their respective personalities, Ted Lasso production designer Paul Cripps turned to one of Hollywood’s biggest film franchises for inspiration, revealing to Variety that none other than Star Wars guided the set design of the West Ham inner-sanctum on Season 3 of Ted Lasso.


The seedy, manipulative Manion is of course the ex-husband of AFC Richmond’s owner Rebecca Welton (played by the formidable Hannah Waddingham), so Nate’s switch over to his team really represents a succumbing to the ‘dark side,’ and that thematic connection with Star Wars wasn’t lost on Ted Lasso production designer Cripps, who told Variety, “We always talked of Rupert being like — not saying anything about West Ham the team — but wherever Rupert is, it’s his empire, and he’s the Dark Lord who’s interfering all the time. I just thought, well, actually, why can’t we make him an office that feels like the scene when Luke meets the Emperor?”

In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker is beckoned over to the Emperor’s throne – to look out through a circular window at the devastation befalling his allies and the temptation of an Empire of his own to control in one of the saga’s most-iconic sequences. Unlike Luke in Return of the Jedi, Nate has succumbed to temptation in Ted Lasso and Cripps has symbolized this by installing a circular framed window in Rupert’s office for him to look down on his West Ham kingdom. Cripps cites the importance of this reflection on Star Wars, saying; “Rupert fills that dark presence, taking people away, tempting them with things. It’s an absolute, precise metaphor for Nate’s decision to leave.”

In contrast to Rupert Manion’s Emperor-inspired lair, Nate’s surroundings in Season 3 of Ted Lasso reflect a more dismal situation. Away from the encouraging, family-friendly nature of AFC Richmond’s communal atmosphere, Nate now finds himself in a secluded ground-floor office. Again, this was an important stylistic choice made by Cripps and his production design team, and he states; “I wanted to make Nate feel a bit more isolated, so he’s in an office on his own,” continuing, Cripps added; “He looks out towards an empty corridor, and people will pass occasionally. And I just felt that’s a bit sad, really.”

Image via Apple TV+

RELATED: ‘Ted Lasso’s Season 3 Premiere Sees Nate Go Full Villain and It’s Tough to Watch

When Can I See Nate and the Rest of the ‘Ted Lasso’ Characters in Season 3?

Nate’s villain arc is well and truly on course and his descent into the ‘dark side’ can be seen on Apple TV+, as Season 3 of Ted Lasso is now available on the streaming service. New episodes will be released every Wednesday. Check out the trailer for the latest series of the smash-hit show below.

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