If you’re relatively new to Star Citizen, you might be wondering, “what’s all this space whales nonsense?” Let’s take a look at a joke that became a thing, is now represented as a sculpture on Orison, and will one day live among the clouds of Crusader.

Space Whales, called Stormwal, are flying creatures native to the atmosphere of Crusader, a gas giant in the Stanton star system. The Stormwal haven’t been implemented in-game yet. However, you can find a sculpture of one on the Cloudview Center platform in Orison.  You can also hear a subtle but amazing haunting whale-like soundscape in the area.

FROM THE STAR CITIZEN TOOLS WIKI…

The Stormwal, called ‘Space Whale’ by the designers, is a flying creature that lives in the atmosphere ofCrusader. The animal currently only exists in concept. Its implementation was confirmed in 2020 by writerDave Haddock.

According to the concept art, the carcass of a space whale is approximately 100 meters long. They are hunted because their body produces a highly valuable resource.

There currently sits a large sculpture of a stormwal onOrison’sCloudview Center platform made by Bipasha Zhu. Cutting a stark contrast against the vibrant sky, the sweeping lines of Orison’s signature stormwal sculpture captures the grace and beauty of the gentle creatures it portrays. Formally titled “Until Again”, artist Bipasha Zhu says that she was inspired by the city’s harmony and weightless strength. To better understand her bashful subjects, Bipasha spent a week living in a cloud submersible studying the stormwals up close. 

The Star Citizen Galactapedia also mentions the Stormwal…

Orison is a city based on a series of interconnected floating platforms located in the upper atmosphere of Crusader (Stanton II). Originally constructed by the United Empire of Earth (UEE)Navy to provide repair facilities for their capital ships, Crusader Industries looked at the existing infrastructure as an ideal location for their commercial shipbuilding operations. Over time, as the city drifts from its position, it must be occasionally moved into safe orbit by the synchronized firing of large thrusters built into each platform. Due to the gas giant Crusader’s natural beauty and the presence of unique fauna such as the stormwal, Orison has become a popular tourist destination for visitors to the Stanton system. Cloudview Center serves as the main hub for habitation, tourism, and commerce. The Skyway Shuttle provides public transportation between platforms.

I distinctly remember watching the episode of Happy Hour Game Dev where the Space Whale made its first appearance in October 2017. That was back when I consumed every morsel of content. Eagerly anticipating a playable game within a few years. By the time an update surfaced on Star Citizen Week in Review in March of 2020, I’d forgotten all about them. Having burned out on hearing about content so far into the future after backing in 2014, I was no longer consuming the weekly shows. 

Now it’s 2021, and we have a sculptural manifestation of the space whale. As frustrated as I generally am now about the lack of progress toward implementing the many professions that are still AFK and the associated specialized ships we backed that are flyable but not fit for purpose years after they were introduced, it can’t be denied that the Stormwal fountain in the Cloudview Center is inspiring. And combined with the soundscape from Pedro Camacho, pure fantasy bliss – a feast for the eyes, imagination, and soul. 

So yes, I still get sucked into the dream. I can see myself in an exploration or luxury touring ship, floating around Crusader Stormwal watching. Taking pictures, capturing video, writing little stories, and entertaining guests. This is why we’re all still around, bumps, bruises and all, there’s nothing on the horizon that comes remotely close to the dream that is Star Citizen.