"Flash Gordon" is good, I like "Flash Gordon," but we're not doing "Flash Gordon."
I don't know what the alternative to the rollbar would be, either. I've thought of towers of some kind, possibly growing out of some kind of ridge or fin structure on the dorsal and ventral, but I can't come up with anything I really like in that regard. Of course, I tried that cowling and didn't really like that either.
It'll be a very long time before every detail of this has to be immutably fixed, so maybe something will occur.
There are quite a few colors in the starfield but the stars are small and motion-blurred in these pics - I don't think we're anywhere near set on just how space will appear in this thing. I don't think we'll see any dayglo CG nebulae, though. I like space empty and dark, like...you know, like outer space.