Tag Archive: Star Wars

Where Jar-Jar Binks went wrong

By now everyone has seen the video postulating that Jar-Jar Binks was actually an evil Sith Lord. According to the video, Lucas had hinged the whole Star Wars prequel franchise on the success of Jar-Jar. When the fans reacted negatively, he created Count Dooku in order to continue the story without Jar-Jar as the big villain. The video suggests Lucas “chickened out” when he cancelled Jar-Jar as the one true mastermind, but Lucas did not chicken out at all. Jar-Jar was not working properly and had to be strategically replaced. What happened? Read on for more! View full article »

A Darth Vader Illustration

Darth Vader Illustration for a contest

Darth Vader Illustration for a contest

A few weeks back I decided to enter a contest to create the best image featuring the new Disney Infinity 3.0 game figures. For those that don’t know, the figures interact with the game, storing and sharing information. Had I won, the prize would have been a starter pack valued at around $80 dollars or so. Unfortunately, I misread the rules and submitted my work too late to qualify. Rather than just throw it out, I figured it would be worthwhile to discuss how I went about making it. A video accompanies this post, which you can see at the bottom of the page.

The Sketch

The rules of the contest were that the image had to have a Disney Infinity figure in it. There weren’t too many rules beyond that. I happened to get a hold of a Darth Vader figure for the game and I thought it would be cool to have Darth Vader hold Darth Vader. The initial art was done with a 4h lead pencil and finished with a 4b lead pencil. I was going to use acrylic paint to create an underpainting, but I felt like things were taking too long so instead I scanned the final drawing into Photoshop and went to work there.

The Background

I covered the illustration in a brown background before overlaying red and black clouds. The initial idea was to have lightening erupt from the clouds in the background, but at the last minute I felt this would be too busy. The cloud layer is slightly transparent so as to mix with the background layer. In retrospect, I should have blurred the background layer as the brush strokes were with hard edges.

Painting Darth Vader

Darth Vader is largely enveloped in a neutral black. at least, it seems that way to me. The material can be highly reflective depending on the part of the outfit one is looking at. For example, the helmet is highly reflective, and the arms and gloves are generally pretty reflective. The cloak and flowing parts of the outfit seem closer to a matte finish, though.

I began by filling out Darth Vader’s outfit with a dark grey that was mostly neutral but a bit on the cool side. After this, I began erasing various areas to reveal a white layer underneath. I did this because painting white on top of the grey didn’t really feel like the result I was going for. The highly reflective areas such as the helmet, breastplate and arms had large white areas to acknowledge the intense light source I was going to add in.

Final Effects

With Darth Vader done, I added in an image of the Darth Vader Disney Infinity figure. After placing the figure I added a glow with lightening as if Darth Vader were creating a version of himself. This would be the primary light source for the image. After that I played with levels for a bit until I was happy and sent the image off.

Final Thoughts

I wish I had done the work in acrylic before scanning it in. I still have the line drawing on my table, so someday I may do just that. I think perhaps I would make Darth Vader a bit darker and add some other effects, but I would have to think about it.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Little Known Star Wars Facts

Vader can'twait to meet Luke Skywalker

May 5th – Revenge of the 5th

Thought Star Wars day was over with May the 4th? Ho boy, were you wrong! Everyone knows the 4th must be followed by the 5th; the Revenge of the 5th, to be precise. Not only do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, an important holiday in its own right, we have one last day to enjoy rampant Star Wars fandom until next year (or the next installment). To celebrate, we thought we’d dig up a couple little known facts about the world’s favorite Sci-fi epic! Read on for more!

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Reaction to the Star Wars cast

The Internet is still reeling from the revelation of the cast of Star Wars. The response was strong enough that Entertainment Weekly decided to put up a list of 22 reactions to the news. Here’s a quick recap of that article and some more information from The Washington Post after.

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An Illustrated History of Sci-Fi Tech

Time for a trip down memory lane! Science fiction makes it mark on us by presenting possibilities both exciting and fear-inducing. Will our innovation save us? Will our own creations rise against us? Will we adapt that alien technology or will aliens adapt us in ways to terrible to mention? Most importantly, which ideas are going to make the jump from the big screen to your living room? Check out the infographic below (courtesy of Mashable.com) and see some of the more memorable gadgets from sci-fi films from the late 1960s to today!

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Star Wars Episode VII may get original cast back

So the rumor mill is putting out the idea that the original Star Wars cast may come back. Star Wars, Episode VII takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi and will be directed by JJ Abrams. George Lucas, who sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney but retains some creative control, has stated that negotiations with the original cast has taken place. He didn’t say whether or not the negotiations are successful, but it looks like Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are coming back. Harrison Ford has stated that he doesn’t want to come back unless Han Solo is killed off, so there’s a lot to ponder about for the new film.

Saturday Sequel News

Well it’s Saturday, and what better thing to do on Saturday than discuss sequels? Ha, ha… Well, actually there are plenty of things worth doing Saturday than reading our blog, but lets get to it anyway:

Disney sequels = Good

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney is floating around the idea that the new Star Wars takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi. That should be interesting. He’s also suggesting that at least some of the leads will be fresh faces mixed with known actors. 30 years almost doesn’t seem long enough. Disney will need to compellingly introduce the new characters while explaining how to move on from the old ones. Harrison Ford was quoted as saying he wouldn’t be in a sequel unless Han Solo was killed off. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher might not even be able to reprise their roles. Disney has quite a challenge on its hands, but the company is filled with people who can pull it off. Any Star Wars fan is going to want to watch this one.

Iger also announce a sequel to The Incredibles and Cars, both of which did extremely well in the box office. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that follow-ups were in the works.

Ghostbusters sequels = Uh…

Look, I loved Ghostbusters. I even liked the sequel. But a third? I don’t know about this. Ivan Reitman doesn’t want to direct a third one, Bill Murray is flat-out refusing to do another sequel, and Harold Ramis, may he rest in peace, is gone from this world. The only one who seems really enthused is Dan Ackroyd. Really, everyone else on board must be sensing a money grab. In reality, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. As much as I would love a really good Ghostbusters sequel, I think it may be time to think about something else. Well, anyway, shooting begins some time next year, so keep your fingers crossed.