22 August 2010

Sketches from "Star Wars"

The mid-90s were a bit of a renaissance for Star Wars fans; the controversial Special Editions hadn't arrived and no one had heard of Jar Jar Binks.  I'll never forget one Christmas, getting both the Star Wars Trilogy VHS box set and the Star Wars Trilogy: Original Soundtrack Anthology CD box set.  Add to those the awesome Super Nintendo games (Super Star Wars, Super Empire Strikes Back and Super Return of the Jedi), Timothy Zahn's novels (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command), the return of Star Wars in comic books (thank you, Dark Horse Comics!) and the toy aisle (thank you, Hasbro, even if your 1995 figures were clearly on steroids).  Naturally, a geek like me just had to do some sketchin', inspired by all this.  Here are two of my surviving efforts:

"The Price for Arrogance"
This was, obviously, inspired by the climax of Return of the Jedi.  I've always loved that moment when Darth Vader stands by watching The Emperor electrocute Luke Skywalker, who is pleading for his father to help him.  That moment is really powerful because we can't see behind Vader's mask; we don't know if he's unmoved or tormented until he makes his move.  The background is blue, reflecting the color of Palpatine's Force lightning, and I gave a red tint to the eyes to 1) introduce a new color to the composition and 2) try to suggest the swelling emotion within the Dark Lord of the Sith.  I figured since Vader's original helmet design featured a reddish tint to the eyes, I could fudge a little.

"The Dark Side"
This one was suggested by the comic book mini-series Dark Empire, in which Palpatine returns to live within a clone body and tempts Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side.  Luke believes he can get close enough to Palpatine to destroy him this way, but of course risks becoming that which he pretends to be.  Luke was taken from Dave Dorman's painted cover for the first issue; I can't recall now where I got the image of Palpatine, but it's very likely also from a work of Dorman's.  You can see where I tentatively placed the helmet of Darth Vader; I was never entirely sure he belonged in the sketch so I never returned to it.  I thought about placing instead a Star Destroyer, and a few other things, but none of them ever felt right.