Fan Art Friday: Watercolor Mandala

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.  This time Kiri picked the last picture in the book.

When I first looked at this image, the wavy designs reminded me of water and seaweed and Otoh Gunga.  So, I started with a mix of cool colors in light shades for a kind of watercolor effect.

That was when I realized that the designs are the Imperial Guard helmets. Soooo the very bright, very red, very military-esque guards are now represented by nice, soft watercolors.

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Imperial Guard helmets in another image for confirmation

Oh, well.  I like this one anyways.

Next month, we will do everyone’s favorite Mon Calamari, Admiral Ackbar.

 

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Fan Art Friday: Cowabunga Clone Trooper

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

This month I decided I was tired of coloring everything in a symmetrical pattern, so I wanted to do the four Captain Rex clone trooper helmets all different colors.

For some reason, an inspiration immediately sprang to mind: my childhood heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Four helmets, four Ninja Turtles.  The more I looked at the picture, the more I liked that idea.  The circle in the center even kind of looks like a turtle shell.

Thematically, it works really well also.  The Ninja Turtles may be an American creation, but they are inspired by the culture of Japan, just like Star Wars.  The style of the helmets of Vader (and consequently the storm troopers) seem partly inspired by Japanese samurai helmets.  Obi-Wan’s sojourn on Tatooine seems much like the life of a ronin.  And most specifically, the Kurosawa’s movie The Hidden Fortress was a huge inspiration to George Lucas when making the movie that would come to be known as A New Hope.

This one was pretty quick and fun; maybe not one of my favorites, but I enjoyed it.  And for the record, Michelangelo is the best Ninja Turtle.  Cowabunga!

 

Fan Art Friday: Meesa Okeyday!

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

Ok, so somehow this ended up being one of my favorites in a while!  I usually do the character pictures fairly realistically, and I was staring at Jar Jar thinking how boring it was going to be to color him all in various shades of brown when I decided that because Jar Jar is a ridiculous character, I was also going to color him in a ridiculous way.

I don’t hate Jar Jar, and I certainly don’t hate The Phantom Menace (it has its moments), but I would be hard pressed to say the Gungan is a well-written, well-developed, or even particularly interesting character.

So I decided I was going to color him pink.  Varying shades of pink, to be precise.  Then I went with aqua with blue accents for the border to contrast the pink.

Here is it in progress:

There is actually another picture in the book that looks almost exactly like this, just with Jar Jar facing front.  Same border and everything.  Weird.

Check out Kiri’s version here, which is is basically the mature and realistic version of mine haha.  We were on the same wavelength this time for sure, and both of our turned out great.

Next month we’re going more abstract with this mandala:

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Hints of Han’s EU past in Solo: A Star Wars Story?

Though the path of production for the Han Solo origin movie has not been smooth (what with changing directors, etc.), trailers and initial reports seem to say it is at least entertaining.

I have never been truly excited about Solo: A Star Wars Story simply because the stories I want to hear about young Han have already been told…in the EU.  The Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends) has several great novels featuring Han before the OT.

The Han Solo Trilogy

The Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin contains many of the expected plot points: Han meeting Chewbacca, winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game of cards, losing a shipment of spice he was smuggling for Jabba, and eventually betraying Lando in such a way that Han anticipates a chilly reception later on Cloud City.  I’m sure Solo will contain all these elements as well, but the details may be slightly different.

A recent clip from the movie shows that one detail seems to align with Han’s EU backstory: his time in the Empire.  In The Paradise Snare, Han eventually achieves his youthful goal of entering the Imperial Academy to become a Navy pilot.  It seems that in Solo, Han also begins his career with the Imperial military, though it appears to be the army instead of the navy.  Check out io9’s article for further information.

Another hint comes from the soundtrack titles.  Check out track 16: “Into the Maw.”  This could potentially be a reference to Han’s famous record-setting Kessel Run.  The Han Solo Trilogy was used to retcon Han’s claim that he had made the Kessel Run in “less than twelve parsecs,” a parsec being a unit of distance, not time.  Oops.

But in the EU stories, Han was actually able to shave some distance off the Run by flying close to a cluster of black holes called the Maw, thereby warping time-space. (The Maw was also the site for the initial construction of the Death Star–what better place to hide your giant planet-killing weapon prototype than a cluster of black holes?)  So, the famous gaffe actually is correct, based on that explanation (sort of…don’t think about it too hard).  It seems possible that this is the explanation they are sticking with in Solo, and we’ll see a Kessel Run up against some black holes.

Also, how cool is it that John Williams got to compose a track for the movie?!

One last minor bit of convergence.  Before the Han Solo Trilogy was written, Han and Lando each had a trio of novellas about their adventures prior to the OT (which were incorporated in the later trilogy); I’ve never gotten all the way through them because, honestly, the books are a bit weird.  But in The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Lando’s co-pilot of the Falcon is a droid named Vuffi Raa.  It seems like this role will be filled in Solo by a droid named L3-37.  Although Vuffi Raa was not humanoid, so the two look nothing alike, there could still be some similarity of function or personality.

L3 and Lando

What parts of Han’s EU backstory are you hoping they keep?  What are you hoping they get rid of?  How many different ways can Han betray Lando? (I think the EU has at least three…)

Fan Art Friday: Solo

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

I’m not crazy about how this one turned out, but I don’t hate it either.  I had planned to use colors that remind me of Han Solo: Blue, red, grey, brown, and some yellow.  (Kiri actually had a similar color scheme; check out hers here).

However, then I decided for some reason to throw some green in there, and now it looks like kindergarten primary colors, which is not what I was going for.  I also got bored coloring Vader all dark brown, so I started mixing in light brown and now he’s got a weird ombré thing going on.

But luckily, this image is actually in the book twice, so I’ll get another chance at it someday!

I’m cautiously optimistic about the Solo movie based on the trailers.  I probably won’t get to see it in theaters or anything, but I always enjoy a good heist story.  In fact, if you would like a good heist story with Han and Lando, check out the Legends novel Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn.  I’m lucky enough to have a signed copy! 😀