A few months ago, I had the honor of appearing at the Star Wars Celebration VI Convention at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Little did I know at the time that Star Wars was just a short while away from becoming MAJOR news again. Now that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm and Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX are planned, I am kind of glad it took a while to get the approval to release the time lapse video from my chalk art at the show. It ends up being pretty good timing.
This was my second chalk art for Lucasfilm. The first was in 2010 at Star Wars Celebration V where I was given the opportunity to reveal Savage Oppress to the masses at the show through a mural depicting the major villains of The Clone Wars Season 3.
This year, I didn’t reveal any new characters, but was asked to promote the overall theme for the newest season of the Clone Wars… “Who Will Fall.” The mural has 11 characters on it, was 9 feet tall by 15 feet wide, and took over 36 hours to complete. I really didn’t get to see too much of the show, but could tell that the vibe was just as happy and excited as Celebration V two years before.
I grew up on Star Wars, and like so many my age, it was a defining part of my childhood, and my flights of fantasy in my often-daydreaming mind. I remember getting on line to see Return of the Jedi 5 hours before show time. This was back in the day when you couldn’t buy tickets in advance, there were only two shows a day, there were no cell phones to arrange meet ups with friends, and spoilers were pretty much non-existent. Fortunately the movie opened at my local mall, so we could at least wait out our line time indoors.
Getting there right after I got out of school, I found 96 people already in line ahead of us (I counted). I knew the theater could hold over 200, so I felt pretty safe. But as the hours crept by, more and more people budged into the line ahead of me. The line became a crowd which edged towards a mob. I felt helpless as the numbers swelled, but I was a nerd (back before that was a good thing), small and very un-athletic. There wasn’t anything I could do.
The bright spot during my wait was that the local newspaper stopped by to interview my brother and I as we waited. Maybe it was the Return of the Jedi shirt I was wearing with a dozen character buttons, or maybe I just got lucky, but out of the eventual hundreds filling the mall waiting for the movie, or the single late show that followed, mine was the photo that ran in the newspaper the next day, accompanied by a big image of Luke Skywalker in Jabba’s palace. I felt like a star!
Oh, and I made that first showing. The doors closed 10 people behind me.
So back to my mural. I am really proud of the above artwork, and I think the time lapse does a wonderful job of showing what went in to it. Just remember, you are seeing a full day of sketching, and four LONG days of coloring, condensed down into one 6 and half minute video. To put it another way, every second that passes in the video is about 10 minutes of real time. It ain’t as easy as it looks.
I sincerely hope I am asked to create some new Star Wars marketing for the upcoming films. I am still that same nerdy kid who waited for hours to be transported to a galaxy far, far away in that darkened theater. Maybe the fact that I held on to those feelings and kept in touch with that little inner kid is what makes me a better artist today.
Enjoy the video, and please feel free to share as much as you’d like!