23/31 – Luke Skywalker

23/31 – Luke Skywalker

Another image more for the sake of posting something, and again a character that would have deserved better. Well.

I got into Star Wars extraordinarily late. I grew up in a very pacifist household, and anything with “war” in the title just completely passed me by. (I’m totally aware of the fact that a lot of my childhood favourites feature violence rather heavily – Lord of the Rings, Hannibal, Watership Down, mythology, or Shaka Zulu, but I must have felt that swords, spears and teeth were far more acceptable than lasers.)

I was twenty-one, a Latin student in Cologne, when our student group decided to stage a Star Wars parody for our annual Saturnalia festival. We usually took some classic or pop culture story and parodied it, inserting a lot of faculty and Latin jokes. In preparation for our “Bellum S(t)ellarum” (Chair Wars), we watched the films (4-6; no prequels in 1996). I remember being vaguely amused. I totally didn’t take them seriously, and totally wasn’t into it. The reason I volunteered to play Luke Skyhiwi (“research assistant”) was that I liked leading roles, and I had perfect Mark Hamill hair. Somehow, over the course of writing the play and rehearsals, I slowly fell in love with the character. It’s hard to pin down any precise moment, but it was probably the first dress rehearsal, when I stood in a friend’s karate gi and sellotaped my lower legs. I just thought the costume was brilliant and needed to be drawn.

So I started drawing. I had no reference material at home, and there was no Internet. I remember that, for the poster of our performance, I ventured into the copyshop next door with a sketch pad and drew from a cardboard Darth Vader. It’s hard to imagine now how little reference I had back then.

I would soon remedy that – I started to buy everything Star Wars I could get my hands on, and faithfully copied every photo and movie still of Luke I could find. (I even tried working from the paused VHS recorder, ruining it in the process.) I read all the Star Wars books that were available at the time, until there was literally nothing I hadn’t read. That went on until 1999, when Episode 1 catapulted me out of the universe rather abruptly. I never thought I’d fall in love with it ever again, until The Force Awakens.

Size: 550 × 796

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