While I've seen the original Star Wars trilogy (well, at least A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) more times than I can remember, a real Star Wars geek would not call me a true fan. I don't know the names of all the characters, spaceships, cities, or planets; however I have a personal connection to the universe that I feel is pretty special, and perhaps even drove me to work on this idea for so many years.
I was in my teens when the first movie came out and blew our minds. Immersed in the brand new London punk scene, I was also just beginning to experiment with hard drugs and basically having a great time. Then my life went to shit, and all the clichés about junkies became true for me.
While this internal fight of good and evil was raging, my Mom had started dating Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back. Each day, Kersh, as he liked to be called, would return from the set of Empire to our flat in north London. He knew my Mom was worried sick about me and would try to engage me by telling me little stories and tidbits of things that had happened on the set that day. One story I still remember was of the Millennium Falcon falling apart, and how they had spent the day busting up vacuum cleaners and hairdryers to glue bits onto the ship. I really did love hearing this stuff, and wished I could be drug free so I could direct Hollywood blockbusters, or at least do something a little more creative with my life. Sadly the pull of the dark side was too strong and by the time Empire came out I was much like Han Solo, frozen in the tibanna gas and encased in carbonite, basically alive but not living. It took until The Return of the Jedi for me to break free and return to some sense of sanity.
Years later, now healthy in New York and with my new, less evil, yet almost as consuming addiction, art, I met four diverse and super talented artists: Bill McMullen, The Sucklord, JK5, and Kostas Seremetis. Inspired by their work, they in turn were excited by my idea of curating a project of this nature, and encouraged me further. The project finally became reality when I met Philip Kuperberg, a technology wunderkind who designed and constructed the "book" that you are about to journey into.
The artist's styles, mediums, and subjects are diverse, but the two main themes that emerge are either culture-jamming, or works by artists who were simply inspired and/or influenced by Star Wars and have incorporated some element of the universe into their work. The collection is chronologically curated with the earliest work by an artist being the starting point of that artist’s profile in the book. The art itself, runs the gamut from works by internationally-known fine artists, exhibited in blue-chip galleries and museums, to unidentified Tumblr mash-up’s and memes.
Other than the four artists mentioned here, none of the creators of these works had knowledge they were being included in this project.
If you’ve been included but wish to be removed, please email Info@StarWarps.com.
If either you or your work is incorrectly credited, or you're listed as "Unknown", let us know. We want to credit & acknowledge all.
Because she never gave up on me, even when I’d given up on myself, I dedicate this to my mother Lila, and to my own rebel alliance: Max, Eve & Wini. May the force be with you guys, always.
DB Burkeman 2014