Star Wars meets Toy Story

Have you ever had one of those Six Degrees of Separation moments, in which the cosmos aligns itself around a common theme?

That happened to me today.

Early this morning, I awoke to a comment from fellow blogger Aaron Graham. He liked my post about shopping for bras, and I loved his diatribe about Star Wars Episode I enough to return the favor.

I hadn’t thought about Star Wars in a long time. I saw the first movie with my dad when I was 10, and I became and instant fan. I gobbled up the two sequels greedily, and I pinched every sol to buy a copy of John Williams’ soundtrack.

But after the first three films, something horrible happened: With Episode I, George Lucas dazzled himself with his own Industrial Light and Magic. Suddenly, the motion of Jar Jar Binks’ ears—and selling video games—was more important than telling a story. By the end of the film I was so disgusted that I vowed to avoid any future Star Wars movies.

I feared I’d lost my love for Star Wars and that I’d never be able to recapture that early sense of wonder. But then, this afternoon I opened the July 2011 issue of Popular Photography. Among the articles was a brief about French photographer Stéfan le Du, who has spent the last year photographing Stormtroopers in unlikely situations.

… as le Du points out, their utter lack of facial expression makes it easy to imagine them in any mood.”

I was amused by the droll situations he concocted with his figurines.

But of all the Stormtrooper cultural cross-references, my favorite was the slightly twisted convergence of Star Wars and Titanic. I can almost hear Celine Dion singing in the background …

So … hats off to Aaron for his eloquent protest against Episode 1, and to Stéfan for his brilliant and ingenious photos. Between you, you’ve helped me appreciate Star Wars through new eyes.

169 comments

    • I’m with ya: I’m actually thinking about *buying* some action figures! Thanks for reading, Lazy But Righteous!

    • Great pics. What could be done with “Rugrats meets Snow White”? Tommy Pickles can be Prince Charming and Angelica definitely has to be the evil Queen. But which rugrats will play the seven dwarfs? .

    • Right back at you on liking your writing style, Intentionally Poor! I look forward to reading more of your posts. Rock on! 🙂

    • So you know I didn’t actually *shoot* these photos, right? I just wrote about someone else’s BRILLIANT work. But my other half would agree with your other half: I need a new hobby. 🙂 Thanks for reading — and especially for commenting.

    • Stéfan deserves to be world-famous, as far as I’m concerned! I think he’s brilliant, both in his conceptual thinking, and as a photographer. Thanks for sharing the love! 🙂

    • I agree with you: The photos are technically superb. Hats off to Stéfan. I wish I had half his skill as a photographer — and one-tenth his imagination. Thanks for reading!

  1. I’m with you – I thought the so-called episodes 1-3 ruined the Star Wars saga and left them forever blighted for me as well. Loved the photos and glad you shared them with us today. Star Wars episodes 4-6 can now proudly rise above Jar Jar and all of George L’s other nonsense that tainted the series. Congrats on being FP’d!

  2. I falled in love with Stormtroopers since I remember… now I’d see this… Oh mon Dieu ! Je les adore énormement ! Excellent post (:

    • ¡Mil gracias por su comentario, anisette! ¿Usted prefiere escribir en español — ou en français? J’aime également les deux! Si quiere, por favor envíeme un email. J’aimerias, bien avoir “pen pal” en un idioma que no sea el inglés. Salut, et merci mille fois!

  3. Are you allowed to republish the last 3 photographs or no? Im not sure if Stéfan le Du would be too happy about that.

    • Fair question: rodb2. I don’t know how Stéfan le Du might feel about the publicity. But since all of these photos have already been published by Popular Photography, and The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph — and since I give him full attribution, plus a link to his Flickr page — I would hope he’d be OK with my post. But I’ll drop him a note just to make sure. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Haha, I love the photos. Thanks for sharing them and the link to the Flickr set. Will definitely show this to my boyfriend. =)

  5. Hahahaha oh my goodness!! Thank you so much for sharing these—they have made my night!!! I love the eye chart one… so funny.

  6. The first time I saw Episode 1 in the theater, my uncle asked me how I liked it and I said, “Well, there really isn’t much to it.” I mean the acting is terrible, every time little Skywalker open’s his mouth I have to choke down my own vomit. The scene where Anakin’s mother explains she was impregnated by the force and gave birth as a virgin I laughed out loud. Nothing but flashy effects and poor dialog.

    PS – What’s up with Darth Maul, he has two or three small scenes the entire movie and then show’s up out of nowhere at the end, kills what’s his name and get’s sliced in half, he was absolutely pointless.

    PPS – I love the pictures, they made my day, thank you! My favorite is the Titanic one, that hit my funny bone pretty hard.

    dreksdreams.wordpress.com

  7. Even though I am a Star Trek fan, I had to say these photos were beyond hilarious. I just started my blog (johnklake.wordpress.com) and this will be one of the first good posts to put up! Good looking out! John
    PS I want to see about doing something similar in my free time. Hopefully I could be just as funny with some Star Trek figures.

    • I am *sure* you could be just as funny with your Star Trek figures. if you need a technical adviser, I can offer up my husband: He’s as good with Star Trek trivia as he is with action figures. 🙂

  8. Loved the photos and the hi-hat accident! So creative and humorous. I have 50 of the original figures – mostly in their sealed packages. Since I have not been able to sell them, I am ready to create a whole new stop action story of my own. You are such an inspiration!

    • I’m so glad you liked my post! Though I really must give Stéfan le Du all the props … he came up with the brilliant idea. But if you decide to do your own stop action story, please do drop me a note. I’d love to see what you come up with!

    • Hey, Edwin! Thanks so much for your kind words. I just visited your blog and it’s WONDERFUL. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh!

    • Thanks so much, Patti! 🙂 Love your blog, by the way. Never thought I’d see a George Carlin reference and a post about hummingbirds on the same page. You’re my kind of gal!

    • Your blog is *far* from weak, milezaway! (Loved your Venezuela photos!) One of the best lessons I’ve learned from blogging is that one musn’t compare oneself to other bloggers. It’s OK to draw inspiration, of course, but it’s important to remain true to one’s voice. So keep up your admirable work — and an enormous thanks for your kind words.

  9. Oh, these are greats. I totally agree with you that George Lucas is out of his nutter and needs to stop killing Star Wars right away. Though I love it when I see something like this which uses the characters in a new and humorous way.

    Have you seen Robot Chicken Star Wars? I think you would love it.

    • Congratulations on being the first to mention Robot Chicken! Yes, I’ve seen it — and yes, I love it! Hardware Wars is pretty good, as well. I especially love the underside of the flying iron as an Imperial Cruiser. Anyway … thanks for reading!

    • Ha! Love your concept! Also love your description of yourself — “matador,” in particular. Very fetching. 🙂

  10. Now these are creative and funny! As kids, my brother and I were really into Star Wars. It’s hilarious to see these photos of Stormtroopers in odd situations. But, hey, why can’t they enjoy chicken nuggets, crepes, and Toblerone?

    • Chicken nuggets, crepes, and a Toblerone …. sounds like the meal of my dreams. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

    • Thanks, island traveler! I’m afraid I can’t take credit for the captions, though — Stéfan le Du gets credit for those, too! 🙂

  11. Very Fun! I only watched the first two, then I was the same about the more “modern” prequel. That was NOT Star Wars worthy. I may have to re-blog this for all of my Star Wars junky fans! Have a great weekend !!!

  12. Hope ya don’t mind that I tweeted this. Those little creatures are hysterical when put together like that. Never would have stumbled upon this if it didn’t come up in Freshly Pressed! but I’m glad I did.
    Love,
    A fellow fan of the distant galaxies

  13. Fun photos! Stormtroopers are lots fun… Ever since I picked up on the ‘expanded universe’ books in the 1990’s I’ve enjoyed the parody of Stormtroopers (and truth be told, Episode I marked more than just a story telling problem and marketing focus… It ended some of the better quality stuff we used to see in the 1990’s from Lucas Arts PC games and West End Games losing their license to Wizards of the Coast… Destroying the Role Playing Game…. Something this geek isn’t going to forget….). I’ve got a friend on Deviant Art that by far has one of the funniest Stormtrooper pictures yet… If you get a chance check it out: http://velox-mortis.deviantart.com/gallery/119840

  14. Thanks for sharing, I love any bigger context for Star Wars – also amazing: the animated Lego graphics of Darth Vader in the canteen of the Death Star (although it is really old)…thanks again, made me smile.

  15. Great post! Now I’m thinking about where I placed all my old toys and placing them in nontraditional spots. Thanks for sharing! and congratulations in being Freshly Pressed! Can I reblog this? 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed this! Please feel free to repost (thanks for asking!). And good luck finding your old action figures!

  16. This is absolutely awesome. Thanks for posting this, 🙂

    Also, as a kid reared on Empire Strikes Back, I too feel utterly betrayed by the trash that is this “New Trilogy.” Shameful stuff. So, again, thanks for posting this, 🙂

  17. LOL! I recently purchased the “Many faces of Darth Vader” t-shirt for my son – our whole family are fans….but, since I’m only girl in a houseful of males, I wonder….
    Just what I could accomplish with my video camera and Barbie – –
    The first year hubby bought me a Barbie for Christmas was the year the boys got GI Joes with all the trimmings: boat, car, motorbike, weapons galore….

    Tears in my eyes for my precious Barbie, I thanked hubby for the well planned and thoughtful gift.

    His reply?

    “Well, GI Joe had to have someone to hold as a hostage or someone to look hot while riding in the convertible.”

    I give up! LOL

  18. Got here by chance as your blog is on the FP, and I don’t regret it one bit. Great blog!

    I was intrigued by the title as my 3-year old is a big fan of both Toy Story and Star Wars (although he has never seen a Star Wars movie, proof that Lucas’ marketing strategy works).

    I hooked off after Episode I, never came back for II and III, for me, it had lost the magic of Episodes IV, V and VI, or are we just being nostalgic here?

    Loved the pictures too. Will definately come back regularly to read more.

  19. Hahahahahahaha… just so much fun… I am so glad I stepped somewhere and fell on your blog, good one, can’t stop laughin’ though !

    • Merci beaucoup pour votre commentaire ! Ça fait beaucoup de plaisir — et j’adore votre “avatar.” C’est vraiment beau, ça. Bonne journée !

  20. Wow. That was funny and unexpected. Haven’t heard about them for quite some time now. It was easy to lose interest. These pictures were phenomenal and more than hysterical. Great post. And congrats on FP!

    • Thanks, Logophile! Funny and unexpected are good — especially when they happen together. And thanks for your kind words. Being FP has been a bit overwhelming this time, but in a good (funny and unexpected!) way. Cheers!

  21. This was absolutely the funniest thing that I have seen! I have forwarded your blog link to so many people and they all agree! YOU ROCK! It is amazing what you can do with little action figures – Keep up the great work! I especially loved the chicken mcnugget one! I am still laughing my head off over those photos! Thanks for sharing! Nikita from http://www.nikitaland.wordpress.com

    • Thanks so much for forwarding my URL! But to be clear, I’m not the genius behind those photos. The credit goes to Stéfan le Du, whose work I link to in my post. 🙂

  22. I still can’t get over the fact that my parents threw away all my Star Wars figures from when I was a kid. Look at all the fun I could be having!

  23. I never would have thought of Storm Troopers in such a fun way! I’d like to see what this guy could do with a whole Company’s worth of soldiers?! The more the merrier right, 100+ soldiers in a picture such as these could be hilarious!

    • I’m with ya, Noah: I’d love to see what Stéfan could do with 100 action figs. Maybe we should take up a collection and start building him an army?!

    • it’s a perfect shot, isn’t it? Though I agree with the previous reader who wrote, “I’d hate to be there when the cat wakes up …” 🙂

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