Darth Vader Comic Book

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • A conversation with Lucasfilm legend Doug Chiang
  • An excerpt from The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One
  • A preview of Star Wars: Darth Vader #12
  • And more!

A Conversation with Lucasfilm Legend Doug Chiang

Doug Chiang is a name familiar to fans of Star Wars. In 1995, he was hired to lead Lucasfilm’s art department and served as the design director for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). Now the Taiwanese-American artist and designer serves as vice president and executive creative director at Lucasfilm, overseeing design for all Star Wars franchise projects, including films, theme parks, games, and new media.

Jenn Fujikawa recently interviewed Chiang for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month about his life experiences as an Asian American. Here’s an excerpt:

StarWars.com: Mentioning that you worked with Deborah Chow, how does it feel working with another Asian person on a project, rather than, sometimes, being the only one? When you work with someone who comes from the same background, you have that familiarity. Has that helped you?

Doug Chiang: Oh, immensely. We have a shorthand. There are certain cultural things that we can understand right away, and culturally specific things design-wise. Like, “Oh, maybe we shouldn’t do this, but this?” Things that, intuitively, we pick up. It’s been an absolute joy working with Deb because she gets it. She’s very smart and knows what she wants. I really enjoy that collaboration because now, I feel like, for the Obi-Wan series especially, we have an opportunity to bring a richness to it that hasn’t been explored. And I’m working with Chung-hoon [Chung], our director of photography, he’s brilliant. He has a wonderful eye.

What I find fascinating is that on the Obi-Wan series there are easily six department heads who are of Asian American heritage. [I’ve] never experienced that before. Normally I am the only Asian in the room and it is a little bit awkward. I do have to check myself, if we’re doing a design, “Is that culturally appropriate? Can we do that?” And now we all kind of do that. We all live in that world, so we automatically know what can work and what cannot work.

I would encourage everyone, Star Wars fan or not, to read this really wonderful and powerful interview at StarWars.com.

An Excerpt from The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One

The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One, available now, looks back at the first run of episodes from the Disney+ Original Series. Filled with rare set photos and beautiful stills, this special collector’s magazine dives into the characters and world of The Mandalorian, both in-world and behind the scenes.

StarWars.com has an exclusive excerpt about the mysterious Client and Doctor Pershing — the ex-Imperials that hired the Mandalorian to find “the asset.” Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Client:

The unnamed character known as “the Client” is played by a famous film director: Werner Herzog. Once described by François Truffaut as “the most important film director alive,” Herzog has worked on over 60 movies throughout his career and in 1982, he won the Best Director award at Cannes Film Festival. Despite having no former knowledge of the Star Wars saga, Herzog was immediately intrigued by the series’ screenplay and storytelling. He especially grew fond of ‘The Child’ puppet, which he described as “heartbreakingly beautiful.” As reported by director Deborah Chow, while shooting the third episode Herzog “got so into it that he started directing the baby as though as he was talking to a person.”

A Preview of Star Wars: Darth Vader #12

In Star Wars: Darth Vader #12 — part of Marvel’s epic War of the Bounty Hunters crossover, which explores Boba Fett’s journey to Jabba’s Palace following the events of The Empire Strikes Back — the battle-damaged Sith Lord returns to Coruscant for repairs. Written by Greg Pak with art by Guiu Vilanova, with a cover by Aaron KuderDarth Vader #12  is available for pre-order now on Comixology. Get a look at this page!

For a more extensive preview of the issue, as well as information on Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10, another prelude to the crossover event, check out StarWars.com.

Citizen’s New Star Wars Watches

Citizen has Star Wars watches every collector will want to show off. Their latest ‘80s-era analog-digital timepieces imagine what a watch worn by an X-wing or TIE fighter pilot might look like. A silver $350 option called the “Rebel Pilot” is inspired by the flight suits and helmets of the Rebel Alliance while a black $375 option — “Trench Run”  draws inspiration from the targeting displays inside an Imperial TIE fighter. Citizen has a variety of Star Wars-themed watches you can check out here.

Speaking of Star Wars wrist accessories, our friends over at Nerdist have a mind-boggling story about a $150,000 Death Star watch. From Kross Studio, the 10-piece Death Star Ultimate Collector Set is a Tourbillon watch that comes with an authentic kyber crystal prop from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s also packaged in an Imperial kyber crystal container based on the ones seen in the film. For $150,000, you could probably build your own Death Star treehouse in your backyard. Just an idea.

Rian Johnson’s Sad Porg

Rian Johnson, the writer-director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, revealed that he was allowed to take home one prop from the movie: the “sad porg” animatronic. As you may recall, in the eighth episode of the Skywalker Saga, Chewbacca prepares to eat a roasted porg, but finds he can’t when one stares at him with sad eyes and trembling lips.

In another Twitter reply, he describes it as “a full animatronic work of art, with feathers and everything” and says, “It looks like a real animal.”

Bucketheads Fan Project

From Transmute Pictures, comes a new non-profit Star Wars fan project, Bucketheads: Season 1. You can learn more about Transmute Pictures on their official site. You can also help support them by donating to their Patreon. You can check out the official trailer here or watch the first episode, “Ground Zero,” above!

Vintage Flashback: Toys “R” Us (May 21, 1980)

YouTube user btm0815ma has uploaded some raw news footage (including interviews with a store manager and customers) of various Star Wars products on sale at a Toys “R” Us store from May, 1980. This is 25 minutes of pure gold.

Star Wars Explained: The Complete Canon Timeline

And finally, Star Wars Explained is back with an updated canon timeline video. This is the entire history of the Star Wars canon as of May 3, 2021. The Star Wars films, TV shows, books, comics, video games, and short stories are all summarized into the most important moments in galactic history.

That’s it for this edition of Star Wars Bits! If you have something cool from the Star Wars Universe that should be included in this column, reach out on Twitter!

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