Geneviéve: In Outer Space

I cheated a little with this one. The theme “outer space” goes hand-in-hand with the fact that I’m a big fan of that galaxy far, far away. Immediately I thought it would be cool to make Geneviéve into a Twi’lek.

Or you can skip the extra head and she can be a cool smuggler or Resistance fighter using one of her previous heads. I also added an astromech in an attempt to make her a little more “outer spacey” since technically she’s not wearing a flight suit or a helmet or other gear you would associate with actually being, you know, in space.  The astromech at least implies that she’s a pilot. It’s an R7 unit. Feel free to name it yourself.

I hope you’ll forgive this indulgence.

Find more theme outfits to match this doll at the following fabulous blogs:

This collaborative doll will be posted at the end of each month all throughout 2017 with a new theme each month.  To find all related posts on this blog, just click the “Geneviéve” tag.

[Click on this link or the picture to download a printable .pdf plate!]

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Star Wars Paper Dolls: Rey No. 1

Rey is our first principal female hero in a Star Wars movie. I like her a lot and I wasn’t expecting to. Usually media overdoes it when it comes to female heroes. They’re too counter-culture, too dispassionate, too “badass” to be interesting. Just cardboard cutouts of their male counterparts. Men in skirts–which is not the ideal female hero to me.

But Rey isn’t any of those things. She’s sweet, she’s fiesty, yes, but also uncertain; a fighter whose heart is more important than whatever weapon she lays her hands on. And yes, even that weapon.

And she’s the perfect foil for Kylo Ren. They are yin/yan in this fantasy, which makes her not only interesting on a personal level, but a cosmic one as well.

I’m very excited to see where her journey takes her. And if you are even remotely wondering, no, I am not the least bit interested in who her parents are. She is perfectly interesting all by herself.

This first set of plates is the costume she appears in throughout most of the film. It includes her fighting staff with which she wards off trouble on Jakku. I have another plate for Rey that’s not finished yet, which has her Resistance outfit from the end of the movie. On that plate I will also include Anakin’s infamous light saber, which Rey uses to defeat Kylo Ren and presents to Luke on Ahch-To.

I really love most of the costume work in The Force Awakens. Rey’s long sash and her banded arms are especially appealing. I also love the way she fashioned goggles from an old stormtrooper visor.

These plates are dated from 2016. I made them a year ago last spring and never got around to posting them. I planned to do a whole set of Force Awakens dolls, but only got around to making Rey and Kylo Ren. In the fall I had a request for a General Hux, and then just after Christmas I added General Leia for too-sad reasons.

I thought I should at least finish posting the characters that I completed. I’d still like to make at least plates for Luke and Han since it would just be a matter of making costumes and heads for the available bodies. We’ll see what I get up to.

Next Friday I’ll post Kylo Ren.

[click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

 

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Rogue One: a Star Wars Story and Noble Sacrifice

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I hadn’t written a movie review in a while. Watched La La Land and hated it so much I felt like excoriating it, but then decided I’d rather talk about things I like, so here are my thoughts on Rogue One instead.

I want to preface this by stating a couple of things: first of all, you know I’m a big Star Wars nerd, but that I also don’t just love everything Star Wars across the board as a matter of course. I can be pretty critical, in fact, and continue to pretend that the prequel trilogy never happened.

So what do I think of Rogue One, the latest “non-saga” installment of this much-abused franchise? I think I might love it, even if it is deeply flawed.

This is a relatively spoiler-free rumination for those of you who didn’t hop out opening weekend for this one (I’m guessing that’s most of you). And yet here’s the thing: what could I possibly spoil? The movie is about the band of Rebels who set out to steal the plans for the Death Star–yes, those plans–the ones R2-D2 takes from Princess Leia to Tatooine, kicking off the original trilogy. So whatdaya think? Think they’re going to get the plans?  Think they’re gonna survive getting the plans?

Director Gareth Edwards does some wondrous things with the world of Star Wars. The took some chances. He should be lauded for that. He builds cities, he creates atmosphere, he films combat sequences that are beautiful and thrilling. Edwards also understands that a Star Wars film should not look glossy or clean and that the cgi effects need to be well-hidden (or at least try not to draw attention to themselves). He succeeds at many things.

But the script could use some shoring up. There just isn’t much of a plot here. Which shouldn’t be a fatal problem if our plucky heroes are engaging, bright, and you want to run alongside them. Unfortunately our heroes are a grim lot. Morally ambiguous in some areas, hopeful but resigned, lacking in the kind of inspiration that someone like Finn or Rey brought to The Force Awakens. This is a darker film aimed at an adult audience that in some ways lacks color (both literally and metaphorically).

The characters could be amazing but for all of its 2+ hours of runtime, we somehow don’t get enough time with them. Left dizzily wishing for more when this is a story whose sequel has already been told, I feel vaguely robbed. The original Star Wars was never planned as a trilogy and that first film pulled it all off (with a running time 8 minutes shorter). But this film wastes energy on fan service. A subplot with Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader–if it can even be called that–isn’t even necessary. And this coming from someone who loves Darth Vader! I would have gladly sacrificed that for a chance to really love someone else more: Cassian Andor or Bohdi Rook or even Jyn.

Missed opportunities with the plot, missed opportunities with the characters. Myriad cool new alien designs that are horrendously underutilized. People can complain that Rogue One is depressing or that its characters aren’t always very heroic. Or they will nitpick continuity questions and the general Star Warsyness of it all. But none of those things should impact a good story well told.

Rogue One has potentially awesome characters and incredible cinematography, but the story pretty much gets you exactly where you knew you were going in the first place. Too much of its coolness comes from brand recognition.  All that said, despite these things, it’s got humor and heart, and an ending that will have your heart pounding. Not bad at all for a film with what should really be fatal flaws.

So no, the movie isn’t remotely a failure, even if it could have been more successful in some ways. It does a lot of things very well. I actually got emotional a couple of times on my first viewing. And it does add to the world many people already love. It’s highly unlikely you will see any of these characters pop up as paper dolls on this blog, but I do appreciate the aesthetic Edwards was going for and there are plenty of cool costumes in the film. Design-wise Rogue One is definitely an achievement.

And I would rate this easily above any of those alleged prequels. Without reservation.

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Star Wars Paper Dolls: Leia Organa No. 6

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I drew this December 27th, the day Carrie Fisher died.  It was a place to put my grief that was more constructive than slapping on the Original Trilogy and zoning out for 6+ hours (okay I did that later). But I couldn’t post it then because I didn’t know what to say.

I still don’t know what to say. Star Wars was an immense part of my childhood, my formation. Princess Leia was an indomitable spirit who normalized the strong female hero. Because of her, I grew up never feeling the lack.

It’s a hard thing to be reconnected to that wonder and to now have lost it so irretrievably in some way. I’m almost certain General Leia will live on somehow (she must for the good of the Resistance), but I will miss her deeply and always wonder at how this new trilogy has been impacted by Fisher’s sudden tragic passing. I only hope that Lucasfilm will give her character the happy ending she deserves (she has suffered so much).

leia_01_tfa_bwI don’t have much to say about the doll. These two costumes and alternate heads from The Force Awakens fit the original doll for the series. Leia is a pragmatic woman with military responsibilities and not a fashion horse, though she does put on a dress at the end (as a celebration of their victory? In mourning for Han?). The dress feels almost out of character in some regards. She no longer has a senatorial role in the galaxy; she is a private citizen and the Resistance is not a sanctioned operation.

With her typical good humor, Fisher described the first one as looking like a gas station attendant. She said the second one had the hairstyle of a baboon’s ass.

I would have liked to have seen her in more flattering attire, but perhaps in her final installment (Episode VIII) she will get to look like both the General and the Princess that she is.

I was honestly so surprised and overjoyed to see her reprise her role last December. Now it’s hard to imagine Star Wars without her.

Requiescat en pace, you talented, wonderful, irreverent woman. Along with your beautiful mother.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

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Star Wars Clone Wars: Satine Kryze Paper Doll

satine_thumb_01I didn’t want Ahsoka to be lonely in the paper doll world, so I made Satine Kryze, Duchess of Mandalore.

Satine is an interesting character. She’s wise and powerful and has a doomed (though not unrequited) attraction to Obi-Wan Kenobi. She was so popular on the show that a sect of the fandom believes she may be the grandmother of Rey in The Force Awakens.

I like her wardrobe because it’s full of interesting colors and textures. I might make another plate of costumes for her. She had more wardrobe changes than many other characters on the show–still not to be outdone by Padme. A lot of people think Cate Blanchett should play her in real life. Originally I was going to draw her with Cate’s face, but decided to stick to the cartoon representation. I already chose that route with Ahsoka.

These dolls are super easy to make. Did this last Saturday afternoon while futzing about. So I still might make Obi-Wan and Anakin and Padme. We’ll see.

[Click this link or the image for a printable .pdf]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or category at right. If I make more plates for Satine, click her tag (this is her first).  Same is true of the Clone Wars tag to see all in the series.

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Star Wars Clone Wars: Ahsoka Tano Paper Doll

ahsoka_thumb_01There are many things I’ve been working on, but of course I knocked this one out quickly just to distract myself (because isn’t that always the way of it?). I recently finished watching the cartoon series The Clone Wars and though I didn’t really like a lot of it, it did have good things in it. Including the character of Ahsoka Tano who turned out to be pretty cool.

For the doll I only made the few outfits I remembered well enough over the span of the six seasons. Cartoon characters don’t typically change their clothes much (though, as always, Padme is an exception in the series). I honestly don’t recollect Ahsoka wearing much outside her usual gear (a coat and a cloak, perhaps, but those didn’t seem very interesting to draw–for the moment).

She has a new costume from her appearance in Rebels, but for the moment I am sticking with her Clone Wars outfits.

Nahsoka_thumb_02o black and white versions, though. I gotta say: doing the two styles was really trying for me when I worked on the other Star Wars dolls.

I know people like to have the option of coloring their own, but it really doubled the work. I’m going to struggle with the Force Awakens characters. I’m seriously considering not making colored versions (especially since everybody wears so much dang black!).

I am tempted to do other characters from this series. Mostly because making this one was surprisingly easy. Cartoons are fun because they are typically pretty colorful. Did these almost completely in Copic markers. Not too awful for a rush job and I like some of the details that actually came out.

Though I didn’t love the show, the designs on it are definitely fun to draw. I very loosely drafted Anakin, Padme, Obi-Wan, and Satine, but again, I don’t know whether I will follow through on them. Maybe eventually. As yet another side project.

[Click on this link or either image to download a printable .pdf copy (2 plates)]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. If I make more plates for this character, click the Ahsoka Tano tag to see all the plates (this is her first).  Same is true of the Clone Wars tag, if I decide to make other dolls.

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Star Wars Paper Dolls: Leia Organa No. 5

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At long last, this is the final plate for the Star Wars Original Trilogy series. While I fell short of my original goal of including Darth Vader and the droids along with our OT heroes, I’m fairly pleased that I managed to at least finish all the base costumes.

Here Leia is wearing her final outfits from Return of the Jedi. I also included her hair-down style from when she’s in the ewok village. She has more costume changes in the final movie of the trilogy than anyone else. No one can beat Padme in the Prequel Trilogy, though. Carrie Fisher’s joke is that she got a new dress every time she walked through a doorway. In case you are at all wondering whether I will be doing those characters, emphatically no. Besides, as mentioned before, there is already a nice set of Amidala paper dolls out there already.

leia_05_bw_thumbI had wanted to challenge myself to do things differently with this series. Like including printable black and white versions for you to color. I focused on basic linework instead of the usual painting I have typically done for my paper dolls.

Really wanted these to be more stylized, but didn’t get there. I think I mentioned before that I intend to just resign myself to the fact that this is my style. And that’s okay.

Lastly, I meant to get silly with these (it all started out as a ridiculous idea of having a Skywalker-Solo Family Picnic), but I never quite got there because I started to take it all too seriously. I kind of regret that. Sometimes I think: well, I’ll go back and supplement stuff, but my track record with following through on that sort of thing is pretty poor all things considered.

So that wraps it up! I don’t know what’s next for me here. Maybe The Force Awakens, but I’d like to start doing some original stuff as well. I have a lot of things that got left in the wings that I’d like to pick up again if I can get organized. Even if it’s stuff I have personally lost interest in pursuing. I might at least share some bits of it since it seems a shame to just leave it to my cabinet.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Leia Organa tag to see all of Leia’s plates (this is her last).

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Star Wars Paper Dolls: Luke Skywalker No. 6

luke_06_color_thumbI suppose I should have posted the last two Star Wars plates before I took an abrupt sabbatical, but better late than never right?  I drafted these posts back in April and then went into a tailspin of life changes.  The good news is things are finally gradually settling. Not settled, mind you, so my attention is still a little bit in limbo, but I wanted to at least finish these last of the Star Wars Original Trilogy plates and make the vague promise that I am looking to work on the Force Awakens stuff once I can get organized to do so.

So here’s the last of Luke: his final black Jedi outfit from Return of the Jedi. Luke was probably the first hero I ever knew who decked himself like this (and it must have made an impression since I’ve worn black a lot since). I always thought it made a stark contrast to his previous outfits and solidified his maturing into the Jedi role (it’s very “priestly” in a way). luke_06_bw_thumb

Also included on this plate is Luke’s camo from Endor, his final green lightsaber (after losing the blue one in The Empire Strikes Back–though we all know it’s turned up again since then), and a blaster to go with his stormtrooper outfit because I didn’t have room on the original plate.

Apologies again for the loss of continuity between these plates. I have no good excuse since they were complete when I bailed in April and I had plenty of time this summer to post. I was just massively distracted, I guess. I have a lot of work to do drawing the Force Awakens plates, so it could be a while depending on my new schedule. And I honestly don’t know how many characters I’ll do. No matter how much I wanted to include Darth Vader in the mix, there’s just no dignified way of putting Darth Vader in his underwear, so that’s still a project for another time.

I already have Rey and Kylo Ren drawn, and promised a Hux for a friend. I will likely make heads and costumes for the OT heroes since they already have bodies I can work with. Otherwise, not sure who else I’ll draw. I’d like to do Finn and Poe, but there are other things I want to work on. We’ll see how it all plays out.

Will post the last Leia plate shortly, so look for that!  You can subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter @BootsNBats to get updates.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Luke Skywalker tag to see all of Luke’s plates (this is the last).

 

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Star Wars Paper Dolls: Leia Organa No. 4

Star Wars paper dolls Leia OrganaOur last entry for Force February includes Leia’s infamous (and controversial, these days) slave outfit. I think Carrie Fisher’s response to the controversy is the best. If you don’t know what to tell your kids about the costume, tell them what Leia herself would say. Ironically, this point seems lost on a lot of parents. Or the fact that Leia Organa would never have worn an outfit like that, ever, given the choice.

But anyway, the other costume on this plate is the antipode of the metal bikini: a costume that completely conceals Leia’s gender and identity, by transforming her in the bounty hunter called Boushh.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as a kid I loved this costume. The fact that it was a disguise and that of a dangerous villain, no less! I loved Leia in it, and when Kenner made the toy of it with the removable helmet, that was my favorite action figure of all. She had many, many adventures with Skiff Guard Lando, who was the sexiest man in the galaxy (at least in toyland–naturally, Han Solo occupied that place on the big screen).

Played for hours with those toys. Just seeing those links with pictures of them brings back many happy memories!

Star Wars paper dolls Leia OrganaI had intended to draw the staff/weapon thing that Boushh carries into Jabba’s palace, but I got lazy (yet again~ ha!). I wish I had pushed myself a little more about it. I certainly had time to do it, but once I had passed it over, I kinda just let it go.

But hey, at least she’s holding her thermal detonator, so extra points for that!

So this is my final Force February post! What a crazy month it’s been. For all the posting I did, I actually feel like I’ve been nonetheless quite lazy about it given that I did so much of the original work back in January. I’m out of buffer, though, so this weekend is going to be an interesting race to pull stuff together for next week. Let’s see how it all falls out.

Will likely post the last Luke and Leia plates on Friday, though, so for sure there’s that to look forward to!

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Leia Organa tag to see all of Leia’s plates.

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Star Wars Paper Dolls: Luke Skywalker No. 5

Star Wars paper dolls Luke SkywalkerToday for Force February we have more Luke as he transitions from The Empire Strikes Back to Return of the Jedi. And yes, we’re talking all drab now. Once Luke puts on the black, he pretty much never changes into anything else.

Fortunately, he has some layers to work with including this dark brown cloak he wears in his fist scene confronting Jabba the Hutt, and the black tunic he wears under it (and over the rest of his black suit, which is on the plate that will follow this one).

I also included on this plate, his grey Bespin jacket, which I mentioned yesterday, and his belt and holster, which also goes along with that set. I guess I could have connected the belt to the jacket. I know there was a reason I didn’t at the time, but it’s strangely lost to me now ~ ha!

Just one more plate for Luke tomorrow to close out the other pieces of his Return of the Jedi ensemble. I went with a relatively light black for these outfits because I wanted to make sure the detailing was visible and, once again, deep saturated blacks don’t tend to print well (though printers have gotten progressively better over the years).

Star Wars paper dolls Luke SkywalkerAnyway, I really liked Luke in black. I never thought there was any actual danger of him being seduced to the Dark side, so it didn’t freak me out (as apparently it freaked out other people at the time).

Since then, a lot has been made of the fact that the outfit gets disheveled before the end of the film and it’s revealed that the underside of the black fabric is white. That metaphor was also lost on me as a kid, but then I didn’t equate black with evil anyway.

A plate for Leia tomorrow and then I’m doing some reorganizing, but I will definitely finish posting Luke and Leia over the first couple of week of March (maybe change to “Force Friday” until the all the extant plates are done.

Then maybe I’ll go back to working on Dark Vader and/or The Force Awakens plates that I want to do.

[Click on each image to download a printable .pdf copy of each plate]

To see all Star Wars related posts and plates, click the tag or the category at right. Click the Luke Skywalker tag to see all of Luke’s plates.

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