Category Archives: starwars

The ultimate Star Wars PC!

Since Star Wars fans tend to be a pretty die-hard bunch, it’s probably not a wise idea to openly express apathy towards the franchise whilst in the presence of the same. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably a bit of a Star Wars nerd – and that’s totally fine! But it’s also surely okay that, while I think I saw the original trilogy at some point in my childhood, they never really made a lasting impact on me. All I recall are some furry things, Harrison Ford looking suave, and Darth Vader’s creepy death mask.

But if you are one of those til-the-death Star Wars fans (what do they call you, anyway? Star Warians? Where’s your catchy collective noun?), then you’ll surely be drooling over this new fancy-schmancy Star Wars laptop from HP, featuring none other than the big cheese himself.

The new Star Wars Special Edition Notebook PC was announced on October 14 by Hewlett Packard and will go on sale from November at the price of 120,000 yen (US$1,000).

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As you can see, the facade is suitably spooky and Dark Side-y, with Vader’s ugly mug appearing as a tasteful and not too overpowering design feature. In fact, probably only a fellow Star Wars fan would even immediately notice the face of Luke Skywalker’s daddy, meaning that purchasing this laptop could be a cool way to make new friends as you tap away self-importantly at Starbucks.

Another feature of the design that I initially failed to notice is the palm rest which features not specks of dust, as I originally thought, but the visage of a couple of white-helmeted Storm Troopers. Can you spot them in the picture below?

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The track pad in the centre of the keyboard is also another important feature, in that it is shaped like the X-Wing Fighter’s guide system. I have no idea what any of those words mean, but I’m sure that you do, so not to worry.

Finally, let’s talk specs. The laptop features a 15.6-inch screen with a full HD display, and some other stuff which you don’t care about because you just want it because it’s got Vader on it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. May the Yoda be with you, and all that. Happy laptoping!

Source: NariNari via Hachima Kikou
Images: NariNari

If Darth Vader owned an iPhone, he’d probably keep it in a stunning wooden ukiyoe Star Wars case

There’s always been a strong connection between Japan and the George Lucas-helmed Star Wars franchise. From the samurai-influenced Darth Vader and Stormtrooper costume designs through to the film’s storyline, which borrows heavily from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film Hidden Fortress, Lucas himself is the first to admit he owes a lot of his creative inspiration to the Land of the Rising Sun.

So it’s nice to see that Japan is reciprocating the love with a number of Star Wars creations of their own. From samurai-styled figurines to ukiyo-e woodblock prints, these Japanese-styled homages to the epic American film franchise are the perfect way to get ready for the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And now you can carry the force wherever you go, with a gorgeous wooden iPhone 6 case that’s so beautiful even a Sith Lord would stand in line to buy one.

The wooden iPhone case takes its design cues from a very special ukiyo-e woodblock print, one of only three in the world that have been officially approved by Lucasfilm. The different prints feature Darth Vader, a scene from the Battle of Hoth and Queen Amidala posed with R2-D2, all in traditional Japanese styles.

▼ Take a look at the video below to see the prints and how they were created.

The Darth Vader woodblock is especially coveted, as it depicts the Sith Lord in a unique style of ukiyo-e known as okubi-e, which shows only the upper torso and head of the subject.

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The iPhone 6 cover, made from a single block of wood chosen especially for the beauty of its grain, includes all the key details from the original woodblock print, including the Death Star moon in the background and Darth Vader’s name in kanji: 堕悪巣俾荼, which is read as “daasu beida and whose characters literally mean “suffering servant that fell to the webs of evil”.

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Matsuba Factory, a precision wood-cutting company in Hiroshima, is producing the covers in walnut or black cherry wood for 36,000 yen (US$300.40) and black cedar wood for 69,000 yen ($575.73). Considering that single prints have been selling for 54,000 yen ($438.84) each, this is a functional piece of art worth investing in!

Source: Japaaan
Top Image: Makuake, T-Media Holdings Co. Ltd

Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away

Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.

The connections between Japan and Star Wars are well documented and quite amazing. Even visually, just by looking at Darth Vader’s iconic helmet you can see that it was inspired by the headgear helmets worn by the samurai in the way it extends down the neck and features a faceplate. It’s also easy to find Star Wars merchandise with their own Japanese spin on them like lightsaber chop sticks, Star Wars inspired sake cups and Star Wars characters re-imagined in a Japanese style.

This latest project, funded through the Japanese crowd funding site Makuake, puts a traditional stamp on the Star Wars universe. While the characters have been drawn in an ukiyo-e style before, this might be the first time prints have been officially approved by Lucasfilm. Three gorgeous prints combine the epic Star Wars tale with the beauty of Japan by depicting scenes and characters from the movies.

star-wars-3star-wars-2star-wars-4The real gem of the bunch is the close-up okubi-e of Darth Vader. An okubi-e is a Japanese portrait print in the ukiyo-e style showing only the head or the head and upper torso.  Masumi Ishikawa, the designer of these ukiyo-e, wanted to arrange the Death Star like a moon in the background and have Darth Vader standing in the middle of flames of hatred. This print also includes the name “Darth Vader” represented by ateji, kanji that sounds like the name. Usually the characters are chosen for their sound only, but these kanji have a meaning as well. Ishikawa chose the ateji, 堕悪巣俾荼 which can be read as “daasu beida and also has the meaning of a “suffering servant that fell to the webs of evil”.

The other two prints feature a scene from the Battle of Hoth and Queen Amidala posed with R2-D2. Each piece of artwork is intricately crafted in wood and then expertly printed onto paper. You can see some of the work in a behind the scenes video from their Makuake page.

As traditional art and an official Star Wars product, the ukiyo-e prints are not cheap. A single print can be purchased by supporting their Makuake project for 54,000 yen (US$ 438.84), while a lucky few have already purchased the limited run of all three prints for 162,000 yen ($1,316.54).

star-wars-6 star-wars-8If you have the money to spare, this might be the most traditional Japanese way to display your geekiness to the world. The Makuake campaign just started, but each piece is only being printed 100 times and they are going fast. Head on over to their project page if you want to own one of these amazing pieces of art for yourself.

Update: Darth vader and the 3 piece set are sold out for now, while the other two are close to being sold out.

Let us know if you want to own a very unique piece of art, don’t think too long though.