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Street Art, Travel Posters and Burlesque: Our Favorite Star Wars Finds of 2010

See more photos in "Year in Star Wars 2010."

If the fact that we have a Style Council category devoted specifically to Star Wars weren't already an indication, we have a confession to make. A few of us on this arts/pop culture blog team are Star Wars fans. We've been known to spend hours looking at fan art online and chasing down cosplayers at conventions for interviews.

Misha shows off one of her Mario vs. Star Wars paintings
Misha shows off one of her Mario vs. Star Wars paintings
Shannon Cottrell

We've been pretty lucky this year in that we've encountered a lot of other Star Wars fans who have taken their own fascination with the characters and planets that make up that fantastic, fictional galaxy and turned it into a variety of cool projects. Below is a selection of favorites that we covered for LA Weekly in 2010.

Star Wars Nativity Scene

Elodie Boutbout's nativity scene
Elodie Boutbout's nativity scene

There is no holiday that can't be spruced up with Star Wars. Gendy Alimurung compiled a list of Star Wars nativity scenes found online. Darth Vader, Luke and Leia and R2-D2 all take turns lying in the manger.

"Star Wars Nativity Scenes: In A Manger Far, Far Away"

Bwana Spoons Spoonful of Star Wars

Bwana Spoons, Spoonful of Star Wars
Bwana Spoons, Spoonful of Star Wars
Shannon Cottrell

From the collection of Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks, the team from DKE Toys that brought The Vader Project to Star Wars fans, is this series of 100 portraits of Kenner's now-vintage Star Wars toys by Bwana Spoons. Spoonful of Star Wars showed at DesignerCon in Pasadena last November.

Think about how cool this concept is for a second. The art isn't based on the movie, but on the toys. It's an opportunity to recreate every imagined Star Wars scenario that emerged from your toy box as a child. It's more nostalgic than finding copies of the original, pre-1997 re-release trilogy.

"Bwana Spoons Takes on Kenner's Star Wars Toys in Spoonful of Star Wars"

Free Humanity's Star Wars Street Art

Free Humanity at DesignerCon
Free Humanity at DesignerCon
Shannon Cottrell

Our web editor, Erin Broadley, spotted Free Humanity's Star Wars-based street art on Melrose Avenue earlier this year. Then in November, Shannon Cottrell and I came across the artist's booth at DesignerCon. No one was stationed in the booth, but there were references to Yoda's great wisdom as well as appearances from Boba Fett, the Death Star and an AT-AT Walker.

"Free Humanity's Thought-Provoking Star Wars Street Art at DesignerCon"

Victorian Star Wars Paintings

Street Art, Travel Posters and Burlesque: Our Favorite Star Wars Finds of 2010
Greg Peltz

What if "a long time ago" was the Victorian era? Greg Peltz imagined that in his portraits of various Star Wars characters. Gendy Alimurung asked Peltz a few questions about the paintings, for example, would Darth Vader fight for the North or South in the Civil War?

"Victorian Star Wars Paintings: Greg Peltz Imagines Vader as Civil War Officer, Jabba as Robber Baron"

Mario vs. Star Wars

"Luigi in Carbonite"
"Luigi in Carbonite"
Shannon Cottrell

When photographer Shannon Cottrell and I went to visit L.A. artist Misha at her studio, she showed us some paintings she did that placed the characters from the Mario Bros. franchise in the Star Wars universe. I'll admit it, I got a little over enthusiastic at the sight of "Luigi in Carbonite." How could you not?

"Mario vs. Star Wars: Misha's Pop Culture Mash-Up Paintings"

Star Wars Vacation Posters

Street Art, Travel Posters and Burlesque: Our Favorite Star Wars Finds of 2010
Justin Van Genderen

Graphic Designer Justin Van Genderen created a series of travel posters based on Star Wars locations like Hoth and Cloud City. They're minimalist in design and whimsical in concept. Gendy Alimurung asked where he would vacation and why there was no Death Star poster in the set.

"Minimalist Star Wars Tourism Posters: Vacation in Tatooine, Hoth, Endor, Dagobah & Cloud City"

Star Wars Burlesque

Street Art, Travel Posters and Burlesque: Our Favorite Star Wars Finds of 2010
Shannon Cottrell

Have you ever seen a band right before they become famous? You know that something special is there, that the band could become really big, but you have no real idea how popular it will become. That's a bit what it was like when we saw Devil's Playground's first Star Wars-inspired burlesque show, which we covered for LA Weekly's music blog, West Coast Sound. The burlesque troupe may not be a household name yet, but someone did turn the image of Courtney Cruz as a stormtrooper (based on Shannon Cottrell's photo) into a tattoo. As Darth Vader might say, "Impressive. Most impressive."

"Star Wars Burlesque: Tatooine-Styled Shenanigans at the Bordello"


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