As with most of my ideas (and blog posts), this one began with a sketch:
I was doodling on my son’s sandwich bag one morning when it struck me as humorous that “commando” sounds a bit like “burrito.” I was familiar with the Republic Commando characters from an old Star Wars videogame, and it suddenly seemed fitting that I find every other food of which I could possibly think that sounded similar to a Star Wars character. Thus, another project was born.
I went through a series of about forty sketches on different lunch bags for my son. He quickly approved the project and, in fact, gave me many of the ideas, himself. He even got some camera time. Here, he’s working on “Queen Almondala”, a riff on Queen Amidala.
And here’s the final shot from that character:
I wanted to keep the project as consistent as possible, so that meant no significant lighting or set changes, beyond the use of gels and food props. I didn’t even change lenses, shooting everything with a Schneider-Kreuznach 100mm LS, except where absolutely necessary. I also tried to keep the retouching at a bare minimum. I briefly considered cutting out the backgrounds and placing the characters in a larger version of their world, but I felt that would detract from the humor, which is really what this project was supposed to be about, anyway.
One of the first images I shot for the project was Darth Baker. Here he is being outfitted properly by his minions:
And here’s the final photo:
Several people have asked why Darth Baker has a sprig of rosemary if he’s baking. I can only attribute this to the nature of the Dark Side.
In the following image we see Java the Hutt being prepped for his shoot. I had a lot of fun going down to my local Starbucks and asking for the nastiest leftover beans they had. They were kind enough to give me four pounds, which I dumped across the table in much the way I might imagine the real Jabba would fill his palace with clutter.
The entire series, comprising sixty images, was shot over the course of a couple months. I had to put the brakes on the project not because I ran out of ideas for puns but because my son ran out of shelf space in his room for all the toys.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the series: