‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Meets Day of the Dead

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Every year on May 4th, fans celebrate International Star Wars Day by throwing parties, wearing their best Star Wars gear, occasionally dancing in the street, and of course, watching the famous saga. We also say, “May the fourth be with you” because, let’s be honest, it’s such a great pun! The month of May has been an important month for Star Wars fans since the original film was released on May 25, 1977. In fact, all of the first 6 Star Wars films were released in May. (It also happens to be the birthday month of the Maker himself, George Lucas.)

Opening day at Grauman's Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

Opening day at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

I always look forward to May 4th because I love seeing all the artwork, crafts, and videos creators make in honor of this special day. This year, one of my favorite artists, John Karpinsky, has released a new Día de los Muertos collection inspired by The Force Awakens. Just in time for Star Wars Day! After watching The Force Awakens, John said he was inspired to start creating again and boy, am I glad he did! A few years ago my husband surprised me with 13 of John’s prints from his Guerra de las Galaxias collection and I’ve been a fan of John’s ever since! Here is some artwork from his previous collection:

guerra+de+las+galaxias+-+dia+de+muertos+-+john+karpinsky+-+blog-bluff

I think John’s work is a wonderful blend of American culture and Mexican culture. It means a lot to me as a Mexican-American Star Wars fan. Death can be a scary thought but Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is actually a celebration of life. The holiday is a chance to celebrate the lives of family members and friends who have passed. In some ways, it’s a holiday that unifies opposite emotions—the sadness you feel when you lose someone you love and the happiness you remember when they were alive. Star Wars also unifies opposites—the dark side and the light side of the Force—as it’s characters try to achieve balance between the two in both themselves and the galaxy. Like Día de los Muertos, Star Wars also deals with life and death and shows that if you’re a Jedi, your spirit might live on in the form of a Force ghost. Coincidentally, the belief in ghosts and spirits is also a part of Mexican culture.

 

In my mind, John’s artwork captures both the spirit of Star Wars and Day of the Dead beautifully. His work represents the juxtaposition between the dark and the light which was also a theme in The Force Awakens. John Karpinsky’s new ‘Force Collection’ is a set of prints that features the stars of Episode VII—Rey, Finn (FN-2187), Poe Dameron, and BB-8.

Rey_Day of the Dead

Rayo de Luz/Ray of Light

 

Finn Day of the Dead

El Traidor/The Traitor

 

Poe Dameron Day of the Dead

Guerrero Alado/Winged Warrior

 

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Every time I saw The Force Awakens in the theater, the crowd laughed and cheered when BB-8 gave his lighter thumbs up. It’s definitely one of my favorite moments from the film and I love that John paid homage to it and included a special little detail.

BB-8 lighter thumbs up

I’m absolutely in love with these prints. Their colors are so vivid and it’s fun to sit and look at all the ornate details in each one. A huge thank you to John Karpinsky for sending me this set! I can’t wait to frame them and proudly display them in my home! This new era of Star Wars has been an exciting time for all of us fans and I look forward to the many new creative works it will continue to inspire. Be sure to check out John Karpinsky’s Etsy shop to see more of his incredible work and/or to purchase 8×10’s or limited edition 12×12’s of these prints! You can also learn more about John and his story HERE. May the Fourth be with you! 😀

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One Response to “‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Meets Day of the Dead”

  1. Colby McClain

    Thanks for this post Jeni! So recently I have transferred my SW collection into my living room. My girl friend has been incredibly supportive and tolerant of her 30 yr old boyfriend decorating his house with toys ; ), however, I recently found some of Karpinsky’s prints online last month, and showed them to her, in hopes that she would think it was a great idea to hang a few of his prints up.
    Like, you said, the colors are so vibrant and I have always been a fan of Mexican culture art.
    Since my girlfriend fell in love with your wedding pictures, I can’t wait to tell her that you are a fan of Karpinsky as well. I’ll simply tell her, “If Jeni is into it, we gotta get ’em babe.”

    Reply

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