A Lego Star Wars Photography Adventure: Part 1

Darth Vader, Lego Star Wars Photography, Pixelglo Photography, Tie Fighter

Star Wars: Light Within Darkness is a fanfiction inspired adventure using Lego Star Wars Photography to accompany the events in the story. Welcome to Part 1, The Perfect Storm.

 


 

Star Wars:
Light Within Darkness

Part 1: The Perfect Storm

DARTH VADER REACHED OVER to the navicomputer of his Tie-Fighter and flicked on his locator sensors. He’d lost count of the number of times he had performed this mundane check during his solitary spaceflight to the remote planet of Tatooine. However this was a long and isolated journey to take alone. Even for a powerful Sith Lord.

Darth Vader, Tie Fighter, Imperial, Star Wars, Space, Lego, Pixelglo Photography
Darth Vader piloting his Tie-Fighter en route to Tatooine in the Outer Rim.

 

Tatooine was located in farthest reaches of the Outer Rim. A distant memory to the thriving new Empire which had just overthrown the corrupt Republic. A new age of peace and order was dawning upon the Galaxy, and the Core worlds were a hive of activity and rejuvenation. Service in the Imperial military was now compulsory, and the construction of starships, checkpoints, and military installations were ahead of schedule in all sectors. The Empire was in it’s infancy, yet Vader felt it already had the strength to stand and strike it’s fist down upon chaos and the undisciplined. Despite the futile last hour efforts of the Jedi Order to overthrow them, Darth Vader and his powerful master Lord Sidious, stood atop the new hierarchy. The Sith Lord, and The Emperor.

For the first time since he could remember, Vader felt a calming alignment within the Force, and this was the perfect time to reflect upon all the events behind him, and those yet to be foreseen. The toll of the recent and devastating Clone Wars and conflicts with the Jedi had left scars upon many – himself above all. Leading a triumphant victory to years of bloody fighting had given the Sith Lord all the excuse he needed to seek out solitude. Away from the Core. Away from the chain of command. Away from the tedious panderings of high ranking Imperial Officers seeking his endorsement. Vader needed space, and above all, he  needed to immerse himself within the Dark Side of the Force. As the dust settled upon the new Galaxy, Darth Vader arrived within orbit of his distant home planet of Tatooine.

******

Flying into the black shadow of the looming desert planet, the tiny Imperial Tie-Fighter approached silently, heading for the Southern Continent. Rolling his ship into perfect alignment with the horizon, Vader, a skilled and experienced pilot, began to conclude his long journey. Flicking switches and punching in vectors, he plotted a course for his night time landing site on the coarse desert surface below, as the twin suns of the Tatooine System blinking out of sight behind the curve of the desolate sand covered planet.

Away from the light. Into the shadows. Into the darknesshe thought, as he pitched the nose of his spacecraft forward sending the ship into a steep dive. The Tie-Fighter plunged into the heavens leaving the cold silence of space behind, descending at high speed into the planets turbulent upper atmosphere.

Vader reached out to the Force to guide his actions, piloting his ship like a bird of prey gliding effortlessly through harsh winds. Ignoring the trajectory warning lights on his instrument panels, the Sith Lord closed his eyes and let the Force be his navigator. The ship tilted and dived violently, as if feeling for the right air current to ride upon as it spun and careened through the sky. The deep sound of bulkheads groaning filled the cockpit, as if the Imperial made spacecraft were protesting against the Sith Lord’s supreme flying skills. The cockpit creaked and shook violently as a crescendo of panicked warning buzzers and flashing lights erupted across the instrument dials.

darth vader, tie fighter, imperial, ship, storm, lego, star wars
Riding through the storm, like a bird of prey soaring on a wind.

 

Yet Vader sat silently in his piloting chair. Calm. Centered. Almost content. As if somehow separated from the chaos around him. Falling deeper within himself and letting go of the controls, he reached out to the Force and began to guide the ship through his powers alone. To Vader, this was a perfect storm, and he was the bird soaring through it’s heart. He could not recall a time where he felt so connected to the life around him. His grasp upon the Force – clear and focussed.

It was in this moment of pure harmony as the ship continued it’s crazed descent, when Vader, deep within the Force – felt something. Something that shouldn’t be there.

Like a solitary footprint amidst sea of untouched snow. Like an echo on a breeze. Amidst the silence, Vader halted his breathing and his head curiously tilted to one side. He quickly withdrew all attention from the ship and focussed his thoughts solely towards this murmur in the Force. Yet it remained beyond him. Frustratingly out of reach. Like the faintest whisper, carrying an important message. What is this I’m sensing? I can almost see it. It’s something – someone!? His eyes shot open immediately to red proximity lights flashing in panic across his instrumentation. The sound of the warning buzzers and the deafening drone of the ship buckling under the strain, filled his ears as it spun and dived out of control through the atmosphere.

The noise inside the ship attacked Vaders senses as his abrupt fall from the Force took him completely by surprise. Fear washed through his body as he hastily reached out grasping the wayward controls and began fighting to level out the ship during its rapid descent. The perfect storm outside had turned angry, and his presence within it, unwelcome.

Gauging the descent and relying solely on his human abilities, he masterfully manoeuvred the craft into a positive arc as the storm tried to fight back. Just beyond the transparisteel of his cockpit, gale torrent winds and sand lightning battered past his Imperial fighter as it gained speed, swooping down beyond the lower limits of the atmospheric sandstorm – into the safety of the clear night air.

A sudden calm engulfed the ship. The warning lights blinked out. Levelling his trajectory to the dark Tatooine horizon, Vader released a deep breath of relief as his senses attuned for the silence, and the gentle reassuring thrum of the ships engines emerged into focus.

Through the crisp midnight sky the small Imperial Fighter steadied it’s course, and headed for it’s pre-programmed landing site. Before Vader had a chance to reflect on the storm just passed, his gaze was ushered out toward the smooth moonlit landscape rolling slowly beneath his hull. An undeniable fondness welled up inside him as his eyes reaquainted themselves with the bleak desert landscape that used to be his home.

Sand dunes, a scarcity of life, the pale Hunters Moon looming off in the distance behind a silhouette of sharp pointed mountains. He couldn’t help but take a moment away from punching in vectors and landing cycle calculations, to acknowledge the importance of this reunification. To acknowledge that he had missed this place.

I haven’t set foot on Tatooines’ sands, since... the thought suddenly curled up inside him as his fists tightened, and his gaze turned away sharply from the outside world – almost in disgust. Vader understood the roots of his sadness, and his fear. Even as he knelt before his master Lord Sidious months ago requesting this personal trial, he knew of his history upon this forgotten world. The memories swirling through his mind however – were far from forgotten. During his long isolated journey to Tatooine, Vader, had not given any thought to the sandy grave somewhere down on the surface, that his Mother rested within.

Images of her final moments in his arms. The dark vengeance he had unleashed upon the peasant folk responsible for her fatal wounds. Haunting memories from his past raced through his thoughts as the anger inside him began to swell. All of a sudden he felt trapped within his ship and he needed to escape, as if pursued by a memory he couldn’t bare to face – and he cursed this weakness. He hated it.

 A Sith Lord with the strength of the Force and the power of the Dark Side, and yet I cower away from the memories of my…  the sharp beeping sound of the ships proximity sensor snapped his attention back to the present. Finally, he thought. Welcoming the distraction, Vader glanced down at his controls which indicated his landing site was approaching.

He began acting on instinct. Flicking switches and programming calculations to navigate the final ships descent. Landing a ship was a task he’d done a thousand times before, and going through the motions devoid of conscious thought and tainted memories, calmed his feelings.

*******

Through the cold still night air, the Imperial ships’ moonlit shadow skimmed over the sandy surface gracefully entering a cocooned rocky ravine of one of Tatooines many mountain ranges. The location of Vader’s landing site was unlike any other found on the baron planet. Colder temperatures, unpredictable violent sand storms, and a scarcity of sunlight due to the planets tilted rotation, the vast Southern Continent was rumoured to be lifeless and inhospitable. A wasteland, not privileged to the warm sun-drenched climates of the Northern Hemisphere where most, if not all the living inhabitants of Tatooine flourished.

There were no spaceports here. No cantinas. No lawless settlements overrun with Jawas. The Shakeek plains that huddled along the Topov mountains were a place few had ever ventured. Dark, in-shadow, the rolling sand dunes and nearby natural caves and tunnels that bore into the mountains were dangerous and unforgiving. Haunted by the cold Shakeek winds that flowed over, and through them. This place was strong in the Dark Side of the Force – and Vader knew.

Reaching the end of a secluded natural cul-de-sac beside one of the cliff faces, the retro burners of his ship fired in a crescendo of noise as its velocity slowed to zero, hovering over the ground. Sand plumes kicked up exposing the rocky floor beneath as its pilot controlled the final procedures of landing.

darth vader, tie fighter, ship, landing, lego, star wars
Darth Vaders’ ship about to land upon the sandy Tatooine surface.

 

The Tie-Fighter, after weeks of interstellar travel, dropped it’s support struts and made effortless contact with the surface. The engines immediately began whirring to a slowing stop, as if welcoming the break from flying, as soft white landing lights slowly brightened to illuminate the surrounding area.

Within moments, the only sound to be heard was the howling wind passing through the rocky ravine. Small desert brush plants bustled in the turbulent air, as thin beams of moonlight cut their way down from the ravine top to the dark sandy floor.

The ships’ front hatch whirred open, and the ominous silhouette of a Sith Lord dressed in black emerged. A tall overbearing figure with a long black cloak hustled by the wind. Beneath his helmet, he closed his eyes and absorbed the chilled haunting conditions around him. Like a warm reassuring blanket wrapped around cold shoulders, this harsh ordered dark environment ignited and bolstered the passion within the powerful Sith.

He was home – but he had not forgotten the storm, and the tremor he had witnessed within the Force. Somehow, he knew he would find answers here. Deep within the sands and the mountains. Feeling the Dark Side of the Force galvanise his resolve, he opened his eyes and clenched his fists with renewed determination. Here, I will deal with my past, and my future.

darth vader, lego, light saber, red, star wars, photography
Darth Vader wielding his Light Saber, and heading into the dark Tatooine mountains.

 

A glinting black and silver alloy hilt rested in his gloved hand. His thumb teased over the activator button of his Light Saber as a sense of renewed power, anger, and even excitement flowed through him. Releasing a resolute breath through his mask, the Sith Lord with his cloak swirling behind him marched away from his ship, and into the shadows of the Dark Side of the Force.

On a forgotten world in the Outer Rim, Darth Vader pursued his new destiny.

*******

 


Thank you for reading the first part of my Lego Star Wars Photography fanfiction. I hope you enjoyed it! All the photography for this series can be found on my Flickr, and also on my website! Please comment and share! =)

My Lego Star Wars Photography Challenge

Lego Star Wars Photography

With the dawn of a New Year comes a new photography challenge! As a lifelong fan of the Star Wars Universe and it’s rich tapestry of stories and characters, I have decided to delve into the miniature world of Lego Star Wars Photography!

I’ve been taking pictures of things for a few years now. I’m really into photography and I’ve been fortunate to photograph weddings, shoot commercial photography, fashion, and ballet. However this year I’m setting myself a new challenge! After watching the Lego Movie recently (everything is awesoooome), I’ve become inspired to try some Lego Star Wars photography!

I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars Universe. I still remember as a kid going each weekend to the video store with my Mother to rent out “one of the three” on VHS.

Star Wars Trilogy VHS Covers - Lego Star Wars Photography
Star Wars Trilogy VHS Covers

I used to watch the films endlessly and fell willingly into the vast fantasy of the Jedi, the Rebels, and the Empire. The conflict between Luke and Darth Vader. The heroism and awesomely cool confidence of Han-Solo and Chewie. These were the characters I grew up with and loved as a kid. I had the big Millenium Falcon model with the large retractable leg stilts, and a second hand AT-AT walker which had pencils taped to where the guns used to be because the originals broke off! It was still cool though chasing down the Rebels with my pencil powered Imperial Walker! You Rebel scum!

Anyway. So I watched the Lego Movie. Awesome. Spaceship!!

The Lego Movie - Lego Star Wars Photography
The Lego Movie, featuring Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Batman, and President Business!

 

It is the future you see.

Then all of a sudden a “light bulb” went off in my head. I saw – a city in the clouds…

Well actually I didn’t “see a city in the clouds”. I’m just quoting a line from The Empire Strikes Back and wasting your time and precious screen space! So, back to my idea.

Why not photograph some Lego Star Wars scenes? Lego characters have such a cute, expressive, and recognisable presence. The vehicles and environmental accessories are also very cool, plus they’re great fun to build! So why not do some Lego Star Wars photography? All the principles and challenges of studio photography would apply – I think!?

 

Look at the size of that thing!

The idea of using my large Nikon SB-900 studio flashes, and my wide aperture 85mm F1.8 lens on tiny little Lego characters is such a fun dilemma to tackle! Again, all the principles of studio lighting and photography “should” be the same!?

I would also have to create the props and environment to immerse the characters in. My kitchen table will make a perfect studio floor to begin working on!

 

Do – or do not. There is no try.

Now there are some very talented photographers out there already doing something similar with Lego characters, but I’d like to go a little further on this one.

Instead of just taking a random picture of Lego Vader looking cool and mean, or the Millenium Falcon parked up somewhere dramatic. Why not create “scenes” like in a storyboard, and then write a story chapter to accompany the photo scenes. So yes, this is my Lego Star Wars Photography challenge!


To create and photograph Lego Star Wars “scenes” to create a storyboard, writing an accompanying chapter for each series of photos.


The more I stop and think about it, the more I imagine this could a tall order to fill. However I’m quite excited to give this a shot and combine two of my passions in life – Star Wars and photography!

By the time you’re reading this, I may have already shot the first scene! Next is to write the accompanying story to go with it which I’ll be posting on my blog soon.


Thanks for reading this post about my Lego Star Wars photography challenge. Visit back soon for more updates!