Feel the Force...is That Felt?

FeltC3PO_R2D2Star Wars Rogue One has us lining up again this holiday season to see one of the biggest movies of the year. I saw it last weekend and loved it, one of the reasons being (and this isn't a spoiler) plenty of little nods to the original trilogy that many of us came of age lining up to see. 

Now we have our own kids and the ones who are old enough are coming along to the theater, but what about the little ones who may feel left out of all the Star Wars excitement?  Not to worry, there is a a perfect set of board books, Star Wars Yarns, to bring them along. The creators are former literature professor turned author/felting craftsman extraordinaire, Jack Wang, along with his twin brother Holman, and as you'll see, they are serious Star Wars fans.

What's so special about these board books, you might ask?  The illustrations are created using needle-felted figures.  Which begs the question, what is felting?  It's an old-fashioned handicraft that's making a comeback and as you can see by the photo to the left, when you get good at it, you can produce amazing things.  This photo was taken when we met Jack here in Seattle and he brought a few of the figures for us to see and feel--it was hard to stop smiling looking at them.

I already mentioned Jack is a Star Wars fan, but he's also a perfectionist when it comes to these books, and in talking to him we were blown away by the lengths he went to make the pages match the movie scenes as accurately as possible.  Here are some of the incredible details we learned:

      • Approximately 30 individual felt figures were used to illustrate the three books.

 

      • There are multiple versions of Luke that had to be created in order to accommodate all the costume changes. 

 

      • Each figure took between 20-60 hours to produce and if you're wondering which character was the most difficult to create, it was C-3PO. 

 

      • The snow you see in the background of some of the pages in Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back? That's real snow.  They did the photo shoot in the mountains of Vancouver.  The Imperial Sand Dunes?  California desert.

 

May the felt and the Force, be with you in the New Year.

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Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope
By Jack Wang and Holman Wang
 

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Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
By Jack Wang and Holman Wang
 

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Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
By Jack Wang and Holman Wang
 

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