Like a lot of other people in the galaxy, I've spent a good part of 2015 quivering with anticipation for the release of the first new Star Wars Movie, The Force Awakens. Of course, I've tried to balance my excitement with a healthy dose of skepticism, remembering the lingering trauma of the three terrible prequels, but who am I kidding??... The anticipation is half the fun!... So I figured I might as well enjoy it, and maybe even channel it into something creative.
With that in mind, I decided to use leatherwork to create a bag that looked like the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. I thought the shape of the ship would lend itself well to a small purse and I liked the challenge of trying to mimic the sci-fi metal finish of the Falcon with leatherworking techniques like tooling and dying. The adventures aboard the Millennium Falcon were always my favorite part of the Star Wars movies, and of course the ship itself, with its scrappy exterior, fickle yet powerful hyperdrive and unusual design has become a kind of symbol for the spirt of the movies themselves. "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."
I designed a relatively simple bag and used hardware, texturing and dying to create details that mimicked the warn look of the ship. To create the illuminated rear hyperdrive module of the Falcon, I added a strip of LEDs with a simple on/off mechanism attached to the snap closure of the bag. I tried to turn as many components of the ship as I could into functional design elements while still keeping the overall form relatively straightforward. It was a really fun project, challenging in all the right ways.
Making this bag also ended up feeling somewhat like a ritual of hope and anticipation. I've heard the Millennium Falcon makes an appearance in the new movie and I, for one, take this as a hopeful sign. As I recreated my own version of this beloved vessel, which so embodied the heart of the original movies, I think I was also channeling all of my childish excitement and wonder into my creation, willing this new incarnation to capture some of the magic of those first adventures.
May the Force Be With Us All.