I found this beautiful art by Kasiopea on Tumblr and instantly saw this image as two separate images both black and white with a mysterious “glow” around the outside. Don’t ask me why I saw that, that is just what popped into my head! Obviously, the original is perfect and beautiful and awesome, but that is what I saw, so I had to at least try and make it happen.
I wanted to learn this technique for a while after seeing it in action on Tumblr (a lot of people use this technique to make their otherwise dull and bland images or quotes come to life). It’s so simple, I almost cried 😂 (but seriously) – it’s really easy.
I’ll be writing a neat and quick tutorial post about it soon but until then… and here it is in practice:
When I created the Mezzopop Mezzotint Photoshop effect the other day, I had actually forgotten all about it until I was editing this comic cover. So I thought, why not test it out and see how it looks on a Star Wars edit.
If you’ve been a follower of my blog you’ll know that one of my favourite things to do is clean up images or edit comic covers by removing the text to show the underlying image. I do this because I am in awe of some of the comic cover art that adorns these comics. And sometimes text can be a very overpowering element in an image. Sometimes the image needs to breathe on its own. So I edit them.
Here is the original cover, art by David Marquez
And there is an official image without text as well but here is my edit:
To truly understand what Darth Vader represents in the Star Wars universe, you would need to start with the armour that was fashioned for him after he endured extensive injuries during his fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. I believe the armour Vader wore helped him to transition into the dark side menace that he became and it played a crucial part in the character’s evolution.
Let’s begin with details taken from Wookiepedia:
Darth Vader’s armor (serial number: E-3778Q-1) was designed to maintain and protect the young Sith apprentice’s charred body while exuding an air of intimidation and control.His suit followed an ancient Sith tradition, in which the warriors of the dark side of the Force would adorn themselves in heavy armor. The suit’s construction incorporated Sith alchemy to augment Vader’s severely diminished physical strength and vitality.
The part of the quote I’ve highlighted above is particularly interesting because it mentions Sith Alchemy. If the suit was given to Vader by Sidious, this means that Darth Sidious partly delivered on his promise to Anakin by giving him the power to survive despite his life-threatening injuries. So I have questions about this. Where did this alchemy come from? Is it something that Darth Sidious already knew as part of his dark side knowledge? Was this something that Darth Plagueis taught him? Either way, it turned Darth Vader into a more powerful Sith Lord and allowed him to use his physicality where he would otherwise be reserved to spending most of his time in a bacta tank.
There were only two people that knew of Darth Vader’s fate and what he looked like underneath the armour he wore. Darth Sidious and Obi-Wan Kenobi. And this made Darth Vader both stronger and weaker at the same time. Darth Sidious could easily overpower Vader, even with the armour. Darth Sidious made sure that Vader’s armour was susceptible to Force Lightning when it was made, giving him an advantage over Vader should the need ever arise. And it did, the end result was Darth Sidious being thrown into a reactor followed by the death of Darth Vader and Anakin’s final ascension back to the light side of the force. But before any of that could happen, Darth Vader was a force to be reckoned with as Darth Sidious’ dark side enforcer, and he was both feared and respected for the power that he had, particularly by his troopers and crew.
One other question also comes to mind, and that is how did Darth Sidious know that Anakin Skywalker would need the suit, to begin with? Had he already envisioned Anakin’s fate? I could definitely get behind this because we had already seen how powerful Darth Sidious was with his fight against Yoda, causing Yoda to retreat into hiding. It is entirely possible that Darth Sidious knew about Anakin’s fate much earlier on and was purposefully hiding the truth for his own evil and wicked manipulation game to play out.
Without Darth Sidious, would Darth Vader even exist? I have thought about this often, and my answer to this question is No. It may have taken longer for Anakin to eventually fall to the dark side without Sheev Palpatine whispering in his ear about immortality and Darth Plagueis, but he’d still fall. The end result would not have been in favour for Anakin however because, without Darth Sidious and the suit, Anakin would have died on Mustafar where Obi-Wan Kenobi left him, and Darth Vader would cease to exist. So the relationship between Sidious and Vader was more critical than some fans realise (certainly myself until I wrote this) because, without it, Anakin would never have become the chosen one bringing balance to the Force – which is another topic I’d like to explore in a later post.
I really like this comic cover. I love how the artist captured Princess Leia with the blueprints showing in her cape of a Star Destroyer, an X-Wing and a TIE Fighter that makes it really stand out for me. It’s unusual and works so well for this comic.
So I decided to edit out all the text to see what it would look like without it. I also did some extra things in Photoshop, just experimenting really and part of being creative is trying new things, right? I do this a lot in my spare time. I learn something, and then I try it out on different things. For this image, I used textures and actions in Photoshop to get the effect I wanted.
Original Cover Art by Travis Charest who works for Dark Horse comics
Edit Two – mixed media effect
Edit three – textures, backgrounds and a lot of editing
As mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to try and replicate the style of this image I found on Pinterest by combining two background images together with really eye-catching text over the top.
What I like about the image is the contrast between the black and the white but also the play on words is quite cool as well as you can see the two colours blended together to create grey.
What I came up with is a different play on words using Star Wars text for the theme, but I did something slightly different with the gradient colour because I liked how the colours blended with the text. I also didn’t want the separation between Luke and Rey to be as precise as the other graphic where you can clearly see a break between the two models. I wanted the image of Rey and Luke to blend into each other.
Here’s my first attempt:
As you can see, the format is not exactly the same as the original graphic, but I actually like how the gradient effect works with the black, white and grey. I also borrowed the text formatting a little as well the image above as you can see, it’s not centred.
But this is the image I eventually went with after a few minor changes:
The new Jedi Fallen Order game had some excellent coverage today from EA Play which I am watching as I write this and I can tell you now, it looks impressive. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d be keen to actually play it, even if it is a Star Wars game. But the in-game footage looks incredible and very polished, even for Alpha footage. So, I’ll probably be playing it when it releases. I might also pre-order.
To celebrate the new footage, I spent some time making a couple of edits yesterday.