Most Star Wars toys spend their lives on collectors’ shelves, or strewn on the floor by kids shouting “pew, pew, pew.” But a few lucky action figures (don’t call them dolls) get to live out scenes that look like they came straight from George Lucas’ imagination.
That may sound like the plot of a new “Toy Story” crossover movie. But if you look at Instagram hastags like #starwarstoypix and #starwarstoycrew, you’ll see that it’s really happening, thanks to some dedicated photographers.
Creative Director Trevor Williams has been a Star Wars fan since he was nine and started collecting action figures again as an adult after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was announced.
“I bought a couple of figures to put on my desk. I told myself that would be enough,” he said. It wasn’t.
“I would re-pose them every few days and my inner retentive artist forced me to pose them precisely and realistically.”
They looked good, so he started taking pictures to document his work. The poses and backgrounds got increasingly involved. He bought more and more figures. And before too long, he had a new hobby.
He does some shots outside, but his favorite figures are about a foot tall and kind of expensive, so he built some sets in his studios
“I now have shelves of props and large set pieces (a forest for one) just for my toy photos,” he said.
Williams says he usually takes a few of his smaller figures with him on vacations, and hikes near his house often turn into location scouting missions.
He’s also started using Lego figures as models and says they’re a challenge.
The figures are surprisingly expressive, considering their faces don’t move and many popular characters, like Darth Vader and Boba Fett, wear helmets, so you can’t see their faces at all.
Dakota Spicer’s shoretroopers and death troopers manage to look tired but alert as they take a break on a rock outcropping.
“I’ve loved collecting figures and Star Wars since I was six years old, and I’ve been into photography since college. So I guess this was just a culmination of different passions rolled into one,” he said.
He takes the photos with his iPhone and his wife often helps by holding lights and giving constructive criticism.
“She’s super supportive and even buys me figures!” he said.
Are you a Star Wars collector, cosplayer or all-around huge fan? Share your photos, videos and memories on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #CNNStarWars and tell us about the first time you saw Star Wars.