When you’re a Star Wars fan, sometimes a message calls for more than just words. Sometimes it calls for something more visual — like Kylo Ren angrily chopping with his lightsaber or Rey looking determined. Or when you’re feeling just a little diabolical, it calls for an image of Jabba’s pet monkey-lizard, Salacious Crumb, gleefully laughing. And it’s now possible thanks to the new Star Wars Stickers iMessage app.
Launching today (along with a series of Disney Stickers), the Star Wars Stickers iMessage app — available for $1.99 in the App Store for iMessage — includes 21 animated stickers that allow users to enhance their iMessages with characters and props from a galaxy far, far away. That means a BB-8 thumbs up when you approve, a Lando wink when you’re feeling scoundrel confident, and much more. The stickers were illustrated by famed artist Truck Torrence of 100% Soft, in his trademark cute, cartoony style, making it impossible not to smile at any of the emotions conveyed — even those of the dark side. To celebrate the release of Star Wars Stickers, StarWars.com caught up with Torrence over e-mail to chat about his art and creating a new way to text with Star Wars.
StarWars.com: To start, how did you develop this art style? It’s very cute and streamlined, yet allows the characters to convey so many emotions.
Truck Torrence: I really love being able to take something recognizable, whether it’s a person, character, food, or whatever, and distilling it down to its basic core elements that make it both recognizable and really cute. I want people to look at the things I draw and smile or laugh. With the advent of the emoticon, people communicate more and more in imagery now, so it’s really fun to apply a lot of those aesthetics onto characters we all know and love.
StarWars.com: Was it a challenge bringing Star Wars into this style, or did it click right away?
Truck Torrence: Oh, it clicked right away. I’ve had these characters ingrained in me from such a young age and spent countless hours of my childhood drawing them. Being able to translate them into my style is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Part of the fun is imagining what the super-cute version of these characters will look like and seeing the result.
StarWars.com: Just to show the range of what’s available, among the 21 stickers you have BB-8 lowering his head and crying a single tear, Kylo Ren slicing angrily, and Salacious Crumb laughing (my personal favorite). How did you approach covering such vastly different characters and emotions?
Truck Torrence: Once I had the basic designs of the character or object down, I’d do a quick and dirty storyboard of how I wanted them to move. I’d also have the movies up while I worked, so I could reference specific moments and make sure I was capturing the spirit of their actions but also maintaining the emotion they’re supposed to be conveying. After I had the basic movements down, I’d go in and add little details like Luke’s hair moving in the Bespin wind or the ragged sparks on Kylo Ren’s saber.
StarWars.com: In addition to people putting Poe Dameron and stormtrooper helmets on their cats in photographs, what are you most excited about regarding this release?
Truck Torrence: I really just can’t wait to see what the fans will do with them. It’s fun being able to create something like this and then see how the people using it shape the experience. I guess I would just ask that people use the Obi-Wan Jedi mind trick sticker responsibly!
Get a first look at the Star Wars Stickers in the gallery below!
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content writer and editor of the StarWars.com blog. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.