Many fans of Star Wars say they grew up with the films and have felt passionately about the universe for their whole lives. I know no one is exaggerating when they make that statement, but Tim Murphy’s daughter will have a unique perspective. She’ll grow up literally surrounded by and immersed in Star Wars. Tim designed her nursery to incorporate all sorts of elements from the galaxy far, far away. He first saw A New Hope when he was about five years old; he was totally blown away. He particularly remembers being hung up on the “silver C-3PO.” He didn’t realize until years later that was actually U-3PO. Fast forwarding into the future, Tim was excited to share his enthusiasm for Star Wars with his kid. I talked with him about the decorations, about getting recognition for the nursery from Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, and more.
StarWars.com: What made you decide to choose Star Wars as the theme for your baby girl’s nursery?
Tim Murphy: My wife and I met at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the first things we bonded over was a mutual love of Star Wars. I actually came across the first note she ever wrote to me back in 2007, and it says something like, “You’re funny and cool and you like Star Wars!” Very high compliments! Before we found out the gender of our baby, my wife and I each had a dream on the same night that we had a little boy. We agreed on a name and that Star Wars would be a fun theme for the nursery. When we found out we’re having a girl, we were thrilled! But I turned to my wife and said, “We’ll come up with a different theme for the nursery.” My wife, with great (and pretty much justified) umbrage, said right back to me, “What? A girl can’t like Star Wars?!” The Star Wars nursery was still a go, but we needed to make some changes!
StarWars.com: The Cloud City mural is gorgeous. How did you complete the project — did you sketch it out first and how long did it take you to complete?
Tim Murphy: When we really thought we were having a boy, I had done some concept drawings for a Hoth mural (Empire is my favorite movie in the saga), but now we wanted to steer clear of those blue tints because so many blue nursery accessories are geared towards boys. I wanted a pink nursery, but my wife made it clear that pink was off limits — but there could be pink accents. I made a drawing of a green mural based on Dagobah, but we very quickly decided that “swamp” was the wrong way to go for a baby’s room! In the meantime, we decided on teal and gray for the rest of the nursery. I went back to basics and tried to narrow down the most beautiful Star Wars locations. We pretty quickly settled on Cloud City since it satisfied all of our hopes — iconic Star Wars without a lot of explosions and fighting, using The Empire Strikes Back, and maybe even an opportunity to throw some pink in there! I started looking up paintings of clouds and different ways to paint a lot of different sunsets and sunrises. Then, I did a digital rendering on my computer. Once my wife was happy with it, I started painting! The clouds took about three hours. Then it took another hour or two to paint Cloud City and the Millennium Falcon.
StarWars.com: I saw Mark Hamill took note of the mural on Twitter. Did you freak out when that happened?
Tim Murphy: Once the mural was finished, I decided to share it on Twitter. Someone who saw it retweeted it and added David Prowse’s Twitter handle to it (I didn’t have enough space to include him in the original tweet.) David Prowse retweeted it, and it just ballooned from there. Within a day or two both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher both “liked” it — it was so surreal! I told my friends and family I’m basically a Skywalker now.
StarWars.com: Your nursery has other Star Wars touches; I especially love the mobile. How did you decide which characters to include and what sorts of materials did you use?
Tim Murphy: Being artists, my wife and I often make and give homemade Christmas gifts to each other. This year I had it in my head to make her a Star Wars mobile for the nursery. I made little characters out of felt and puffy paint and stuffed them with cotton. I decided to do one character from each movie and at the same time try to fit as many iconic females as I could. Amidala represented The Phantom Menace, Yoda with his lightsaber is there for Attack of the Clones, Vader is Revenge of the Sith, Leia is there for A New Hope, Chewie represents The Empire Strikes Back (you can tell it’s Empire because he has Threepio on his back!), and the black-suited Jedi Luke is there for Return of the Jedi. And then we included Rey — the strong, butt-kicking, female character! I was SO excited to put that lightsaber in her hand after we saw The Force Awakens (I was still working on the mobile when it came out).
StarWars.com: Tell me about the other Star Wars decorations in the nursery.
Tim Murphy: Ever since we settled on a Star Wars nursery, our friends and families have had a lot of fun getting into it! The “Jedi Princess” banner is from one of the baby showers. We’ve gotten all sorts of Star Wars books and blankets and hats and onesies! The baby’s name is Evelyn — the letters on the wall were another Christmas gift I painted for my wife. We’ve received a few Star Wars-themed teddy bears and a collection of itty bittys from Hallmark. I was really happy to include some of the action figures I had when I was a kid, and we have a lightsaber lamp on the wall!
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.