On the Comlink: What Does Star Wars Inspire You to Create?

Two StarWars.com writers discuss their approach to -- and love of -- Star Wars crafting and cooking.

On the Comlink is a feature in which two StarWars.com writers get on the phone and discuss a specific Star Wars topic. In this installment, Jenn Fujikawa and Kelly Knox talk about creating original Star Wars crafts and recipes, what to do when a craft or recipe fails, and where crafters can find inspiration even when ideas seem like they’re in a galaxy far, far away.

Jenn Fujikawa: When did you first start making Star Wars crafts?

Kelly Knox: I started probably when my daughter was about two years old. She would wake up at 5:30 in the morning, and I’d be desperate for something for us to do. So I’d look up crafts online. Eventually I thought, you know, this would be even cuter as a Star Wars craft…

JF: I actually started the same way. I’ve always loved Star Wars, but I never really had an outlet for it. So when I had my kids, and they started growing up, I was like, “Oh! They love Star Wars, too. This is a great way to introduce them to it and combine my love and fandom, as well.

So I started the same way you did: being inspired by them, and making things that they could relate to and sort of incorporate into their little kid fandom world. Where do you get your inspiration for your crafts?

Jyn Erso escapes the Imperial base on Scarif with the stolen Death Star plans.

A black and silver notebook, decorated to look like the Death Star plans from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, next to some Star Wars pencils.

KK: A lot of times it comes when I’m watching a film, like Rogue One, I look at it with eagle eyes to see if anything stands out, or in the publicity photos they release ahead of the movie. Sometimes I just wander around the craft store and see if anything catches my eye, and that will spark an idea — like, oh, that looks sort of like a droid.

JF: Yes! I go to the craft store regularly. And for me, because it’s food, I go to the supermarket and just walk up and down the aisles while I do my regular shopping, looking for things that pop out that look like specific creatures or can easily be turned into things. Do you use Instagram and Pinterest to also get your creative juices flowing?

KK: I’ll look at Pinterest sometimes just for general art projects for a certain age group if I’m brainstorming on a kids’ craft. It can be a good jumping off point. Is that where you look, too?

Red waffles decorated to look like Darth Maul.

JF: Those are my two main sources (other than wandering a store like a crazy person) for inspiration because Pinterest is almost like window shopping. I’m scrolling through, and I’m maybe not even necessarily looking for food, but I’m looking at fashion or screenshots from the movies. And that gives me inspiration I can easily pin just to have a reference point and look back and think, oh, these ingredients could work for this.

And the same goes for Instagram now, because hashtags are huge. You can click on a hashtag and see what the trends are. When I’m creating food, I like to see what’s trending, and then turn it into Star Wars.

KK: Do you also use the Visual Dictionary books for inspiration?

JF: Yes. I have all of those, they’re right next to me right now.

KK: Me, too.

JF: They’re very helpful, especially when looking for little details that make things Star Wars. I also use StarWars.com and Wookieepedia to get background stories because it kind of shapes what you create. How do you deal with a creativity block?

KK: What happens a lot of time is, at night, when I can’t sleep, I start trying to think of a new craft idea. There have been times when I’ve woken up suddenly at 2 or 3 in the morning and I’ve thought of something while I was sleeping, so I have to write it down.

Una libreta de Star Wars.

Admiral Ackbar Snack Bars and a Death Star teapot.

JF: I basically sketch all of my ideas out. So sometimes, a thing that I’ve sketched a year ago, I re-visit, and that gives me inspiration. That’s why I keep a sketchbook next to my bed: I wake up at 2 a.m. and I think, “I have to write this down now or it’s going to get lost like a dream.”

KK: I literally dreamed the lightsaber vase idea! I dreamed that I made it, and — I have a sketchbook too — when I woke up, I wrote it down right away.

JF: Where do you go to find the materials for your projects?

KK: I’d say mainly the craft store. Very rarely I’ll go to the home improvement store, but I chicken out when I need help, because I don’t want to say, “Well, I’m making this Star Wars project…”

JF: No, just ask them! I do it all the time.

KK: Is the supermarket your main go-to for supplies?

JF: Yes, in one day I may go to up to three different markets. I try to get the ingredients for multiple recipes all at once so I don’t have to keep going back.

I also use a lot of specialty molds found at online stores like ThinkGeek, Kotobukiya, and I’ve also bought custom-made cookie cutters. And that’s where crafting also comes in for me, because if I can’t find something, I’m going to make it.

KK: Do your recipes ever end up as a fail?

JF: I try my best to not fail because with the ingredients I have to go out and buy more, so I don’t want to do it 50 times. I try to lay out a plan, and get to the point where I hopefully hit it in one or two shots.

The only time that I would think of it as sort of a failure is the Bantha Bite cookies. Like you, I watch the movies — I actually have them playing constantly throughout the day. I took the exact color of the banthas and made the recipe. But then in reality, while it was screen-accurate, it looked awful.

Cookies decorated to look like bantha on a plate next to Tusken Raider action figures.

Luckily because it’s food, we ate all of those and I started again. It then became what you see now on the site, which are much darker and not screen-accurate but they look better.

Do you have a favorite craft you’ve made for StarWars.com?

A homemade lantern inspired by a B'omarr Monk hanging from a spider droid.

KK: Last year for Halloween, when I made the B’omarr Monk lantern, I actually left that hanging out on my porch for the entire month of October. I really like that one because, speaking of fails, it actually started as one!

I’d had a whole different idea for it; I knew I wanted to make a B’omarr Monk, but the first plan I’d had did not work at all because the body was too heavy for the lantern, and it ripped. I was just about to give up when I figured out how to do it and attach the globe so it didn’t tear.

A Salacious Crumb Cake.

JF: I think my favorite recipe that I’ve made for StarWars.com were the Salacious Crumb Cakes. That one I like because for the longest time, I thought that was the funniest pun. I thought, someday I’m going to make a Salacious Crumb Cake.

And I kept it in my sketchbook for years until finally I thought, I’m going execute this thing. And I’d thought about it for so long I knew what I wanted to do, and it all kind of came together.

What does Star Wars inspire you to create? Let us know in the comments below!

Jenn Fujikawa is a lifestyle and food writer. Follow her on Twitter at @justjenn and check her Instagram @justjennrecipes and blog www.justjennrecipes.com for even more Star Wars food photos.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

TAGS: , ,