As soon as the Armorer appeared onscreen in The Mandalorian — silent, stoic, and strong — RockLove CEO and Designer Allison Cimino related to the mysterious leader whose craftsmanship at the forge helped keep the culture of the Mandalorians alive.
A little like the Armorer herself, Cimino designs unique, highly-detailed, and often articulated pieces of jewelry that celebrate fandom culture, including the Star Wars galaxy. And for the brand’s latest addition to the Star Wars | RockLove line — which launches four new pieces this Thursday — the leader who forged the Mandalorian’s stunning beskar armor is represented shoulder-to-shoulder with pieces inspired by other empowering characters, Leia Organa and Ahsoka Tano, and hidden quotes integral to each one. “The Star Wars galaxy is full of powerful women: honorable Jedi, fearsome warriors, and self-saving royalty,” says Cimino of the trio launching the new limited-edition series, which will expand with new, yet-to-be revealed items in 2021.
StarWars.com recently sat down with Cimino and her collaborator Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, to talk about designing pieces inspired by the legacy of Leia, the power of Ahsoka Tano, and why the Armorer is one of Cimino’s favorite new characters.
For RockLove, Ahsoka Tano is where it all began. When the first collection launched last summer, the range included an exceptional ring shaped like the Togruta’s montrals. The original ring idea came to Cimino in a dream, and she and Eckstein worked together to create the piece, which included the inscription “Ahsoka Lives” hidden inside the band. But the design duo knew they didn’t want to stop there.
This time, Ahsoka-inspired pieces include a bangle bracelet and a modern art-inspired medallion. “Sleek and graphic, Ahsoka’s montrals and facial markings are naturally fashionable, yet only recognizable to an Ahoska fan,” Cimino says of the necklace, which is handcrafted in solid sterling silver and then filled with vibrant grey-blue, orange, and white hand-painted premium enamel. The piece was devised as an inclusive way to allow all fans to celebrate their love for the character. “Rings and bracelets typically require various sizes, as is the nature of cast precious metal jewelry. Meanwhile, the Ashoka medallion is an adjustable 24 inches long so that it flatteringly fits everybody and every body,” Cimino says.
On the flip side of the medallion, you’ll find a quote from Ahsoka: “A new day, a new beginning.” Eckstein reveals that she loves the mantra so much, she has a version on display in her home. “This is one of my favorite Ahsoka quotes from Star Wars Rebels,” Eckstein adds. “It’s a reminder that each new day brings hope and a fresh start. This has become one of my personal mantras. I wanted to put this quote on the back of the necklace pendant to remind anyone who wears it that every new day is a gift!”
The Ahsoka bangle was conceived to complement the set, a fashionable yet minimalist way to incorporate the character’s distinctive head tail pattern while once again adding a subtle, empowering message. This time, the inside of the handcrafted bracelet — made from durable artisan brass, plated in polished silver, and hand-painted in premium enamel — is inscribed with the quote that starts the episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “The Wrong Jedi.” It says: “Never give up hope, no matter how dark things seem.”
“This is my favorite “Fortune Cookie” from The Clone Wars and I feel that it perfectly represents Ahsoka,” Eckstein says. “To me, Ahsoka represents hope and light. Even in the darkest times, she is always looking toward the light and choosing to be hopeful. At the end of the episode, Ahsoka walked away from everything she knew because she believed that it was the right thing to do. This moment resonated so deeply with me and with fans all over the world. This mantra is the perfect reminder for the wearer to be like Ahsoka!”
In a subtle nod to the princess-turned-general, Cimino created a day-wear necklace version of the Medal of Yavin, a symbol of hope awarded to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo by Princess Leia in Star Wars: A New Hope and cherished as a family heirloom through the end of the Skywalker saga. “The Medal of Yavin is an incredibly sentimental piece,” Cimino says, “a testament to bravery and heroism, to those bringing freedom and hope to the galaxy.” Decades later, in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Maz Kanata gives Chewbacca Han’s medal after Leia’s death. “I am crying even just thinking about it,” Cimino says.
In a tribute to the rebellious royal, the pendant sculpted in solid artisan brass and plated in satin-finished yellow gold is inscribed on the back with the phrase, “Give Leia my love.” The words, a riff off a line from the latest film, are “both a cheeky quote from Lando and a shared sentiment across all characters and fans of the Star Wars galaxy honoring the incomparable General Leia Organa,” Cimino says.
For the final piece, Cimino translated the helmet of the regal Armorer in The Mandalorian into a formidable sterling silver and antiqued yellow gold ring. “The Armorer is a badass female leader who wields hammers and smelts metal. I’ve never related to a character more!” Cimino says. “This ring was a joy to create. We worked very hard perfecting the sculpt to look as much like the helmet as possible.”
Of course, in keeping with the rest of the line, Cimino’s design incorporates the words “This is the Way” onto the band. “To include the quote was definitely a no brainer,” Cimino says. “However, the inspiration came from the character herself rather than the creed. The Armorer never removes her helmet. Her success is not influenced by beauty, but purely based on merit: her strength, leadership, and hard work.”
Shop the new Star Wars | RockLove pieces starting August 27, 2020, at 9 a.m. PST with the Ahsoka Tano pieces available at HerUniverse.com, The Armorer ring available at RockLov
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer, host of This Week! In Star Wars and The Star Wars Show Book Club, and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.
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