“It’s about family.” So said Carrie Fisher when describing the power of Star Wars, and that rings true on many levels.
To mark the end of the Skywalker saga with the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm and British Journal of Photography have teamed up to create Star Wars Families presented by eBay: a globe-spanning photographic and editorial project that celebrates the saga and families of fans who have enjoyed, and passed down, its magic for nearly half a century.
“Families of all kinds are at the core of the Star Wars saga and have influenced generations of fans,” says Mickey Capoferri, senior director, online content and programming at Lucasfilm. “We are very excited to be able to share some of the amazing stories from our fan families around the world.”
Star Wars Families will tell the stories of 10 families of Star Wars fans from 10 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States, with stunning portraiture captured by 10 different photographers. The series arrives Monday, December 2, exclusively on StarWarsFamilies.com.
To find and feature these fans, it was important to Lucasfilm and British Journal of Photography and to make it a worldwide initiative. “We wanted to do something that could honor the generational and global legacy of Star Wars, and fans at the same time,” says Dan Brooks, senior content strategist at Lucasfilm. “Once we landed on the concept that became Star Wars Families, we were all so thrilled. It’s turned out to be something very special, and we can’t wait for people to see it.”
When British Journal of Photography put out an international call for both families and photographers willing to participate, the response was tremendous. “The thing that really struck us was how deeply moving many of the families’ stories are and how the individual family stories connected back to their very personal connection with Star Wars,” says Bryony Fraser, creative producer at British Journal of Photography. “For some fans, Star Wars is an epic entertainment franchise, but for many — and these are the families we have tried to focus on — it represents something much deeper.”
Indeed, the story of every family is unique and very personal. For the family chosen from Brazil — a mother and daughter – the strong female leads of Star Wars represent a framework to explore and celebrate a positive image of womanhood. For a Sikh family in Australia, the interstellar makeup of the Rebel Alliance was a means to hold a dialogue with their children about discrimination and their rightful place in a diverse world.
“Families the world over are unique and different, but the Star Wars experience is something we all have in common,” says Caterina Lombardi, senior creative producer at British Journal of Photography. “The ideals it espouses are something we can all relate and aspire to, no matter where we come from, or what we look like. Also, there is another layer to it for us as a photography community: the story of 10 amazing artists paying homage to a cultural phenomenon as it reaches a climax for generations on both sides of the screen.”
For everyone working on the project at Lucasfilm and British Journal of Photography, Star Wars Families holds a special meaning to them on a personal level as well. “Star Wars: A New Hope was the first film ever I watched in a cinema,” recalls Pax Zoega, campaign director for British Journal of Photography. “I grew up in Africa and my dad took me when I was four. Even though it was all those years ago, I still remember it so clearly. My son, my dad, and I watched The Force Awakens together when my son was 10, and here we are, three generations and 42 years later.”
“Ultimately, Star Wars Families is about people,” says Lucasfilm’s Brooks. “You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy or be moved by their stories. At the same time, their stories show how meaningful Star Wars can be in our lives.”
Kelly Knox is a Seattle-based freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.
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