The influence of Joseph Campbell’s writings on the hero’s journey and the tenets of Eastern philosophy run deep in the original Star Wars trilogy. These inspirations also fittingly played a role in helping designers craft the new Star Wars Fine Jewelry collection, says Roopam Jain, president of brands at Renaissance Global.
A jade Yoda piece owes its inspiration to ancient talisman pendants, while another invoking the spirit of Princess Leia is woven with braids to mimic her iconic hair. A starburst style pays homage to the symbol used on original poster art as well as the glittering stars in our own Earthly sky. For Roopam, it was important to incorporate these Earthly delights — from carefully-chosen gemstones to fine metals — and cultural influences into pieces that also represent the archetypes and timeless characters who inhabit a galaxy far, far away.
Recently, we sat down with Roopam and Limor Magidov, vice president of design and merchandising, to discuss the making of the line and their favorite creations among the vast array of pendants, rings, and other bejeweled offerings.
StarWars.com: There are seven capsule collections. How did you arrive at these seven essential categories?
Roopam Jain: We tried to capture the essence of the classic Star Wars trilogy and we wanted to speak to the duality of each storyline — for example, good versus evil in the “Balance of the Force” capsule collection, or complementary personalities in the “Friendship” capsule collection. Our team sat together along with the Lucasfilm licensing team and came up with the most important themes that would resonate with every Star Wars fan.
StarWars.com: The “Balance of Nature” collection weaves in some great natural motifs. The jade Yoda pendant is hands-down my favorite because it’s such a brilliant stone and the carving is exquisite. How long does each one take to make?
Limor Magidov: Just to give a little bit of background, the inspiration for this piece came from Eastern philosophy and talisman pendants that are carved out of jade. Jade is a stone that represents harmony and wisdom, which was the perfect match for Yoda’s character, both in a spiritual sense as well as tying back to his green coloration from a storytelling point of view.
Sourcing this stone and searching the globe to find the right artisan stone cutter for this project took a long time! Once we found our stone cutting expert, we used a 3-D Yoda file provided by Lucasfilm to create a CAD [or computer-aided design] that was machine carved into each stone. Then each carving was touched up and polished by hand. This process takes a few days as we need to allow the artisans the time to perfect each stone and make sure the details do not get lost.
StarWars.com: What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
Roopam Jain: I like the 10K yellow gold, sterling silver, and diamond Jedi Master Pendant, because it depicts Yoda in a seated meditation pose. To me, it really ties back into the inspirational teachings from Joseph Campbell that George Lucas incorporated into the original films.
The 10K yellow gold and diamond piece inspired by the Child is another, because The Mandalorian is so interesting! I’m so curious about the Child’s background and story that I can’t wait for the release of the rest of Season 2.
And the R2-D2-inspired women’s ring that is a stackable set of three sterling silver and diamond rings with garnet and sapphire give a subtle nod to everyone’s favorite, loyal, and lighthearted droid. It also allowed us to incorporate colorful gemstones into the assortment.
StarWars.com: So much about this line is subtle. How did you know when you got it right with a piece that’s more in the spirit of the character?
Limor Magidov: When designing, I always look for the strongest shapes to represent each character or object in the best form. Although the design is subtle, your mind would still be able to recognize the details automatically and know where the inspiration stems from. The challenge is always giving enough inspiration from the character or object without being literal, but still letting the mind and imagination make the connection through shapes, lines, colors, and storytelling.
StarWars.com: In the “Mandalorian” collection, how did you translate motifs of the Child and the Mandalorian helmet into new forms?
Limor Magidov: Working with fine jewelry materials such as diamonds, fine metals, and mother of pearl, I wanted to simplify the character into a silhouette charm and into two elegant locket pendants that capture the pod with the Child inside so the storytelling continues in a more elevated fashionable way. The helmet was translated into his and hers matching band rings capturing the focal motif of the black T-shape in the center of the helmet.
StarWars.com: The “Celestial Love” collection really reminds me of Leia’s lightsaber with the rose gold and silver accents. Were you looking at props and costumes to help inspire these pieces?
Limor Magidov: Props, costumes, architecture, environment — these are all where I draw my inspiration from. For Leia, the inspiration came from her iconic hair and from her outfit. The choice of pink gold represents the lightsaber and ties back to the light pink quilted vest she wears in The Empire Strikes Back.
Roopam Jain: The Galactic Royalty women’s pendant is one of my favorites. Made with diamonds, true two-tone sterling silver, and 10K rose gold, it depicts Leia’s braids; the way our designer interpreted them into an elevated design was masterful.
StarWars.com: The starburst in “Into the Galaxy” reminds me of the artistry around lightsabers on some of our illustrated posters. Beyond costumes and film stills, what other Star Wars memorabilia and non-Star Wars elements did you use to inspire you?
Limor Magidov: Since “Into the Galaxy” represents our umbrella collection under which all stories and characters fall, my inspiration for the starburst styles was meant to capture the look and feel of the overall aesthetics of Star Wars and Jedi motifs and, like you mentioned, the original Star Wars posters. But we also wanted to showcase a true galactic symbol when looking up into the starry night sky.
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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