Johnny Wu and Vesa Lehtimäki on the making of their beautiful StarWars.com exclusive Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray covers.
When you're a kid and you play with toys, the action seems real to you. You see the glow of Darth Vader's lightsaber, even though it's not there; throw your X-wing across the room and the stars streak as it hits lightspeed; take an AT-AT outside on a snow day and it's just like the Battle of Hoth. Of course, that's all just the power of youthful imagination. But fan toy photography -- an art form that has exploded thanks to Instagram and social media -- makes our playtime dreams real. Today, fans are taking photographs that utilize practical effects, real locations, sets, and digital tweaks. Improved likenesses, detail, and articulation in action figures have brought toys closer to looking like our heroes (and villains) more than ever before. The images produced are often incredible.
So to mark the home release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, StarWars.com asked two of our favorite toy photographers to take photos for official, custom Blu-ray covers that fans can download and print. Those photographers are Johnny Wu (a.k.a. @sgtbananas) and Vesa Lehtimäki (a.k.a. @avanaut). Both have had books published collecting their work -- Wu's Ten Frames Per Second and Lehtimäki's LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy -- and are truly gifted artists. For StarWars.com's covers, Wu utilized Hasbro's 6-inch Black Series figures to recreate the throne room battle and Rey's Ahch-To journey, while Lehtimäki employed LEGOs to depict a nighttime scene on Luke's island (making use of 200 -- yes, 200 -- porgs). The resulting photographs are alive, fun, and beautiful. StarWars.com caught up over e-mail with both Wu and Lehtimäki to find out how they did it.