“Peperangan Bintang”: Star Wars in shadow puppet format, a work-in-progress project by Tintoy Chuo
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012 § 8 Comments
Besides amassing books I have little time to read, I also like collecting anything related to Star Wars be it books or toys. When I discovered in Facebook that a Malaysian designer plans to present ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’ in the form of a wayang kulit (shadow puppets) I was intrigued. The designer goes by the name ‘Tintoy’ Chuo and he is the founder of ActionTintoy Studio, specialising in character design.
The whole idea of presenting Star Wars using shadow puppets came about when ‘Tintoy’ Chuo got the idea to introduce the practically extinct form of entertainment (shadow puppets, not Star Wars) to today’s generation. He chose to fuse it with Star Wars because he figured it would have a better chance of capturing people’s attention and besides he loves Star Wars. Work with something you know and love, I always say.
And to start things off he and friend Take Huat have painstakingly carved out two characters in the style of a wayang kulit puppet and of course those characters had to be Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
Guys, seriously, those are just awesome! I even learned a few things about this particular ancient cultural heritage. For example, these were based on Malay-style wayang kulit puppets which according to Chuo tend to be more sturdy and solid, more ‘meat’ on their bodies. Javanese wayang kulit on the other hand are leaner. Also most of the puppets traditionally have only one movable arm. Only a few characters have two movable arms and those tend to be the talkative ones. In traditional wayang kulit, a character known as Pak Dogol is ambidextrous because he’s normally used by the Tok Dalang (the puppeteer) for exposition and comic relief. ‘Tintoy’ Chuo has hinted that C3-PO will be the Pak Dogol in his version. If you don’t know which one is C3-PO, he’s the golden effeminate one with the British accent.
Also check out the detail in the puppets above. Luke Skywalker or ‘Perantau Langit’ for this version is standing on top of his X-34 Landspeeder while holding his lightsaber in his left hand and binoculars strapped around his waist. Darth Vader (or ‘Petaka Derita’ although I suggested ‘Sang Wira Derhaka’) with his lightsaber poised for battle, strides on his Imperial Star Destroyer. That’s a nice touch seeing as how traditional wayang kulit puppets’ feet are usually carved with their feet astride something as well. Vader being the bad guy holds up his claw-like hand but the fingers on good guy Luke’s hand is pushed back. I discovered that the bad guys in wayang kulit always have their hands posed threateningly while the good guys hold it in deference. In this case, it could be interpreted as Luke using the Force to push Vader away.
‘Tintoy’ Chuo is serious about this project. He’s already at work designing the droids and although he did not mention it I believe he will, if he has not already, work on the Princess, Han Solo and Chewbacca. The problem he has now is to find a Gamelan group who could adapt and perform at least three of the iconic songs from the movie: the Star Wars opening theme, the Mos Eisley Cantina song and Darth Vader’s theme otherwise known as ‘The Imperial March’. Musicians don’t work for free so ‘Tintoy’ needs a generous grant from someone to finance his project. Anyone? Anyone?
Oh, and I must mention something:
I NOW OWN THESE TWO COOL PIECES! ’Tintoy’ and his team have created two Star Wars-inspired puppets that just oozes professionalism and exquisite workmanship. Not even uber-collector Steve Sansweet has these. Not yet, anyway.
These aren’t mass market products but if you ask him nicely he might bash another pair for you in his studio. You can search for him on Facebook under the name Tintoy Chuo. Tell him Khairul sent you. The “Peperangan Bintang” project also has a Facebook page here.
You can also click on the ActionTintoy link up there in the first paragraph and check out his other works.
Shadow puppets and Star Wars. I never thought I would see the day when someone thought mixing those two would be a good idea for a project.
(DISCLAIMER: All characters and related materials are trademark, copyright and/or registered trademarks of their respective license holders and/or owners.)