Star Wars played a huge role in my geek upbringing. I remember first encountering the iconic sci-fi saga through a couple of scenes from Episode IV’s entry in Microsoft Cinemania ‘95. Oddly enough, my parents let me play the plethora of DOS-based Star Wars games long before they allowed me to see the full movie. I spent many an afternoon and evening engrossed in the DOS classics X-Wing and Rebel Assault, blowing away the TIE Fighters and Star Destroyers of the Galactic Empire with the help of my trusty Logitech Wingman Extreme Digital.
When my parentally limited time with these games ran out, my head still swam with the images of intense starfighter battles played out on the grand stage of deep space. To keep my head from exploding, I channeled these images onto paper. A huge percentage of my early works (‘95 to ‘97 or so) consists of scenes from Star Wars flight simulators, many of them starring the cockpit of the venerable X-Wing.
This particular piece stands out from the rest, however. For one, it’s the only scene featuring a Y-Wing cockpit. Note just how precisely I attempted to reproduce the design from the game, down to every detail of the control panels and indicator lights. I’ve included a screenshot from X-Wing for comparison. This theme of intense attention to faithful reproduction pervades my art works.
There’s a lot going in this image. I’ve cropped various pieces of it to highlight the several mini-scenes contained within the larger one. Corellian Corvettes battling Mon Calamari Cruisers, TIE Fighters taking down a Rebel Medical Frigate, Rebel shuttles commandeering Imperial cargo containers as A-Wings destroy their Imperial shuttle escorts… it’s all there in the background as the player’s Y-Wing uses its ion cannons to disable (or just weaken) an Imperial Assault Gunboat.
I wish that every moment of the actual games had been this inspiringly epic. More often than not the take-down of that lone gunboat would be about as exciting as things would get. This piece is a perfect example of how I used art to create the scenes that the games never did.
Pretty badass for a 9-year-old, eh?