Darth Vader and Jeffrey Brown and Son
With Father’s Day upon us, we asked author and father Jeffrey Brown to be a guest blogger. His new book, Darth Vader and Son, is a hit, placing on the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller lists, and garnering a multitude of excellent reviews along the way.
In the book, Jeffrey reimagines what the father/son relationship of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker would have been had Vader taken an active role in Skywalker’s life. Jeffrey used his own experience as the father of a toddler to inspire the scenarios in the book. He also drew on a life-long love of the Star Wars story to give the book an authentic feel that resonates with fans.
I’ve been drawing Star Wars most of my life, apparently. This is a Darth Vader I drew when I was four.
And here’s the Millennium Falcon, surrounded by X-Wings as they attack a Star Destroyer.
Star Wars ignited my imagination, and I spent the years of my childhood not only watching the films, playing with the toys, and collecting the memorabilia, but drawing scenes from the trilogy over and over.
I was a fan, but maybe not a super-fan. I never did send this fan letter to Harrison Ford. This was the second draft, too.
I have a five-year-old son, Oscar. He hasn’t seen the Star Wars movies yet. Mostly he watches BBC documentaries. When I was drawing Darth Vader and Son, Oscar absorbed the mythology of Star Wars. He started asking me to draw creatures and ships and characters from the films, which he would color in.
I guess it helped that he also has some Star Wars Lego, books, clothes… he’s known Chewbacca since he was two and wore a Chewbacca shirt. Mostly he asked me to draw R2 units.
Of course, I didn’t just want to have Oscar coloring things; I wanted him to draw on his own. He seemed reluctant to because, as he said, “Daddy draws it better.” Sometimes he’d add details, though, like R2-D2’s robotic arm.
I didn’t want to pressure Oscar and turn him off drawing, and eventually he finally started drawing on his own more. He started off with this R2-D2, drawn sometime around six in the morning one Saturday.
Now he mostly draws dinosaurs, perhaps because he still hasn’t seen Star Wars. I think I’m going to maybe let him watch the movies when he turns six later this year (yes, starting with the original trilogy, then the prequels). I’m excited to see what he’s drawing after that…
Jeffrey Brown is the author of numerous graphic novels and comics, including Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Cats Are Weird. A lifelong Star Wars fan, he lives in Chicago where he will be appearing at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo on Sunday, June 17th.
Have you entered our Darth Vader and Son Caption This contest? You could win an autographed copy of the book, plus a poster and button set.
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Latest posts by Jeffrey Brown (see all)
- Return of the Vader Pitches - April 28, 2015
- Father’s Day in a Galaxy Far, Far Away - June 10, 2014
- You’re So Mean: Process for Vader’s Little Princess - June 12, 2013
Meet Our 2019-2020 Design FellowsAugust 6th, 2019
Adiós, Design Fellows!June 27th, 2019
8 Conferences that Target Diversity in PublishingSeptember 26th, 2018