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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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Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown is a two-time Eisner Award–winning artist and writer of Darth Vader™ and Son, Vader's™ Little Princess, Goodnight Darth Vader™, and numerous graphic novels and comics. A lifelong Star Wars fan, he lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.
Jeffrey Brown

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3 Comments

  • April June 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Harrison Ford should have been proud to get that fan letter. That Darth Vader drawing is so charming. Love it!

    Reply

  • Sarah June 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I love your kid drawings–they are so pure, timeless.

    Reply

  • Jose d. June 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Jeff: You should watch the Star Wars movies "Cincinnati Style": Watching the episodes in the following order, which matches a ZIP code in Cincinnati: 45236. Yep, skip Episode 1 and make Episodes 2 & 3 one long interlude before the final battle. Some guy named the 45236 ordering after his lame blog, but the mnemonic matching the Cincinnati ZIP code is easier to remember.

    Reply

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