KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....”
Actually, it was about three decades ago when I first watched “Star Wars” on VHS (yes, back in the days before DVDs and before the film was renamed a rather unwieldy Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). The now classic opening crawl prefaced the intergalactic romps of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo which thrilled me as a child and later as a nostalgic adult.
The part where Luke was nearly killed when the dianoga took him underwater both excited me and gave me nightmares. I’ve been a lifelong fan since.
Another lifelong fan who understands this sentiment well is Chen Tien Yue, Executive Director of Royal Selangor Marketing. He will probably tell you what a dianoga is, if you ask him nicely.
“Just like many others who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, ‘Star Wars’ has been a huge part of pop culture for me: from the toys I played with as a kid to the movie quotes we use,” says Chen. “Even if you’re not an official member of the ‘Star Wars’ fan club, you are likely to know the names of the characters, the storyline, how a Jedi is able to use the power of the Force, the distinctive shape of the Millennium Falcon and Princess Leia’s slave outfit!”
Now Chen finally has a chance to celebrate some of the world’s most famous movie characters in pewter form. It’s a true “Star Wars” fan’s dream come true. He says, “This collaboration with Walt Disney has been a wonderful opportunity for Royal Selangor to show what we can bring to Star Wars: our 130-year old heritage of pewter design and craftsmanship.”
Famed for their collections of beautifully designed pewterware, Royal Selangor has captured the iconic characters of another major film franchise before. Fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy will surely remember Royal Selangor’s War of the Ring chess set as well as exclusive goblets featuring the dragon Smaug and the wizard Gandalf.
For the Star Wars collection, Royal Selangor collaborated closely with the Walt Disney Company South East Asia in getting it approved by Lucasfilm. Expect to see a variety of Royal Selangor designed Star Wars-themed merchandise over the next three years.
“From a design perspective, our team has had fun with this collection,” says Chen. “You would expect them to design some collectible figurines, but did you expect a Snowspeeder flashdrive? Or a Death Star trinket box? Our team of craftsmen has been working very hard to ensure that all the important details are captured in each piece we produce. From the small dents in Boba Fett’s mask.... to the even smaller dents in Boba Fett’s mask!”
The just-launched collection includes Limited Edition figurines (Darth Vader and Han Solo being two immediate favourites) and collectibles such as cufflinks, tumblers, and goblets. Another highlight of the initial product line is the Luke vs Rancor Diorama, which depicts the Jedi knight’s battle with Jabba the Hutt’s monstrous beast.
Fans who have been waiting patiently for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the much-awaited seventh episode in the saga (which opens in cinemas on December 17, 2015), are now also waiting to see whether their favourite character will get immortalised in Royal Selangor pewter.
“Before the movie screens we will be launching some additional products based on characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” promises Chen. “There are so many iconic characters in Star Wars that we just had to draw the line somewhere. We made sure we covered iconic characters like Yoda and the Stormtroopers. But some fans will wonder why we have yet to do an R2D2 or a Chewbacca. We will be developing many more new designs for Star Wars so look out for them!”
Royal Selangor’s Star Wars collection is available at its retail stores in Malaysia. The collection will also be available at its online store and in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and China soon.