Brighton-based artist created a stunning series of imaginary insects based on Star Wars characters. In , recognizable characters become transformed into realistic, lifelike bugs, including Chewbecca, R2D2, Darth Vader and Han Solo .
Wilkinson has always been fascinated by natural history. “There is something about the way scientists categorized and classified the chaotic and vast world of nature that really resonates with me,” Wilkinson told . What better way to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the natural world than to combine it with “the world of modern obsession” and pop culture?
After all, the desire to classify and identify exist just as much outside of science, like when fandoms grow around film, TV , movies, books, vehicles or toys. To create the illustrations, Wilkinson began by studying icons from Star Wars, and determining their most recognizable traits.
“Then I sketch a few ideas and then go to my entomology books and online collections for ideas of how they might translate into features of an insect,” he explained. Sometimes, he finds an insect that seems like the right fit. But just as often, he goes through an adjusting process, adapting the insect form to subtly showcase Star Wars characteristics.
His illustrations are subtle, the changes to the insect almost undetectable until the moment of recognition. “I love that some people can look and look and just see a beetle, almost to the point of frustration,” he said. “It’s so satisfying to me to see that moment when they finally ‘get it’!”
See more of the series on Wilkinson’s or .