Body Art in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The female Jedi of  Star Wars really kick ass.

While watching a recent episode of Star Wars The Clone Wars, I was struck by the abundant body art on many of the characters.  It  had me speculating on the origin and significance.

I don’t know if there is a formal ideology or more explanation for the art; but I wouldn’t be surprised–perhaps someone nerdier than me can tell me.  I can tell you that several of the characters bear obvious tattoos,  brands, body paint, or similar graphic symbols on their skin. Maybe the animators just enjoy drawing them that way.    (Yes, I do realize these are just cartoon characters.).

Barriss Offee

Sparkling like Diamonds

Diamond shaped tattoos seem to be a theme.  Barriss Offee and her mentor, Luminara Unduli, have what appear to be tribal tattoos. (There are good pics of Ashoka Tano and Luminara Unduli on this page.) Barriss has a scattering of diamond-shaped markings across her face and her hands, and Master Unduli has facial markings on her chin similar to a Maori moko. (Moko @ Wikipedia).

Ashoka Tano

Obi-Wan’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano, has very interesting facial markings, but it is unclear to me exactly what they are.  Are they organic, similar to tiger stripes?  Perhaps they are white body paint, or battle paint, but they seem to be inherent.  I wonder if that blue striped and green coiffure is cosmetic or hair or an appendage or what.  She seems to be of the long appendagy-type people like Jabbas’ lieutenant, who appeared to have filed his teeth.  (You can tell this post is really well researched, eh?)  Whether the white markings on the cheeks, above the eyes, and on the forehead are painted on or not, they are very striking.

There are other examples of this predilection for body art in the Star Wars franchse.  In the episode  I saw recently, in which Ahsoka and Barriss try to penetrate a droid factory, at least one of the male characters had a forehead marking (a brand?). Come to think of it, Princess Amidala was fond of elaborate geisha-like makeup with a ritualized markings.  And then there are the markings and horns on Darth Maul.  I haven’t seen any piercings yet on the denizens of that galaxy, but they may be out there.

My poor drawings do not do these much more talented animators justice, so be sure to check out what these characters really look like by going to the official Star Wars site. You can watch episodes of The Clone wars and see for yourself.   You’ll notice that one of the header pictures on this link is of a female character with spiral dot tattoos on her shoulder.

All these dots and diamonds remind me of these awesome dot tattoos I found on Flickr. Dotwork Tattoos by Damian. I’d say there’s a convergence between art and life!

Image above from Crave. Drawings belong to me.  Star Wars and Clone Wars belong to George Lucas.

fin

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2 Responses to Body Art in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

  1. Aron says:

    Funny, I was just thinking about body art portrayed in fantasy films and the such. Have you caught any or the trailers for the Avatar movie that is coming out? I saw that the main character (or at least who I think the main character is based on the previews)has stretched earlobes. Check it out if you get a chance….

    • piercedconsumer says:

      oh, I definitely will! I’m the kind of person who gets so distracted by the costuming and appearance of a movie I often have to see it twice!

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