Published September 26, 2017

Star Wars: World of Wonders

Artist Mike Mayhew explores the Star Wars galaxy in Storms of Crait!

Image for Star Wars: World of Wonders

Veteran Star Wars artist Mike Mayhew returns to illustrate the fight between good and evil in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – STORMS OF CRAIT, a special story that ties into both the new film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and the classic Rebellion era of the original film trilogy. We spoke with him about illustrating classic characters, populating a new world, and much more. Mike, this is not only a new Star Wars book, but one that connects with the new film this December—how’s it feel to be involved?

Mike Mayhew: I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity! I’ve done some really awesome Star Wars jobs. I’ve drawn George Lucas’ own words for the seven-issue adaptation of “The Star Wars” that tells the proto-version of what we all know as “Episode IV,” and had early versions of many things from all the future movies. I’ve also drawn Obi-Wan’s adventures on Tatooine with young Luke, which is something I’d always wondered about and never dreamed I’d get to work on. And, recently I got to do a nice run of covers for the main STAR WARS title and got to play with so many of the Star Wars icons like Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, a Hutt, Stormtroopers, Lando, etc.

But, STORMS OF CRAIT is maybe the most unique opportunity. To have a story that comes out in conjunction with a brand new Star Wars movie, which is a pretty rare occasion, that tells a story connected to the movie, but featuring the original cast?  That is a very cool thing to have to wrap your mind around. What’s exciting for you to be able to illustrate Luke and Leia at this point in their histories as young Rebels?

Mike Mayhew: Well, for me this is the timeline in Star Wars that I think gets the most people excited. These are the main, original characters in their absolute prime. They still are young, full of energy and excitement, and out to change the universe for the better. For a 48-year-old guy like me who used to play with action figures of these characters when he was eight-years-old, it’s like coming to work and re-living those same fantasies and flights of imagination I had playing with those toys. Again, it’s something I never dreamed I would get to do, especially way back then. As you learned about the planet Crait, what really struck you about the environment there as something you couldn’t wait to lay down visually?

Mike Mayhew: Crait is pretty straightforward on the surface: flat, desolate—a lot like Tatooine.  But under the surface is this strange, alien red rock. We get to explore that in the Mines of Crait.  It’s a really cool visual I haven’t seen before, so it’s what I think is appealing about a lot of designs in Star Wars—familiar, yet with a new twist. Will we get to see some new Mayhew Star Wars designs on ships, creatures, etc.?

Mike Mayhew: A couple. There is a new character that intrigues me named Trusk Berinato that our heroes encounter. My favorite characters in Star Wars have a duality, the ones you aren’t sure whether they are good guys or bad guys. Trusk is like that a bit. He reminds me of Lando, or Valorum the Sith Lord from my work on THE STAR WARS. What’s he like visually?

Mike Mayhew: I envision him a little like Bruce Dern from the 1970s mixed with a little Matthew McConaughey. I hope he keeps readers on their toes as to whose side he is on; the Rebels, the Empire, or is he out for himself? He has some droids that work in the Mines of Crait that I designed that borrow a bit from the pit droids from the prequels. And there are is some farming equipment I designed that the characters use.

And, though I didn’t design them, we get to have a lot of fun with the new Ski Speeders that have been seen in the “Last Jedi” trailer. I even got the very awesome new Hasbro toy of it just to see how it looked all-around! What about for our heroes? Will there be new looks?

Mike Mayhew: I did design a new costume for Leia. I think she always looks best in all white, and I have her in a new action-type costume. And, it has a hood which feels very “Episode IV” to me.

Join the adventure with STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – STORMS OF CRAIT, coming later this year!