Big Wookies Don’t Cry

Big Wookies Don’t Cry

June 7, 2016

This is a visual ds106 Assignment Bank project. Here is a brief description of the assignment:

Find or take a photo of an eye. Take another image of whatever you want, and overlay the image onto the eye. Make the image in the eye smaller so that it looks like a reflection in the person’s eye. Let us see what the person in the photo is seeing through their eyes.

This is Han Solo’s death as seen by Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Chewbacca EyeReflection

I was 5 when Star Wars was released. I saw it in the theater then and grew up with the characters and universe. I am an OT Star Wars nerd. So when Han Solo got run through with his son’s lightsaber, I thought Han Solo just got killed by his brat kid. Bullshit. Seeing a character you have been familiar with for over 30 years get killed off was harsh–then I thought: aww, poor Chewbacca. So I tried to create an image of Han’s death through Chewbacca’s eye(s).

I grabbed three screenshots from a digital version of the movie. One of Chewbacca, an image of Han Solo as he falls off the catwalk and a shot of Kylo Ren standing on the catwalk after the fact.


I imported these images into GIMP to mash them together. The steps I took to create the image was pretty straight forward:

  • Made the distance shot of the catwalk the base layer.
  • Above that, put the image of Han falling.
  • Drew a circle mask around Han and deleted the excess of the image.

Han Solo Crop Composite

  • Erased what remained manually, leaving only a fine highlight around the figure.
  • Tweaked the perspective of the falling figure.
  • Darkened the highlight outline to blend it with background.
  • Added a little Gaussian blur to soften the edges.

Han Solo CropEdit

  • Erased Chewbacca’s eye.
  • Blurred and darkened the edges of the eye hole.

Wookie Eye Alpha

  • Imported a picture of an eye that’s been on my hard drive for however long and made it a layer underneath the eye hole layer.
  • Combined the catwalk and Han falling layers to create the eye “reflection” image.
  • Painted out excess so only the portion covering the iris remained.
  • Set the “reflection” image layer to Hard Light and reduced the Opacity.

The closeup of Chewbacca’s hair is blurry because I had to scale the image up, so the reflected image would be more apparent. If I still had a working graphics tablet, I could have painted in some detail to the hair. Overall I think it came out good.

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