White Slave I by Marc Köhler
A gleaming white Slave I with grey accents that perfectly matches a Kenner Vintage Collection Boba Fett prototype action figure, how can that not catch our eye? While that may be a no-brainer, we must point out that the first photo of it was quite a ways down Marc Köhler’s Instagram feed, and that the reason why we even ran across it at all was because Marc’s toy photography got our attention first.
One of Marc’s strengths that stands out to us is the rich visual narrative he creates in each of his images, oftentimes with a light hearted twist. Some of our favorites include Stormtrooper Twister, Darth Vader discovering a need for non-slip footwear, Han Solo being offered ice cream, and this great Pulp Fiction and Star Wars mashup. We are also fans of Marc’s Star Wars renditions of classic artwork and movies such as Mandalorian Nighthawks, The Magnificent Seven Speeder Bikes, and Jango Fett’s Last Supper.
At this point, it should also be obvious that Marc is great at building sets. While the previously mentioned photos certainly showcase some of Marc’s creative and detailed dioramas, we recommend checking out his entire Instagram feed to experience a fuller spectrum of his photography and handiwork. You won’t regret it.
We must ask the most important question first: what is your earliest Star Wars memory, and how did you become a Star Wars fan?
It must been 1984, when my Uncle showed me a copy of Return of the Jedi. I was 7 years old and when I saw all those creatures and aliens at Jabba’s Palace and I was spontaneously infected. The Ewoks have done the rest. And don’t forget the flight through the Death Star by Lando, Nien Nunb, and Wedge. I still have those big eyes when I see this movie.
Despite the fact that we are featuring a custom piece you have worked on, you are clearly a toy photographer too. Who or what inspired you to get into toy photography? Was there an “A-ha” moment?
I guess it was around 2011, when I discovered Slinkachu. He is a British photographer who makes photos with figures you would use for model railroad sets. He makes his photos all over London. Check him out, he is awesome. And after him, Stephen Hayford crossed my way. This was the point that made it click for me.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character to photograph? Is he/she also your favorite character overall?
My favorite Star Wars character of all is Boba Fett because of all the stories in the Expanded Universe. Other favorite characters are stormtroopers because they are a little bit stupid. On my Facebook page I have some folders and every one tells a different story. My Favorite action figures are Yak Face and Boba Fett
Your photos are in fact very rich in storytelling. How do you come up with your ideas?
Hmmm… Sometimes they are there when I buy a special new item. Like yesterday, I visited my sister and we went to the local comic shops. At one of them I bought a Cybermen figure from Dr. Who. Because I own a Dalek, I could do a new photo for the “The Hunt for the Droids” folder. Sometimes I have to sit down to think about what can I do. That’s how I started. I had those stormtroopers and I thought, “Man what can I do with you guys?” The first folder was about what the troopers do in their free time. The next folder was the search for the droids. The newest folder is about Darth Vader and his ordinary adventures. Like feeding ducks in the park or taking a swim around in the pool. Stuff like that. Since the first of June of 2016, I have a “challenge” running, called “365 days“. I try to post a new photo everyday. That’s where I sit down and think what can I do.
What can you tell us about your custom white Slave I to go with your prototype Boba Fett? What was the inspiration behind it?
There are a lot of Mandalorian action figures out there and a lot of Boba Fett figures also. So one day, the white Boba Fett arrived. Because Jango Fett and Boba Fett got their own colored Slave I’s, blue/grey and brown/green/grey, I thought that he needed his own Slave I too. I bought a used Jango Fett Slave I from the 2002 Star Wars Saga line, which was in better shape than the one I owned at this time. So I spray painted mine white and grey, and he’s lucky with it.
Your photographs also boast some great looking sets, particularly the Mos Eisley settings. Did you make those too?
First I used some printed backgrounds of an Imperial wall. The one you see in the pictures. That was not good enough for me. I searched in Google about dioramas. First I found DioramaWorkShop, but I didn’t get enough information there so I watched YouTube videos. There are a lot of guys who tell you what you can use and how to build a diorama. The first one was the Keldabe Alley for some Mandalorian photos, then I built an Endor bunker and then the Mos Eisley one. I am working now on Jabba’s Palace. Alongside I do stuff like the white Slave I, an Obi-Wan Kenobi in Mandalorian armor or I spray painted a 1:18 camper for a new photo series.
Lastly, what advice would you give someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
If you want to take photos of your figures in action, do it! Don’t let some moron who doesn’t understand your hobby tell you this is childish. It is not! It’s a photographic art. Thanks for having me.
About the Artist
Marc Köhler was a year old when Star Wars first came out and lives in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. He is currently in rehabilitation from an October 2015 cardiac transplant, which leaves him a lot time for taking photos and building dioramas. His hobbies include going to movies (he’s a huge DC and Marvel fan), watching TV, hanging out with his crew, and collecting Star Wars and GI Joe action figures (and possibly Acid Rain in the near future). You can find Marc on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.