In Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, Patton Oswalt plays a partially disabled man who has an affinity for making his own whiskey and customizing action figures. Oswalt got the idea for his character to have the action figure hobby as a fan of Jamie Follis—better known by the name “Sillof“—an artist and custom toy creator and designer.
As Oswalt best describes him, Sillof is an “’action figure customizer’ the way Van Gogh was a ‘painter,’” and through this admiration of the artist’s work, the two connected via the Twitter and began exchanging ideas.This all led to Oswalt commissioning a new line from Sillof, something the artist rarely does.
One of Sillof’s greatest inspirations is the Star Wars universe, creating multiple lines of action figures that fuse popular characters from George Lucas’s creation with different styles and genres like steampunk or westerns or fantasy. So what would be the inspiration for this new line of Patton Oswalt-inspired Star Wars action figures? The works of legendary exploitation cinema director Russ Meyer, with a primary focus on the director’s best-known film, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Oswalt wrote about the project on his blog, and spoke about what he was looking for and why the whole thing is now a bit bittersweet:
It’s the Star Wars universe as interpreted by Russ Meyer. Busty, pneumatic amazons in all of the male roles, with one Li’l Abner-stlye lunkhead in the Princess Leia role. Cars and liquor and 60’s-style garage rock. And, except for a couple of names and character ideas (I came up with “Darla Vade” and insisted she be modeled after the immortal Tura Satana) Sillof came up with the whole story, and all of the other characters. A film buff as well as a craftsman, this man.
What’s bittersweet about the whole thing is, Roger Ebert never got to see these. I turned him on to Sillof’s site last year. He especially loved the Noir Wars figures.
And I sent him the title logo of this set as a tease just a few months ago. As someone who’d worked with Russ Meyer (Ebert was going to write the collaboration between Meyer and the fucking Sex Pistols, fer chrissakes) he was more than intrigued. But I never rush an artist, whether they’re going a poster or album cover or especially something like this.
So this set’s for you, Roger. More evidence, from just one of probably a hundred thousand bored suburban kids you led out of the bland cineplexes and into rep theatres and obscure video stores and adventurous film festivals. There was a network of parallels, connections and coincidences in that movie universe you kept in your head. I’d like to think this interpretation of a tiny sliver of it would make you smile. Or at least grip your heart, like a velvet glove cast in iron.
You can see one image of Sillof’s Russ Meyer-inspired Star Wars action figures above, but for the image and full rundown of each character, be sure to head to his official site now!