The reach of the Galaxy far, far away into our own world is very deep. From soup cans to luxury cars, the images are everywhere. But thankfully, Wired Magazine is keeping the art and soul of Star Wars alive by celebrating their collaboration. Wired Magazine, along with the garment company Stance, recently hosted a launch party in New York City for their current issue, which features the photography of Dan Winters. These amazing shots capture everything from Luke’s lightsaber, to Darth Vader’s helmet to the deeply engaging portraits of the Creator, the Producer and the Director.
A few weeks ago, a package came to my door inviting me to this party. Included therein were two pair of socks – to help choose between the Light Side and the Dark Side. I claimed the R2-D2 socks, but didn’t know what to do with the other pair. Then, inspiration! My youngest brother Matt and I have shared a love for Star Wars our whole lives. I called him immediately and asked him to go to the party with me and to wear the stormtrooper socks. He told me that he had never been to New York City before, cried a little, and then rearranged his work schedule for the night of the party.
We arrived at One World Trade Center, the home of the Condé Nast Gallery, where the party was to be held. What a fitting location. In the heart of the greatest city on earth, we celebrate Star Wars. That building: a sign of perseverance and majesty, power in height but grace in its simplicity. We were ushered to the 34th floor. As the elevator doors opened, the sounds of the DJ filled the air, and the joy of fans from all over was palpable. As the invitation said, this is the party we were looking for.
To the left was the bar (always good to see at a soiree). Beyond that was the display from Stance, who were also sponsoring the party. Stance Socks would be excellent additions to the wardrobe of any Star Wars fans, expressing the saga in a new and exciting way. We were treated to another pair. I chose Boba Fett, while my brother went with the old scoundrel himself, Han. To get an idea of these amazing products, head over to theuncommonforce.com, since my words cannot relate to you the complete crew-shaped awesomeness. While admiring the selection, we had the good fortune to meet Greg, Nicole and Stephanie of the 501st Legion. It was inspiring to meet folks who invest their fandom with such devotion and charitable outreach.
On the opposite side of the gallery was the wonderful photography. Matt and I are a bit goofy, so we were delighted to have some (respectable) fun with the images. We looked deeply at the contours on the top of the Millennium Falcon and stared into the eyes of George Lucas’ portrait. Dan Winters has a true and abiding gift for photography and he captured the essence of his subjects in a simple, yet profound manner. Matt and I circulated among these images for more than an hour, taking breaks only to refill our libations and to play with a Sphero BB-8. He was much, much better at it than I was. Since I am the author here, we will leave it at that.
One of the waitresses told us of an event she had recently worked where she was assigned to the table with George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson. Well, of course we wanted to hear about that! George’s personality is a thing of legend, like a hermit living up on a hill that is glimpsed from afar. But here, our new friend Samantha was going to tell us about her encounter! She said that George is very quiet, but very polite and friendly. Mellody, we were told, is very outgoing and friendly as well. Samantha said it was a pleasure to be in their presence, which made her look forward to being with the Star Wars fans at the Wired party.
Matt has a busy life, and I live in a rural area. We don’t get out much. After some time mingling and meeting other fans and friends of Wired Magazine, we sat to just watch the people in this luxurious gallery. With the photographs from Dan Winters capturing the greatest epic of our lives, the commanding view of the New York City skyline was the perfect backdrop to see a bunch of people simply having fun because of Star Wars. It was also nice to catch up with him in such an extraordinary place.
We made a graceful exit after more than two hours of fun and conversation. As the door closed on the elevator, Matt and I looked at each other and just erupted in laughter. This lasted all the way to the lobby, and spilled out to the street. It was a night unlike any either of us had ever had. This is already a watershed week in the life of a Star Wars fan, and we started it off with a world-class party thrown by world-class people.
Among the gifts received that night is a poster of the three page wide cover. This now has a place of honor in my office to remind me of this special night of celebration.