I think I might’ve just seen my favorite thing in the history of all things ever: French photographer Stefán Le Dú took pictures of Stormtrooper action figures every day for a year. That description alone might not make you say “Yes, Allen, that does sound like grandest of all possible things!”, but trust me on this.
Le Dú didn’t just meticulously pose action figures — he imbued them with personality, an especially impressive feat when you realize that you can’t see the Stormtroopers’ faces. (His figures had removable helmets, but he keeps their faces hidden even in shots with their helmets off.) Through their poses, stances, placements and relation to each other and their environments, Le Dú paints a plastic picture of two Stormtroopers, one not-so-bright and the other dealing with his partner’s not-so-brightness1, who taunt Ewoks and Jedi alike, who cower in fear from Sith lords (yet who still worship them), who gleefully promote the benefits of working for the Empire, and who know how to enjoy a good time.
His three-hundred-sixty-five photos don’t exactly tell one story, though he certainly uses recurring themes and imagery, such as the troopers’ fondness for the phrase “rebel scum.” But the beauty of this set is that each and every photo tells a story. There’s a deep fondness for the Star Wars universe present in this set, and several of the photos provide subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) meta-commentary on Star Wars and the place and reputation of Stormtroopers therein. For instance, I think this photo might be my favorite for exactly that reason:
Take the time to go through the pictures. Le Dú shows not only some tremendous creativity and humor but also some serious technical chops — he’s a hell of a photographer, with a fantastic sense of compositon, staging and lighting. It takes a while to take in all 365 photos, but if you’re a fan of photography, storytelling or Stormtroopers, it’s well worth the time.
A couple more of my favorites:
To be perfectly fair, there’s more than one picture that insinuate that neither of them is chock full o’ brains. ↩