Discover This: Star Wars Art Mash-Ups

Any veteran homeschool parent will tell you when there’s a BIG pop culture event going on, it can be hard to keep your kiddos focused on much else. And so it is with Star Wars. The build-up hype has been long and all the merchandising tie-ins over the holiday break will let the “fun” last weeks longer than you may like.

My homeschool philosophy has always been: Don’t fight them in learning. Join them! That’s why when I see quirky tie-ins to certain pop culture themes, I can’t help myself from connecting all the learning opportunity dots. Seriously, if I’m going to have to listen to Star Wars this and Star Wars that, then I’m going to try to milk it for a couple of homeschool objectives I can put in the portfolio.

Take the amazing digital artwork of French artist Travis Durden. Here’s a guy who has taken classical statues he’s seen in the Lourve Musuem and digitally re-imagined them as Star Wars characters.

A quick look will leave you with a wow-that’s-cool feeling. But wait till you see where a longer look will take you. Here, let me give you an example.

Durden’s Darth Resurrection is a mash-up of Darth Vader and The Resurrection sculpture created for a French king’s burial chamber. To truly appreciate the depth of this artistic fusion, you’ve got to know the back story of both Darth Vader and of Jesus’ rising from the dead.

Asking leading questions is a great way to help kids connect old ideas and to discover new ones. In this case, ask your kiddo to describe the end of the 3rd Star Wars’ movie, Revenge of the Sith. What happened to Anakin Skywalker that caused him transform into Darth Vader?

Next, if you’re not familiar with the Christian story of Jesus’ Resurrection, you can read about it together. Once you have a basic understanding of both storylines, the fun discussion part begins.

  • In the Bible, Jesus is the hero. Is Anakin (aka Darth Vader) the hero of Star Wars?
  • How does seeing a little bit of hair coming out from under Darth Vader’s helmet make you feel about him?
  • Define “irony”. Does it apply to this artistic mash-up?
  • If you created a digital art mash-up of Darth Vader, would you have chosen a sculpture without arms?

The story of the Hurt Niobids is tragic. Boasting can cause you to lose everything you hold dear to your heart. How does that play into this art mash-up?

μονομάχος Boba and Dying Gladiator share the common feature of trained combat warriors. Why else might this be a fitting artistic mash-up?

Are there any connections between the Love Droid and the Greek myth depicted by Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss?

Have More Star Wars Art Fun
  • Find more Star Wars digital art by Travis Durden. See if you can trace back the original sculpture to the new creation.

  • Extend this lesson by creating your own Star Wars art mash-ups with traditional paintings. Challenge your kids to pick a character. Visit a library and look at some art books for pictures that you think fit with the character. Print a copy of the art work as well as a picture of the movie character and combine the two. For example, you could put Princess Leia’s head on top of the shoulders of the Mona Lisa.

  • Visit an art museum to see sculptures in real life. As you walk around, brainstorm together how certain artwork might represent a particular movie character. For example, if you see a relief sculpture, challenge your kids to think of a movie connection – such as Han Solo being frozen in carbonite.

What other connections would you make with these great digital art images?



Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. homeschooled her children from kindergarten into college. Over the last 15+ years, she has also worked with families in creating individualized learning plans. As a professional curriculum developer, Alessa has created afterschool youth development programs for a Baltimore-based nonprofit, as well as teaching materials for homeschool parents and brick and mortar school teachers.