Cool Russ Meyer-Inspired ‘Star Wars’ Figures, Commissioned by Patton Oswalt

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It’s not every day that you hear about a project that brings together (psychically, at least) George Lucas, Roger Ebert, Russ Meyer, and Patton Oswalt, but here goes: when Oswalt was acting in Young Adult, he became interested in Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”), an “action figure customizer” with a specialty in physical reimaginings of the Star Wars universe. Oswalt liked Sillof’s work so much that he commissioned him to create a series of figures that mashed up the world of Lucas with that of exploitation movie legend Russ Meyer, resulting in the artist’s latest series, Faster, Empire! Strike! Strike!

But here’s where it gets bittersweet. Oswalt had introduced Roger Ebert to Sillof’s work, and had told him about the series, which Ebert was excited to see — a lifelong friend of the gonzo moviemaker, Ebert wrote or co-wrote three Meyer movies (and wrote Who Killed Bambi?, their notorious, unproduced Sex Pistols movie). Ebert didn’t live to see the figures, but, as Oswalt writes on his blog, “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.” Check out Sillof’s work, and the character descriptions from his site, below.

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Betty Kentworthy runs a dilapidated old farm on the outskirts of a small town in West Texas that hadn’t yielded much more than dirt the last few seasons. There was a drought going on and the farm was cluttered with windmills drilling down to dry wells. Betty was disliked and dismissed by the local townsfolk for some unspoken events from the past; she resigns herself to a solitary existence looking over two teenagers who are not her children by birth.” Siloff writes that he was going for a “tough old Angie Dickenson type.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Lucy “longs to break free of the boring confines of the farm. She dreams of adventure, life on the open road, and boys. Forced to work on the farm by Betty who watches over the girl in hopes to shelter from some of the mistakes she made in her youth.” Siloff writes, “I based the look on one of Meyer’s protagonists from the film Vixen.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

The Princess Leia character is Leo, who “has the intellect God gave a bag of marbles and the muscles of a body builder. Maybe it was all that work in the hot sun that baked his brains and gave him that impressive physique. All of his faults aside he was dutifully loyal to Betty and fiercely protective of his sister Lucy.” This one “is based on the Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! character of the beefcake known as Vegetable.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Our C3PO stand-in is Golden Rod. “One day glistening in the hot noon sun a golden GTO came tearing into town. The old car was a little beat up but heavily modified to outrun anything the cops could throw at them. As the car roared though main street its occupants noticed a curvaceous farm girl, Lucy, with her brother in town at the feed store buying supplies. The car followed the kids home.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Darla Vade is “An Amazon of a woman with a sadistic desire to tease men with her sexuality and then violently punish them. She is leading an all girl crew on a cross country crime spree of sex, violence, and robbery. She is quite taken with the shapely, young Lucy and imagines the chaos that could cause with her in their ranks.” Siloff writes, “This was another of Patton’s initial ideas. Basically she is based on the iconic character of Varla, played by Tura Satana from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Stormy Go-Go “is the flunky and yes-girl to Darla. What ever Darla wants Stormy does. She is actually part of a revolving door of gorgeous henchwoman that Darla enlists and she calls them all ‘Stormy’.” This one is “loosely based on the go-go dancer Billie in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Bonita Flores is “a deadly murderer and the real muscle behind Darla gang. She says little, but she speaks with action, and her actions almost always leave a trail of dead men.” Siloff notes, “I wanted the bad girls to be a trio just like in the film. She is loosely based on Rosie from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! but I added a western style to her to incorporate a look from my West Wars line.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Chibetta is the the drummer in the all-girl rock band ‘The Milky Way Falcons.’ She is actually from Mexico and speaks no English and can only communicate by relaying what she wants to her band mate Hanna. The band is playing a dive bar in town when Lucy runs in the back door for safety after being chased and harassed by Darla and her gang, only to find the huge drummer waiting who takes her to meet the band.” Of the next three characters, he writes “The roguish heroes posed a real challenge for me. I eventually had the idea of making them an all girl rock band like the one from the Russ Meyer film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. I thought it worked with the rock n roll attitudes of the smugglers and scoundrels.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Lead guitarist Hanna “Guitar” Solo “is a bit of a loner who needs no else accept the adventure of the open road, the occasional groupie, and her bandmates. The only thing she loves more than the ‘The Milky Way Falcons’ is her old supped up grey van the band travels in. She reluctantly agrees to help Lucy after she becomes convinced that her family may reward the band and and after Darla’s girls burned up her van to stop them from getting away.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Lanna Calloway “is a foxy soul singer rock star that is one part Billy Holiday and one part Jimi Hendrix. She is a child hood friend of Hanna who only recently reunited with her when they formed the band, ‘The Milky Way Falcons’. She agrees to help Lucy, but secretly had worked out a deal to help Darla to save her bandmates from the violent girl gang’s retribution. She changes her mind at the last second, and steals the GTO during a bar fight that broke out between Lucy and Leo and Darla’s gang to help her band and the kids escape. After a brief chase the group makes it to safety back at the farm.”

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

Image credit: Jamie Follis (aka “Sillof”)

[via /Film]