I’m not exactly sure what inspired Gravitybomb into reimagining iconic Star Wars helmets in the style of African masks. Maybe it’s because hes been spending too much time in front of African displays in museums or maybe it’s because he’s been watching a different trilogy lately – The Gods Must Be Crazy. Either way, it’s interesting too see how many similarities African masks and Star Wars helmets have to begin with. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to me if the Star Wars masks were in fact initially modeled after African masks, especially after taking a look at some of Gravitybomb’s preliminary sketches.
Most noticeably, the Tusken raider mask looks like a direct rip-off of a type of African mask. I suspect that the guy who designed the Shy Guy mask was similarly inspired (Tusken raiders and Shy Guys are both known to use spear-like weapons as well). The four masks that Gravitybomb ultimately chosen to focus on are:
The Storm Trooper Helmet
It kinda looks like the progeny of a Storm Trooper and a double-decker train. Also, it’s a sad face when you flip it upside down.
The Tie Pilot Helmet
This helmet is largely similar to the Storm Trooper helmet to begin with except with hoses coming out of the bottom. The rebels would refer to them as “Bucketheads” – no relation to the guitar slinging virtuoso. Also, it looks like it’s emerging from a :O face.
Darth Vader Mask
Ahhh, our much beloved Darth Vader mask. This one looks really cool and is shaped more like a skull. Ironically, it ends up looking somewhat less intimidating.
The Boba Fett Mask
The T-shape for the eyes always reminded me of a medieval knight’s mask and here, Gravitybomb decided to elongate the top – probably to contain Boba Fett’s huge brain. It also kind-of looks like what an Alien might wear to keep up with sartorial pressure of Predator.
Overall, the designs look amazing and what makes them so interesting is the juxtaposition to the African masks. If Gravitybomb decided to sell poster size images on Etsy, I would be as giddy as an Ewok on a sugar high. This is not a suggestion but an order.