Chris Alexander

Star Wars Origami Artist

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away….

These words first appeared on movie screens on May 21, 1977 and set the stage for a saga which included all the elements of a timeless myth; heroes, villains, monsters, knights, a princess in distress, and of course a climactic battle between good and evil. I was 13 at the time and I was awe struck. I fell in love with the heroes, booed the villains, and became a Star Wars fan on the spot. I sat and watched this tale unfold and was introduced to a new universe filled with wondrous things. The aliens, droids, creatures, vehicles, and starships captured and stimulated the imagination. Their distinctive shapes from long ago and far away are perfectly suited for re-creation in the present through the ancient art of origami.

Origami is sculpting simply by folding a piece of paper. Its exact origins are unknown but probably date back to 600 A.D. when Buddhist priests introduced Chinese paper-making methods to Japan. The Japanese imagination saw shapes and forms in the paper and through the ensuing centuries they learned how to re-create the birds and animals around them, raising paper folding to an art form.

Traditional origami crane

In its purest form, origami starts with a single square of paper. Tearing the sheet, taping pieces together, or even using tools to help the folding process are not allowed. Some artists hold that as long as the paper is folded, it can start with any shape, be cut, glued and even have multiple pieces. My opinion is somewhere in the middle. I prefer not to cut or glue the paper, but the number of pieces and starting shape are irrelevant as long as it's within reason. I've been doing origami more or less since I was 5 years old. My mom introduced me to origami by accident. When I was a young boy she would take my brother, my sister and me to the library and read to us. She would grab a few books from the kids section and we'd listen and look at the pictures. One day she grabbed an origami book thinking it was some sort of Japanese story. Inside were diagrams showing how to make some simple animals and a paper cup. I loved that cup and it started me down the path to fame and glory as an origami artist. (I'm not famous or reveling in glory yet).

The cup that started it all

This web site is dedicated to showing off my labor of love. It took me just under 2 years to go from concept to the first version of the book. The concept was launched back in the fall of 1997 when I was visiting my old friend, Colleen, and she introduced me to her friend, Chris. He is a special effects artist and a Star Wars fan. Just the day before, I had fulfilled a long standing goal of mine by creating the origami X-Wing. I had to show it to him and get his opinion. He loved the X-Wing and asked what else I could make. I showed him the B-Wing I had created a few weeks earlier. He liked the B-Wing even more that the X-Wing and told me I should write a Star Wars origami book. I told him I didn't know how to invent figures or how to write and diagram figures even if I could create them. His response: "so teach yourself". I thought about this for the next few days and realized he was right. As a result I've been "teaching myself" ever since and created the Star Wars Origami book. Chris, I am in your debt and I hope to be able to thank you in person one day.

My first original Star Wars figure

Chris Alexander (Chris@Starwarsorigami.com)

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