Lego Star Wars: Small Scenes From a Big Galaxy (2015) – Vesa Lethimaki

DK Canada and Lego Star Wars combined forces to publish a fun and beautiful book of Vesa Lethimaki’s minifigures and the creative environs he puts them in.

I remember first coming across Lethimaki’s Flickr stream a few years ago, and was completely wowed by his art. I quickly bookmarked it, and visited on a regular basis. He’s turned his passion for Star Wars into a fantastic hobby, taking beautiful pictures of his (and his son’s) collection. With his work, he’s created a beautiful glimpse at a galaxy far, far away.

This gorgeous book highlights some of his most stunning, and fun, photographs, working within the confines of the Original Trilogy, his images tell stories, fire the imagination, and appeal to both the young and the adult of the reader.

I mean, these are pictures of toys, children’s playthings, or collector’s treasure, but they are done with such imagination and joy that they are also images of photographic art. And as a personal aside, as much as I enjoyed seeing his work online, to have some of them bound in a book, with images filling the pages, little asides sharing the story of the image as well as the making of them, I think does them more justice.

This one feels like a bit of a must for those Star Wars fans who grew up playing with the original toys and Lego (I remember building my own playsets out of Lego for my figures to battle in), people who love photography, and my fellow geeks.

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There are grand scenes, portraits, and dozens of off-screen moments brought wonderfully to life, including the Stormtrooper named TK-24/7, who seems to get some of the worst jobs in the Empire, but some of the best pictures.

Lethimaki makes great use of his environment, both indoors and outdoors, a small studio, and things that can be found around the house. When he combines them with Star Wars Lego figures and puts his camera to work, it’s hard not to be transported by his images. In fact a number of them served as inspiration for the creators of The Lego Movie.

DK Canada has crafted a beautiful book that stops at three of the Original Trilogy’s planets and gives us a glimpse of the Imperial and Rebel activity there, as well as checking in with some of the locals. It’s gorgeous, suitable for all readers, and honestly, makes me want to get out there and shoot all kinds of stuff with Lego figures.

The last chapter of the book is an interview with Lethimaki about his love of Star Wars, his toys, and how he’s created some of the now iconic shots from his collection. It may not be as insightful or instructive as some photographers may like, but it does serve as wonderful inspiration.

Star Wars Lego: Small Scenes From a Big Galaxy is available now at bookstores, and would make a great addition to any Star Wars readers collection, no matter their age. Check it out now!!

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