Looking for inkspiration? These are the Star Wars tattoos you’re looking for.
Nearly 40 years after the first Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, fans have proven Director George Lucas wrong: “I didn’t think the film was going to be a success,” he said at a Tribeca Film Festival panel. Fans of Star Wars show their support in various ways, and some immortalize its iconic characters on their bodies with tattoos. What drives fans to get Star Wars tattoos? To answer that question, I reached out to Lucasfilm-licensed Star Wars tattoo artist Mike Bianco at the Ink-Fusion Tattoo Empire.
“Much like myself, most fans have an emotional connection to the films or their themes in one way or another, so getting a tattoo related to Star Wars often keeps them in touch with whatever that connection may be,” he said.
When a fan comes to Bianco, sometimes they know exactly what they want. Other times, it’s a collaborative effort. “[Some] come to me with just a loose idea or a handful of elements that they would like to combine, in which case we will brainstorm together to assemble something that is uniquely their own,” he explained.
The ideas fans around the world have for tattoos vary greatly, but all are laudable for their creativity as well as the craftsmanship behind them. Star Wars tattoos also demonstrate that true fandom knows no limits.
I now present some of the best, most unique Star Wars tattoos that exist in our galaxy.
Admit it, the first time you heard R2-D2 “speak,” you wanted a droid. Or if you really like the chatty, opinionated type, perhaps C-3PO by your side would be a dream come true. These fans have stepped into a droid-filled future thanks to Star Wars tattoos.
Best droids forever. Tattoo by Valentina Duran, Rubik Tattoo Studio, Chile. Photo by Valentina Duran.
Dan O’Hara wanted to combine his love for desserts and Star Wars in an “epic commemoration.” He brought his tattoo idea to Stina Sardinha Wulfe at Grim North Tattoo and she drew the custom design.
Star Wars and dessert are a perfect combination. Tattoo by Stina Sardinha Wulfe, Grim North Tattoo, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA. Photo by Stina Sardinha Wulfe.
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Tattoo by Ashley Dawn, No Regrets Tattoo, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. Photo by Ashley Dawn.
“What could go wrong with a spontaneous decision to get a tattoo that represents three things I greatly love in life: Star Wars, Pabst and my closest friends?” Amber explained of her “amazing piece” by Mark Wieden.
One tattoo for three of Amber’s favorite things. Tattoo by Mark Wieden, Ink and Glass Company, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. Photo by Mark Wieden.
Honor Thy Father
I’d be surprised to meet anyone who hasn’t said or heard the following at least once: “Luke, I am your father.” Darth Vader is by far one of the most iconic film characters of all time, and these fans get to admire one of the baddest movie dads ever on their bodies.
When things don’t go your way, it’s deflating. Tattoo by Mike Schwab (Painful Reminders), Heritage Tattoo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Photo by Mike Schwab.
Everyone loves a sharp-dressed Sith Lord. Tattoo by Casey Meservey, Rogue Tattoo, Medford, Oregon, USA. Photo by Casey Meservey.
Darth Vader gets tough. Tattoo by Henri Middlemass, WA Ink Tattoo, Fremantle, Perth, Australia. Photo by Henri Middlemass.
Yoda is one of the most admired Star Wars characters. It only makes sense, then, that fans would find creative ways to show their dedication to the wise, hundreds-year-old master of the Force.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” Tattoo by Jen Bursey, Little Sister’s Tattoo Studio, Kingston, Ontario Canada. Photo by Jen Bursey.
Yoda taking things to a whole new level. Tattoo by Ian Marra, Nitro Ink, Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Ian Marra.
It’s hip to wear shades. Tattoo by Joe Phillips, Vere Street Tattoos, Barry, South Wales. Photo by Joe Phillips.
It’s one of the most talked-about scandals in film history: Luke and Leia’s (nearly) incestuous romance. Luckily, they found out they’re sister and brother before things got too awkward (that kiss!). Fans are keeping Luke and Leia’s love alive with tattoos, albeit separately, and within the confines of the law.
Princess Leia gets the pinup treatment. Tattoo by Isabelle Rodriguez, Liberty Tattoo, Berlin, Connecticut, USA. Photo by Isabelle Rodriguez.
Princess Leia, Day of the Dead. Tattoo by Austin Taylor, All Saints Tattoo, Austin, Texas, USA. Photo by Austin Taylor.
Luke is ready for battle. Tattoo by Josh Herman, Mayday Tattoo Co., Chicago, Illinois, USA. Photo by John Herman.
The beginning of what will be a full-color tattoo in the style of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, featuring Princess Leia and her favorite droid, R2-D2. Tattoo by Suzy Todd, Two Birds Tattoo, Seattle, Washington, USA. Photo by Suzy Todd.]
Immortalizing the Most Hated Star Wars Character
Fans of Star Wars repeatedly cite Jar Jar Binks as their least favorite character. That hasn’t stopped some from adorning their bodies with his image — I’m guessing it helps that a tattoo can’t talk.
I asked tattoo artist Samma Charles, who inked the following Jar Jar Binks tattoo, what made his client want the most hated Star Wars character on his body.
“The guy who got this tattoo was so massively excited about getting this piece that I didn’t have the heart to ask him why he’d go for a character so hated!” he said.
A diehard Jar Jar Binks fan’s ink. Tattoo by Samma Charles, Ursa Major Tattoo Studio, Oxford, England. Photo by Samma Charles.
It was the first time Charles met someone who loved Jar Jar Binks, and the first (and he presumes the last) time he’ll ever do a tattoo of this character.
“He was so happy in the end, and ultimately that’s what I do this for,” he said.
Jar Jar Binks meets Little Shop of Horrors. Tattoo by John Anderton, Nemesis Tattoo Studio, UK. Photo by John Anderton.
I completely understand the argument that the Ewoks ruined Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, but I still find them adorable and want to live in their teddy bear village. I’m not alone.
Tore’s love for Ewoks dates back to her childhood.
Tore’s Ewok heart tattoo. Tattoo by Jay Muirhead at Hype Tattoo, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Photo by Tore.
“[I chose] an Ewok because I love them! My dad introduced me to The Empire Strikes Back when I was very young and I’ve been hooked ever since,” she said. “We also have a dog who kind of looks like an Ewok, so it’s a small tribute to him too. Lastly, it was a fun tattoo that my artist enjoyed doing, so win-win!”
A Stormtrooper meets his match in an Ewok. Tattoo by Dan Kelley, Venom Ink Tattoo, Sanford, Maine, USA. Photo by Dan Kelley.
In memory of Gene Wilder: Wicket Wonka, a mashup of Star Wars and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Tattoo by Mike Schwab (Painful Reminders), Heritage Tattoo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Photo by Mike Schwab.
Respect the Wookiee
Have you ever referred to a clump of hair pulled from the shower drain as a wookiee? If so, you have Star Wars to thank because of Chewbacca the Wookiee, a big hairy biped that moans and groans to express himself. For Star Wars fans who lack body hair, or just want more of it, a Chewbacca tattoo is the perfect solution.
When you do it all for the Wookiee. Tattoo by Jinx Cooper, Image Tattoo Exeter, England. Photo by Jinx Cooper.
While in town for a car show, a fan visited K Lockwood Tattoo wanting Chewbacca inked on his leg — then things changed.
“At the shop we started talking about how awesome it would be to [have Chewie] in his hairy armpit. He wanted to go out that night and ask people if they wanted to see him lick his Wookiee, and to prove how tough he was to get his armpit tattooed,” Lockwood recalled.
Chewbacca finds a home in one fan’s armpit. Tattoo by K Lockwood Tattoo, Brownsburg, Indiana, USA. Photo by K Lockwood Tattoo.
Don’t make Chewie angry. Tattoo by Mike Bianco, Ink-Fusion Tattoo Empire, Bay Area, California, USA. Photo by Mike Bianco.
Worshipping the Unlikely Hero
Han Solo never planned on being a hero. Smuggling and running from Empire baddies is more his style. This antihero’s quick wit made him one of the most beloved characters in Star Wars lore, and his image makes a great tattoo choice.
It’s all in the eyes. Tattoo by Dave Paulo, Portugal. Photo by Dave Paulo.
Who shot first? Lucas may have changed the scene for Star Wars’ rerelease, but this fan adheres to the original.
It was Han! Tattoo by Marco Heilig, Gecko Tattoo, Bruchsal, Germany. Photo by Marco Heilig.
Slimy Jabba the Hutt
Did the sight of Princess Leia chained to grotesque gangster Jabba the Hutt give you nightmares about being eaten by a slimy monster? Me too. Jabba the Hutt may not have much screen time in Star Wars films, but he’s still one of the most memorable characters that everyone loves to hate.
What Jabba wants, Jabba gets. Tattoo by Ville Mäki, Skin Craft Tattoo, Turku, Finland. Photo by Ville Mäki.
Tattoo artist Gregg Lomas at Black Cat Ink created this Jabba the Hutt tattoo for a client who is undoubtedly a hard-core fan — he’s having a full leg done of the Star Wars universe!
Boonowa Tweep! Tattoo by Gregg Lomas, Black Cat Ink, Costa Blanca, Spain. Photo by Gregg Lomas.
Fall in Line
The cookie-cutter appearance of Stormtroopers makes them a perfect subject for unique tattoo creations, and fans do not disappoint.
Stormtroopers can be sexy, too. Tattoo by Frances Jones of Fran’s Planet Tattoos and Art, Inky G’s, Wolverhampton, England. Photo by Frances Jones.
Instagrammer Wes Butler said what we’re all thinking in response to the following tattoo: “Stormtroopers have the worst aim in the galaxy.”
Someone needs more training. Tattoo by Kyle Ochoa, California, USA. Photo by Kyle Ochoa.
Together forever. Tattoo by Denis Torikashvili, Fox Box Tattoo, Russia. Photo by Denis Torikashvili.
An Alternate Story with Star Wars Tattoos
What if things were different for Luke, Leia and Daddy Vader? These tattoos envision an alternate Star Wars universe, because every good dad enjoys a tea party.
Father and daughter tea party, Star Wars style. Tattoo by Eathan Langford, Victims of Ink, Port Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Eathan Langford.
One big happy family. Tattoo by Josh Suchoza, Off The Map Tattoo, Easthampton, Massachusetts, USA. Photo by Josh Suchoza via VitaliTree Tattoo.