Celebration Japan: The Dewback Project

Bonnie Burton | July 21, 2008

Chances are if you attended Celebration Japan, you got to climb onto the full-size dewback created by Japanese Garrison member Goro Inoue and his dedicated crew which include Kayo Saeki, Ruriko Tsutsumi, Yayoi Negishi, Otoe Takahashi, Jun Agata, Daisuke Togami, Takatoshi Makiuchi, Masaaki Fukada, Kakuyuki Yamazaki, Hiroshi Shounai, Keisuke Aiso, and Masaru Sato; with special thanks to Mish’al Samman, Takefumi Tenshima, Toshio Fujisawa, Toshiki and Kaori Komiya, Art Andrews, Kazuhisa Kawahara, Takeshi Ogawa, Mary Frankin, Steve Sansweet, the Dented Helmet, the 501st Legion and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Walking past the dewback, I spied everyone from little kids and their parents, to fans dressed as Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi, among others. The dewback always had a long of people eager to get the photo op of a lifetime.

I chatted with Goro about his fantastic creation, and what prompted him to donate his blood, sweat and money to The Dewback Project.

(photo by Bonnie Burton)

Why did you decide to make a life-size dewback for Celebration Japan?
I wanted to do something unique and original to celebrate A New Hope. It’s nice to have something that fans can climb on and take a photo with instead of the usual “don’t touch this prop” kind of thing. This is something the whole family can pose with. I think the most people we’ve gotten on the dewback at once is 5!

What did you use to make the dewback?
We started with a wooden frame with Styrofoam to carve and shape the body. Then we put clay on top and started really sculpting the details. I took a mold of head, feet and a leg — which means I can make a few more of them. The body is a one-time plaster mold.

How long did the dewback take to make?
It tool 3 1/2 months with my elite crew to make the dewback.

Are you surprise at how popular you dewback is at this convention?
I haven’t had time to check but I can’t wait to see how many photos of it are online now, but a lot of people were posing on it. People gave me a lot of compliments on it, including model maker Lorne Peterson, which was an honor.

Where is the dewback headed next?
Probably storage for awhile. Since a lot of money went into making it, it would be great if a collector who really liked the dewback bought it so I could make what I put into it back, and give some of the money to Make a Wish Foundation as well.

Check out our Celebration Japan photo set to see fans posing on the dewback and more!

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