Inside ‘The Dancers’ Pit’ With Shea Standefer

May 31, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Art, Celebration, Star Wars | 2 Comments
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shea-standefer-jainaIf you’re into cosplay and/or the EU, you probably stand a good chance of recognizing Shea Standefer, since she’s pretty much the penultimate Jaina Solo cosplayer.  While you may know her for her love of the EU and cosplay, she is also a talented artist, and I’ve been following Shea’s career since our days together on a discussion forum.  With talent, determination and hard work, Shea’s love of Star Wars has been rewarded.  She is now an official Star Wars artist, with an official print that will be available at CEII, and she shared some of her process for The Dancers’ Pit with Roqoo Depot.  You can read our interview with Shea after the cut.

Shea's CEII print

RD: First off, Shea, congratulations on becoming an official Star War artist.  I know this has been a dream of yours that you’ve worked hard to achieve.

Shea: Thank you!! ^_^

RD: So how did you conceive of the idea for The Dancers’ Pit?  Were you given direction by LFL or were you free to choose the subject matter?

Shea: The artists were given free reign to create any original piece within the realm of Star Wars canon (movies, television, books, etc).  Given that 2013 is the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, I knew I wanted my piece to pay homage to that movie. As a huge Expanded Universe fan, I wanted to find a way to include that aspect of the franchise in my print. It just so happens that in the EU, Mara Jade–disguised as a palace dancer named Arica–appears in Jabba’s palace while Leia was a prisoner. The idea that I came up with of Jabba’s dancers fitting Leia into the metal bikini was a perfect way to bring those two ideas–Return of the Jedi and the Expanded Universe–together.

RD: What sources did you use for The Dancers’ Pit?

Shea: I had to look up a lot of photos of the other dancers in order to accurately portray their outfits. Some characters had better reference images than others, so at times I had to fill in the details with my imagination. I happen to own a metal bikini, so drawing Leia was the easiest part as I already had the costume on-hand to use as reference!

RD: We love that you included Mara.  What was your inspiration for her image?

Shea: While Mara is not my favorite EU character (that spot belongs to Jaina Solo!), she was one of the main inspirations for this image. A casual Star Wars fan might not know about the vast lore found in books, comics and video games. I wanted my print to reflect what a big fan of the EU I am, as well as give a nod to all the other EU fans out there!

RD: Is this your first Celebration Europe?

Shea: This is my first Celebration Europe, though not my first Celebration. I have also attended CIV, CV and CVI.

RD:You’re our (and many other fans) favorite Jaina cosplay.  Do you have any new outfits you plan on debuting at Star Wars Celebration Europe II?

Shea: Thank you! Jaina Solo holds a very near and dear spot in my heart (and also on my license plate!), and it means a great deal that so many people are supportive of my Jaina costumes. Since I will be traveling to Europe with 50 lbs worth of prints, I will have to pack very light and will be unable to make any new costumes for this show. Thankfully, my metal bikini does not take up a lot of space so I will be wearing that for sure!

We’d like to thank Shea for the interview, and offer further congratulations on her recent engagement. Shea Engagement

Posted by Geralyn for Roqoo Depot

2 Comments »

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  1. Thank you SO much for the interview! I love RD!

    I totally meant to send you a photo of my license plate!

  2. Great reason for another article. Thanks for the link.


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