Force Friday: a tale of tech startups, Tatooine, and tattoos

It’s FORCE FRIDAY and I have a Star Wars story for you. And a Glowforge project from a galaxy far, far, away, natch.

Back in fall of 2015, my boyfriend Kyle and I had just moved to Seattle from Bainbridge Island, so I could quit my twice daily (beautiful, lovely, but undesirable) ferry commute. Kyle had just been offered a new job in the city and since it was right before the holidays, he ended up having a few extra weeks between gigs. And I wasn’t around much, because I was working at this crazy startup that had just finished up a crowdfunding campaign that was keeping me pretty busy. :wink:

Right around this same time a little sci-fi franchise you might have heard of was releasing its newest installment, The Force Awakens. To celebrate, local tech news site Geekwire was hosting a contest to find the “biggest Star Wars fan in Seattle” to receive the very last ticket to a sold-out Star Wars movie marathon at Cinerama, the coolest movie theatre in Seattle. We’re talking seven movies in a row. And they have chocolate popcorn at this theatre.

Now…Kyle and I are both Star Wars fans (I had this sweet Anakin Skywalker poster on my wall when most girls had NSYNC-era Justin Timberlake), but he’s taken it a step further by permanently tattooing a Han Solo quote on his body.

He wrote in just minutes before the contest ended to say, “I know you probably got a lot of entries, but like the tattoo across my back says - ‘never tell me the odds!’”

So he won. I’m very proud to be dating the Geekwire-proclaimed Biggest Star Wars fan in Seattle. And I’m very proud to still be working at this crazy startup.

Kyle recently found me THE Anakin poster of my childhood to hang in our apartment - and I know this was a true sacrifice on his part because now people might think he likes The Phantom Menace. (In all seriousness, we were about 10 years old when that one came out, so baby Anakin was a heartthrob and Jar Jar Binks humor was right up our alley. NO SHAME.)

It’s #ForceFriday today, and I wanted to make Kyle something more true to his appreciation of the original films. The A New Hope poster from 1977 is inarguably iconic. I’ve seen in on many mediums, from coffee mugs to tshirts, but never in wood. So, we grabbed a piece of Proofgrade maple hardwood and ended up with this beautiful engraved mini-poster. I love the subtle marbling of the grain in the lower portion, and especially love how awesome and nearly-glowing the lightsabers look contrasted with the dark engrave background.

May the Force be with you, and TGIFF, one and al!


adorable story. your boyfriend sounds hilarious.


What a great story!

Both my brother and I grew up with the series! As kids we wore out 3 full copies of the VHS tapes. As heavily tattooed adults we have been showing our love in the same way. He has a Boba Fett helmet and the Jedi order symbol tattooed on him. I’ve got a star wars space battle sleeve in my near future.

The year I got my first 3D printer, I built a thermal detonator and gave it to him for his birthday.


I love the story and the engraving! Very nice contrast. Wondering what the size of this is: a full sheet of Proofgrade?


Now that’s a Star Wars poster I’d duplicate as well. I still think the original was the best of the franchise, Lucas at his finest.

Awesome job on it, and great story! :grinning:


I agree with @Jules. I’m going to have to make one of those when I get mine. Original was the best - and before he screwed around with them for the special edition…

I still remember seeing it opening weekend as a kid…


That was my first date with my now wife. At the time she thought I was nuts. First time I stood in a line that wrapped around a movie theater building. But she was a good sport and she loves the movies too (but not like an avid fan - more of “those are good”) and tolerates the kids and me arguing fine points of them every time a new one comes out. Much like when we do the same (complete with dialogue) for Monty Python films :smile:


Great story and nice gift!


Awesome story. Thanks for sharing it!

And… Oh! Oh! Oh! That’s so pretty! I want to make one now! And my wife and our older daughter are huge fans. So I think they will agree that a set of 7 (or 8, I guess, if we include Rogue One?) will make excellent hanging artwork in some room in our house. They’ll go nicely with my scroller. Wait… Do I need to maybe make a scroller for each now? Hmmm…

That’s no moon… it’s another Proofgrade order.


That poster will always be an icon and seeing it in wood gives all the feels! I know someone that works high up at ILM and she said the first time she was at Skywalker Ranch, she broke into tears as she walked into the screening room and saw the poster in the hall - but then realized it wasn’t a “just” poster - it was the original painting that became the poster.

Side note - not only does the ILM office have Han in carbonite, right next to it they have a fan-made Jar Jar in carbonite. :smile: :smile: :smile:




Hmm - not sure of the exact sizing. Not a full sheet, but more like oversized postcard. :slight_smile: I’d like to do a bigger version at some point (I like @tom’s idea of a full set of posters…) but didn’t want to hog the Glowforge for an entire Laser Thursday.


Great story and awesome reproduction of the poster!


There’s only one? :thinking:


Hey now, don’t be digging up necrothreads and make @Dan take more photos…


Aww. Saw the first one with a bunch of friends the summer before I flunked out of college. I was working in a laser lab at the time (where if the results we produced had been real, the world would be very different).

Ugh, now I feel really old. I was 2 when the original came out let alone the movie that shall not be named.


I’ll see your 2 and raise you 15. Watched Han shoot first while still in high school.


There are many, but there are still more people than Forges so it’s not good LT etiquette to do giant engraves.


That looks great!!! Did you remove the paper backing before engraving? I did a greyscale engrave yesterday and noticed that the engraving turned the underside of the paper into a “gluey” mess. Unless that was the glue in between the plywood layers. The paper helps reduce the “smoke burns” on the wood though, so I didnt remove it beforehand. Any suggestions? (Also used Maple Proofgrade)

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