So far we’ve seen Aladdin, Frozen, Tangled, and “Frozen Fever” retold with emojis, the technologically advanced glyphs you use to tell your significant other that you’re totally [heart-eyes] for the idea of [pizza] tonight. But now the emoji retellings are going to a galaxy far, far away, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens as told by emojis.
As you can see, the video lovingly recreates the blockbuster film, adding in additional flourishes like the TR-8R meme and 3D space explosions, but with the adorable symbols we all know and love. And what’s more, those emojis were created by artist Truck Torrence, who goes by the name 100% Soft, and who created the emojis for the official Star Wars app (he also recently created Zootopia stickers and Captain America: Civil War emojis). As someone who has been a fan of 100% Soft’s for years, it’s a huge thrill to see his creations (inspired by the Japanese cute culture of kawaii) fully articulated and bouncing around.
I got on the phone with Truck to talk about what it was like having an animated short inspired by his work, creating that
What did you think when you found out Disney was going to animate your emojis?
I was really excited. I had such a great time designing the emojis, and anything more that we could do with them I was really excited about. I had kind of hoped that at some point they would make the transition to animation form, so I was really pleased when they wanted to do it.
And you got to design new characters for this one?
Were there characters you wanted to design that you finally got to do in the short?
Well, yeah, we — because he was pretty hidden in the movie and was kind of saved until the last frame reveal, I wasn’t able to do Luke Skywalker – the older Luke Skywalker. I really wanted to do him, but I didn’t think we would be able to just because they wouldn’t want to release it before the movie came out. So that was really fun just because I, obviously, really like LS. And his new look that he has in The Force Awakens is great. That was fun to be able to do that one.
I love that you did that bearded alien on the Republic planet.
They initially just wanted me to do some random citizens, but instead I just dug around on the internet to find reference photos of people that actually lived on the planet and I found him, so that was cool.
The last time we spoke was before The Force Awakens came out. What did you think when you finally saw it?
It was great. It was a lot of fun. And it was cool because I had been looking at a lot of those characters and working with a lot of those characters at that point for about six months or something, so it was actually really cool to see those people on screen, and all of the actors have such great dynamics with each other.
Since The Force Awakens, you got to do some awesome Civil War emojis. What was that experience like?
It was really awesome, and I was fortunate to work with the Marvel and Disney team over there on that, and they did these big cardboard cut-outs that they’ve been taking to every promo event they’ve been doing. So every premiere and every press event they’ve had these big, huge cutouts of emojis that they’ve been giving the cast members to play around with. I mean, it’s pretty awesome to look on Twitter to see Robert Downey Jr. waving around your art.
You wanted your emojis to be animated and now that they are, what did you think of the short?
It’s so much fun! It’s really whimsical, it’s got a lot of spirit and art, just like the movie, and it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun to see the characters come to life in animated form. It was really fun to work on it.
Should we expect more emojis for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?
Yeah, I would hope so! I hope so! I mean, I think that’s a ways off, but …