Film-franchise memorabilia has become a major element of the movie biz, supporting box office sales and fulfilling pop-culture urges. Taking licensing a step further—and in an completely new direction—Filipino industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue has partnered with Disney and Lucas Films to build premium quality furniture inspired by the Star Wars universe.
On June 24th, 2019, Disney opened the Star Wars-themed area of Disneyland in Anaheim, California and fans went crazy. Within just days of the opening, there have been reports of individuals stealing from the park and selling the things on the internet with preposterous price tags – and of course, there are people willing to pay.
At Salon Del Mobile in April, Cobonpue revealed pieces that engage with both sides of the Force: lamps and pendants comprising linked mini Jedi Knight figurines; TIE fighter lounge chairs and side tables; a Sith Lord chair resembling Darth Sidious; a shagged, bandoliered Wookie rocker; and a Darth Vader easy chair.
The collection brings together Cobonpue’s talent for traditional craftsmanship and “organically-inspired” furniture with details reminiscent of several of the movie’s major characters. Chewbacca’s furry brown body gets reinterpreted through the “CHEWIE” rocking stool, for example, which is constructed of brown microfiber strips and adorned with a fabric belt to emulate his signature bandolier. The infamous Darth Vader is reimagined into a swivel chair, complete with an imprint of his mask outlined in the all-black stitching. Meanwhile, the wings of the Imperial Fleet have been turned into a hand-woven armchair featuring expansive, webbed sides.
“We wanted to incorporate the essence of each Star Wars character into the designs, while staying true to our aesthetic and process of creating by hand. We reimagined the Star Wars universe through the lens of the Filipino craftsman and creative. Finding the balance was a bit of a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun,” said Cobonpue.
This collection was at first only available in the Philippines, but it’s coming to the US and will be available for purchase in several places. The Cobonpue x Disney collaboration ranges in price from $1,345 USD-$2,800 USD and can be ordered through the distributors listed on Kenneth Cobonpue’s website.