While it was never in doubt that the latest Star Wars movie would be a massive global success, while last week’s 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was going on the movie officially became the highest grossing film of all time. Naturally since the film opened in late December Star Wars fever has been everywhere, from toys to clothing to consumer electronics and even Star Wars labels on bags of fruit, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid just about anywhere that you go. Not that most people are complaining, it seems that Star Wars is here to stay and everyone is pretty much okay with it.
Given the hype surrounding the movie, it was a given that even CES would join in the fun and have plenty of Star Wars products and exhibits on display. But there was nothing that could beat the amazing full-scale First Order Stormtrooper that stood menacingly at the center of the exhibition floor. The polished white suit of armor was actually entirely 3D printed by science fiction costume and movie prop retailer Anovos using their in-house 3D Systems industrial 3D printers. While Anovos usually sells costumes, the Stormtrooper on display was actually a life-sized statue that was made from more than forty individual parts. The Stormtrooper looks exactly as it was in the film, from the black details down to the blaster rifle that they all carry into battle.
3D Systems is no stranger to their technology being used to 3D print movie props, costumes and small-scale models. While 3D printing has been a regularly used tool for most movie prop houses for years, because Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams insisted on as many practical effects as possible the movie is packed full of 3D printing. Anovos uses their 3D printers to manufacture officially licensed reproductions of the costumes and props seen in the movie, not to mention several other science fiction films.
Started back in 2009, Anovos got their start by winning a coveted license to produce Star Trek uniforms and props from the original TV series, the Next Generation TV series and all of the films. They went on to acquire more licenses for science fiction properties like Battlestar Galactica and Ghostbusters. But it wasn’t until they won the right to produce Star Wars costumes and props that the company exploded. The licensing agreement gives them access to pre-production components as well as a wide variety of reference material, which allows them to produce nearly exact reproductions of the props used in the movies.
Anovos also created a full-size statue of one of the movie’s villains, Captain Phasma, however there was a shipping error and she wasn’t able to make the event. The Stormtrooper statue was produced as a proof of concept for their new line of complete costumes that they hope will be seen at movie theaters and other promotional all over the country. There is no word if the statue on display was intended to be Finn as FN-2199 or his former ally TR-8R, but the internet meme factory would have had a field day if they had only thought to produce his crazy anti-lightsaber baton.