It’s been years since I finished any fanart, even though it’s something I spent most of my teen years creating. But as a giant Star Wars nerd who loves marine creatures who is also British, I couldn’t resist having a go at painting Admiral Raddus, the Churchill-inspired Mon Calamari who led the Rebel Fleet above Scarif in Rogue One. I guess I’ve long had a soft spot for Mon Calamari – we can all agree on the greatness of Admiral Ackbar, but I even liked Nahdar Vebb from The Clone Wars series, and the one time I played the Age of Rebellion tabletop game I opted to be the engineer Tendaar. I just think they’re pretty cool.
I also love to try identifying which real-world animals may have inspired fictional alien races. I wanted to paint Raddus not just because he’s an absolute badass, but because the texture of his skin reminded me of a cephalopod and his eyes of a sea turtle. What a cool dude.
The coolest thing was when I posted progress on Twitter and it caught the attention of Stephen Stanton, the voice of Raddus in Rogue One (as well as many other fantastic Star Wars roles). Fangirl moment. This was a fun little painting to do!