Star Wars in UAE – how Dubai would look under attack
Time Out Dubai brings you Cedric Delsaux’s collection of artistic prints showing imagined scenes of Star Wars in UAE, featuring Burj Khalifa and more.
Unless you live in the most remote depths of Abu Dhabi's empty quarter will you have failed to notice that a new Star Wars movie is upon us.
JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens, which was part-filmed in the UAE's vast expanse of desert to the south of the capital, hits cinemas in Dubai and worldwide on December 17. Tickets have been selling like hotcakes, with many marquee screenings sold out weeks in advance. On the shelves, BB-8, hailed as the new R2-D2, is set to be the Christmas present everybody wants, while the world still waits for real-life lightsabers to be released to the public. Star Wars: The Force Awakens genuinely is one of the most-anticipated releases in decades.
But imagine if it is real? Cedric Delsaux has done just that and created what director George Lucas has hailed as 'one of the most unique and intriguing artistic interpretations [of the franchise]'.
Using characters and hardware from the sci-fi series against our iconic skyline - as well as more mundane of urban sprawls - the photography exhibition, titled Dark Lens, was first revealed in 2009, at the Empty Quarter gallery in Dubai. It was the third in a series, with the artist having previously used his homeland of France.
Cedric, who has a background in cinematography, took 10 days to shoot the locations, which include DIFC, Satwa, and several parts of Downtown Dubai which were then under construction. He then features Attackus Star Wars statues and the special effects team from Lucas Film to create a series of landscapes from the future.
Among the images is one featuring Darth Vader surveying a construction site, an army of droids behind Sheikh Zayed Road, the same characters taking a rest from the midday sun in a rundown part of town, CP30 in a scrapyard, giant space craft landed in the foundations of building site, and an even a military formation under the iconic DIFC arch.
'As novel and disruptive as his images are, they are also completely plausible,' Lucas says.
Reflecting on the series, Elie Domit, who was the Empty Quarter's creative partner, said: 'The idea was not that we were into the Star Wars thing. Star Wars is more like the psyche of the pop culture that we grew up in, the sci-fi fantasy world. It’s a phenomenon that represents popular culture, and everyone interprets the symbolism in their own way.
'This is why we said in the text at the exhibition, perhaps half-jokingly, that people build cities so they can live in a sci-fi world, and Dubai is a prime example of this. Before the crisis, if you had seen a Star Wars ship you would have thought it was a new property or a new project, that’s how over-the-top this city was, and we zoned in on this kind of thing.'