Definitions of Art: Why “De Niro on the Death Star” is better than the Mona Lisa


Not bragging, but I’ve seen the Mona Lisa. In Le Louvre. It was a small sad painting of a lady with a half smile. It was surrounded by tourists. It did nothing for me.

The above picture, “De Niro on the Death Star,” is the creation of fellow undergraduates Kelvin Peakin (Director, Haunted 2016) and Jacob Topen (Writer, spec script, Roboshark 2 – The Squeel 2016). It is far better than the Mona Lisa, for these reasons:

  1. Robert De Niro is laughing. There is no ambiguity about this. You don’t have to waste time wondering what he’s thinking, like you’re supposed do when looking at the Mona Lisa. He’s enjoying himself. He’s saying: “I’m having a great time. Why don’t you?”
  2. Darth Vader is smoking a cigar. He’s relaxed. He’s enjoying ‘Bobs’ company. It’s good to see Vader relaxed, he’s usually so uptight.
  3. If you want mystery, which some people do, take a look at Grand Moff Tarkin. What is he thinking? What’s behind that stern glare? That’s mystery for you.
  4. Every one knows who Robert De Niro, Darth Vader and Peter Cushing are. No one even knows who the lady in the Mona Lisa is. What’s all that about? A painting of someone when nobody knows who they are? Ridiculous
  5. There is a poster of Abba on the back wall of the Death Star. That’s great.

Obviously, Grand Moff Tarkin is not smoking a real cigar, it’s just a clumsily drawn brown line. Kevin and Jacob only had an hour. Whoever painted the Mona Lisa probably had ages. And he didn’t even bother to have her smoking a cigar.

De Niro on the Death star delivers on so many levels, and is a work that I feel will endure.



One thought on “Definitions of Art: Why “De Niro on the Death Star” is better than the Mona Lisa

  1. Thank you greatly for the kind words on this modern work of art. For years now, people have questioned why the worlds of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (Original Title: “Star Wars”) and “Cape Fear” have not collided. Myself and Jacob felt that this work rectified that issue, while also paying tribute to 70’s Swedish superstars ABBA who were tragically cut out of the final cut of “Star Wars” before disappearing into obscurity.

    Liked by 2 people

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