Star Wars-themed Wedding Photo Shows Newlyweds Battling the Empire


Creative, imagination-filled wedding photographs are starting to become quite trendy — at least online. Earlier this year, we shared viral photos of bridal parties running for their lives from a T-Rex and from Star Wars Imperial Walkers.

Chicago-based wedding photographer Steven Kowalski also joined in on the fun, creating the epic Star Wars-themed photograph above at a wedding earlier this month.

The couple, John and Mindy Doychich, were both huge Star Wars fans. While getting to know the couple, Kowalski discovered that they owned a replica of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, and the idea for a unique wedding photo was born.

Shooting the image was simple: Kowalski had the couple, their best man, and their maid of honor look out over Lake Michigan as if they were looking at things in the distance. This “took all of about 5 minutes,” Kowalski tells us. It was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and 35mm lens at ISO 100, f/10, 1/200s.


The real work came afterward. Kowalski says he spent somewhere around 6-8 hours on editing the photograph. “Not that it was particularly complex, but it took a while to find the color gradient I ended up using,” he writes to us.

After replacing the sky above with something more dramatic (and changing the aspect ratio to square), the photographer extracted various objects from Star Wars still frames (e.g. a Death Star, AT-AT walkers, starships) and inserted them into the photo.

“I know it may come across as the AT-AT’s walking on water, I just figured it’s a shallow body of water,” Kowalski says.

A closer look at the details of the photograph

A closer look at the details of the photograph

You can find a larger version of the resulting photograph over on the photographer’s Tumblr site.

(via HuffPo via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Photographs by Steven Kowalski and used with permission

  • Mark

    Clearly it only took him about 5 minutes… AT-ATs walking on water? Riiiiiiiight.

  • Tim Waite


  • Jeremy Madore

    Should have worked in a frozen tundra for full affect.

    Really not enjoying this genre of wedding photography.

  • Nate Davis

    So, mostly, this is awesome.But why not just blend the grass into the water?

  • javibi

    Interestingly he apparently modified the position of the left arm of the bride

  • Nate Davis

    Probably to get better separation between the lightsaber and grass.

  • IAR

    They are Jesus’ AT-ATs!!

  • StarWarsFan


    It shouldn’t bother me, but as a Star Wars geek, all I see is inaccuracies:

    1. The Battle of Hoth was on an ice planet, not a grassy coast.

    2. The Death Star was destroyed at the Battle of Yavin, three years before the events being depicted here.

    3. That is Luke’s green lightsaber, which he didn’t build until six months later prior to “Return of the Jedi”. During the Battle of Hoth, Luke was still using his father’s blue lightsaber.

    I might be able to find more, but my right eye is twitching :)

  • Joshua Schneider

    This is awesome! What kind of trouble can he get in legally for selling this to the bride and groom with disney owned “characters?”

  • Banan Tarr

    Who says he actually “sold” them this? I’m sure he could outline the contract for the wedding and unofficially throw something like this in for added effect and attention but no actual payment. All about context… Though I’d guess if he continues to do it and it can show a clear benefit to his business the lawyers will send him a nicely written letter in Legalese.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    And there was no wedding party of earthlings in Star Wars, right? So inaccurate. Get a grip.

  • richardsonad

    1. Neither AT-AT’s nor T-47 speeders are Hoth-only ships. AT-AT’s were the land war tank of the Empire, and T-47’s were modified civilian airspeeders. They even say in “Empire” that they’re having trouble adapting them to the cold.

    2. We’ve already established that the premise for your timeline is wrong.

    3. We’ve already established that the premise for your timeline is wrong.


  • brentdeitrich

    Isn’t this technically copyright infringement?

  • David Liang

    It could very well be considered “derivative art” since the original has been greatly modified to create a new piece of art.

  • Matthew

    Doesn’t it say in the article that it took him 5 minutes to SHOOT the picture and then 6-8 hours to edit? Or am i reading it wrong?

  • StarWarsFan

    Except that, as far as I know, the only time AT-ATs and snowspeeders were involved in the same battle was the Battle of Hoth.

    Nor can I think of another significant land battle in which snowspeeders were used that didn’t take place on an ice planet (Hoth and Fest being the first two I can think of).

    I’m just sayin’ if I were the one photoshopping, I’d replace the grass and “shallow water” with snow.

  • Mike Green

    Shallow Water…. LOL…
    Or Enhanced AT-AT’s. Three times larger the previous version.

  • StarWarsFan

    I take that back, both snowspeeders and AT-ATs were involved in the Battle of Corellia, which is not an ice planet.

    Corellia, being a green planet, could even conceivably have a grassy beach like the one in this picture.

    There could be other examples I haven’t come up with, given the depth of the Star Wars canon.

    Still, I cannot conceive of a point in time in which both the original Death Star and Luke’s green lightsaber exist at the same time.

    //I’m out, cheers!

  • pgb0517

    You’re reading it right.

  • pgb0517

    It. Is. Fiction.

  • pgb0517

    Given the ongoing concerns about people stealing other people’s photos, I hope this photographer played fair and got permission to use the elements.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    But then it would be ‘so unrealistic’ that the wedding party are in wedding attire, right?


  • Spaceman Spiff

    Can you conceive of a point in time where Mindy Doychich from Earth can exist at the same time as the original Death Star and Luke’s green lightsaber?

    You have issues…

  • Mantis

    Maybe that’s Lake Okeechoobee, and it’s just really shallow for its size?

  • A.J.

    It’s a good thing you’re not the intended audience then, eh?

  • No, not really

    Yeah, i’m sure he did. I’m just certain that he contacted the lawyers at Lucas Film just to make sure he got permission to create this one piece of derivative art to give to two people that was never meant as a commercial image.

  • Jason

    I can’t like this post due to the horrible attention to detail. Like others have said below, AT-AT Walkers walking on the freakin ocean? Come on lets use some common sense when we throw some photo-chopped image together.

  • frogg


  • Burnin Biomass

    Jesus AT-AT’s just made me laugh for about 5 minuets straight. Well done!

  • Jake

    It’s low tide, the water’s really only few feet deep. You can tell by the positioning of that moon. Wait, that’s no moon…

  • noissues

    isnt the death star a moon?? lol

  • Choen Lee

    LOL AT-AT walking on water

  • Truth

    Here comes the Disney/Lucasfilm Copyright Enforcement train, next stop: you.

    Show your friends your creative work? Go ahead, use Star Wars imagery.
    Use said imagery to promote your FOR-PROFIT activities? May George Lucas have mercy on your soul.

  • Scott

    Can we pass the Velveeta, cuz I need some more CHEESE.

  • Lindsey Epps Tucker

    Rather than nitpick what’s good/bad about the image, clearly this photographer made the bride and groom happy and isn’t that’s what it’s really about? Could this have been done better? Perhaps but if the end result is creating a great memory for the client I’d say mission accomplished. Everything is subjective and we all are guilty of liking something that could have used a tad bit more polishing or wasn’t clearly believable. Nonetheless it’s cute and I’m sure that photographer has sparked interest in their work and will gain additional clients by catering to his client’s tastes.

  • CrowX2M

    There are several in canon games, such as Rouge Squadron which comes between AotE and RotJ. Several of the prequel books also have battles between various other planet craft (not space fighters) and Empire units, including AT-AT’s. In the movies, they’ve got an AT-AT on Endor, and remember that “Snowspeeders” were dubbed because that’s the only time in the movies that they’ve been used, was on Hoth in the ice, however, being that the T-47’s were originally civilian airspeeders (as mentioned previously), it’s not inconceivable that they’d be used on other planets and in skirmishes against the Empire.

  • Mark

    Does it make you feel better or worse that the photographer spent 6-8 hours editing this photo, and still didn’t have enough attention to detail to cover the obvious stuff? I don’t care how shallow the water is, they’re still on top of it, and my misreading (or the altering of the article) doesn’t change that.

  • Mark

    And I fully realize that I’m being pretty nit-picky here… but if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.

  • Mark Anthony Artes Sola

    WTF about this starwars faqs? Just enjoy the photo! The dark side deluded your minds. These photo is not for arguing. Move along. Move along.