Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Star Wars, Episode Plants: The Garden Awakens

Photos by Ryan Benoit

A long time ago in a garden far, far away….

The Rebel Alliance was traveling on a Rebel ship through the Sluis sector of Outer Rim Territories. Pilot and Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker pulled over onto planet Dagobah to pay Grand Master Yoda a visit and to gather food and supplies.

The plants on this purest of planets were lush and the natural resources were plentiful. But things quickly took a turn: On the mission to round up food, R2-D2 led C-3PO  into difficult terrain and took a terrible fall. Even worse, at nightfall they were then pursued by members of the Galactic Empire entering the green planet on an Imperial Star Destroyer.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Jedi Grand Master Yoda, not far from his swamp hut on planet Dagobah, explores a bog of fork-leaf and cape sundews. (Bogs are perfect conditions for these carnivorous plants.) “Strong this planet is with the Force,” he says. “It is one of the purest places in the galaxy.”

JK. Actually, yours truly found himself at the local swap meet in search of a large indoor rubber tree (Ficus elastica) and ended up sidetracked by multiple vendors selling Star Wars action figures in the mania leading up to this weekend’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Before I could say “Tooke-trap“, I was filling a bag full of $2 Star Wars figures and asking if the lights on the Imperial Star Destroyer still worked with new batteries. I did walk out with a rubber tree for the living room (stay tuned), but this week has mostly been about inventing Star Wars scenes in the backyard. After all, I am a child of the ’80s.

We’ve played around before with action figures in our garden when a blooming jasmine vine invaded our property. Turns out that shooting action figures against our collection of plants can give you a whole new perspective on the power of flora. Their stems and leaves and fruits can take on mindbending proportions. It was also great to brush up on some plot points before we see the movie this weekend — after buying tickets three weeks in advance!

Follow the photo story below to see how the Rebel Alliance’s visit to our garden played out. (Disclaimer: While plant IDs are confirmed, many of the plot twists are my own, with a lot of help from Wookieepedia.)

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

C-3PO and R2-D2 approach a cliff draped with succulents.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

“Oh dear, R2 where are you going? This is the end of the path. There is nothing over there!”

Attempting to save R2 from a fall, Threepio instead takes a fall off the edge of the burro’s tail cactus (Sedum morganianum).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

R2-D2 looks down to try to find Threepio. It was a long fall and C-3PO is nowhere in sight.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

“R2! Back up and don’t fall!” Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) says as he climbs a Euphorbia leucodendron (cat tails euphorbia) to get a better view. Then Luke loses his grip and also starts falling.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

R2-D2 is helpless.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Princess Leia, seen here climbing a wax plant (Hoya obovata) comes to the rescue.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

“I’m here to rescue you. I see you’ve got your R2 unit. Where is Threepio?”

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

“Let’s go find C-P30!” says Leia. “Ben Kenobi? Where is he?”

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Ben Kenobi hangs on to another species of wax plant, Hoya carnosa ‘Crispa Variegata.’

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Chewbacca wrestles with a Dalechampia dioscoreifolia (purple wings) in his search for food. Chewie is signalled to help the team find C-3PO. “WWWWWWWGGGGHHHRRRRW.”

An Imperial Star Destroyer arrives as night falls.

Tangerine asteroid fields…

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Fresh off the Capital Ship, Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith, is seduced by a patch of carnivorous Sarracenia purpurea (purple pitcher plants).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Rune Haako, former leader of the Separatist Council and thought to be dead, disguises himself in the sage. (Wait! Didn’t Anakin kill Rune on Mustafar? Rewatching this scene, it does look like only a mild chest wound.)

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Stormtrooper vs. the Nepenthes x ventrata.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Another stormtrooper falls on a flytrap (Dionaea muscipula ‘King Henry’).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Chewie thinks he spotted C-3PO. “RAWRGWAWGGR!!”

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Chewie finds a shattered C-3PO in an aloe rosette at the bottom of his fall.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

“If only you’d attached my legs, I wouldn’t be in this ridiculous position. Now remember, Chewbacca, you have a responsibility to me, so don’t do anything foolish!”

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Chewie climbs a Selenicereus with C-3PO in tow. “WWWRRRRRRGWWWRRRR!!”

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Chewie reunites with R2-D2, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker in front of a Hesperaloe parviflora (hummingbird yucca).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Rune Haako oversees the reunion, then he summons…

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

…Darth Vader, of course. (Not only was Rune not killed by Anakin Skywalker, but the former Separatist has now joined the dark side!)

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, in front of a Lophocereus schottii monstrosus (totem pole cactus), comes to the rescue.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Darth takes on his former mentor Obi-Wan over a golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grussonii).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Oh no! Obi-wan is down. (This battle foreshadows Ben Kenobi’s eventual sacrifice at the hands of Darth Vader to become one with the Force.)

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Mace Windu joins the fight! “In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you’re under arrest, Darth Vader,” says Master Windu. Darth Vader flees in disbelief after having watched Palpatine push Mace out a window to his death in Episode III. (Did he survive that fall after all?)

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Windu rides a bird of paradise (Strelizia reginae) to catch up with Darth Vader.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Princess Leia tries to recover her gun in a Aechmea primera (beginner’s bromeliad).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Darth Vader and Mace engage in a lightsaber battle in front of a Euphorbia avasmontana.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Darth Vader flees again and hops onto a head of decorative kale.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Mace Windu, Jedi Master, chops off Darth Vader’s hand on a bed of decorative kale. This is sweet revenge since a young Anakin Skywalker chopped off Windu’s hand during that duel in Palpatine’s office in Episode III.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen,” states Darth Sidious in front of an elkhorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum).

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

The Imperial Star Destroyer leaves with Darth Vader and co.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Yoda summons Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Master Yoda explains to Luke that a young Darth Vader once visited Planet Dagobah and slayed a Stapelia grandiflora.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Indeed, Anakin Skywalker visited this garden as a youth. Here he is posing in front of an Aeonium.

Star Wars: The Garden Awakens

Behold, a teenage Anakin Skywalker attacks a budding Stepelia grandiflora (carrion flower).

And so our heroes reunite and leave Planet Dagobah with plenty of food and supplies. Yoda can be heard in the distance,”Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun the Clone War has.”

 

 

  • This is AMAZING. Kind of makes me want to make up stories with toys in my garden come spring time. Right now it’s a frozen tundra… which could be equally as interesting. hmmmm…..

  • I love EVERYTHING about this photo story!

  • LOVE this!!! May the Force be with you both! Merry Christmas!