Indigenous | Art

Mr G's latest Star Wars-Māori collaboration showcased on Karangahape Road

Video: Facebook / Star Wars

Māori artist Graham Hoete, known mostly by his fans as Mr G, has launched his next mural masterpiece inspired by a galaxy far, far away.

In collaboration with the popular Star Wars franchise, Mr G created a Māori-inspired mural of The Mandalorian, the titular character of the hit Disney+ show that has just kicked off its third season.

It's not the first time that Hoete has been a partner with Star Wars. He created a Mandalorian helmet carving of Boba Fett for the show The Book of Boba Fett, which has ties to The Mandalorian, which was released last year. The titular character played by Māori Hollywood actor Temuera Morrison.

A descendent of Te Haupapa Kohatu from the island of Mōtītī, Mr G explains in a Facebook video his passions of te ao Māori and Star Wars for The Mandalorian mural.

"How I designed the visual for this piece, part of it was influenced through the Boba Fett helmet that I carved.

"The background I actually cut from pōhutukawa. That stems or represents the whole art form of whakairo (carving). But it's not just about the visual aesthetics. It also preserves our history, our stories, our genealogies, whakapapa.

"For me in The Mandalorian there are actually quite a few really strong themes that resonate with a lot of indigenous cultures."

While the third season shows the Mandalorian returning to his destroyed home planet to find himself again, Hoete says the show likens to many Māori "in this day and age" rediscovering their identity too.

The famous show quote, "This is the Way", has also been given a Māori translation to "Whāia Te Aka Matua", with help on the translation by Scotty and Temuera Morrison.

"The thing is with Māori you want to whakamāoritia, or, basically bring te ao Māori into the essence of the translation and it captures the essence of Mando's journey but also the whole thing of 'This is the Way',

The 'Māori Mando' is on display in Auckland's Karangahape Road.

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