Building Your Empire One Book at a Time


Graphic Novels
Novel Timeline
Young Adult Novels
Short Story Timeline
FREE Official Stories

In-Galaxy Reference
RPG Sourcebooks

Behind the Scenes
Unofficial Books

Other Media
Star Wars Audiobooks
Star Wars DVDs
Star Wars Magazines
Star Wars Sheet Music
Strategy Guides
Star Wars Games

Fun Stuff
Star Wars Interviews
Star Wars Articles

Author Biographies
Glossary of Terms
Star Wars Origins
FREE Star Wars Wallpaper

SW Book Zone
Contact Us
About Us
Site Map

Custom Search


Making Wookiee Cookies and Darth Malts
An Interview with Star Wars Cookbook Photographer Frankie Frankeny

By Kat
Staff Writer

July 28, 2010

"Star Wars" and "cooking" might seem like an unlikely combination, but photographer Frankie Frankeny has shot photos for not only the Star Wars Cookbook: Wookie Cookies, but also its sequel Star Wars Cookbook II: Darth Malts and the Star Wars Party Book. All three books provide kid friendly recipies, feature Star Wars themed recipe names (can you say Qui-Gon Jinn-ger Snaps?), and display photographic recreations of Star Wars scenes using food and Star Wars action figures. Star Wars Cookbook photographer Frankie Frankeny talks about her role in the creation of these three quirky books.

Before you started photographing food, like in the Star Wars Cookbooks, you worked in the fashion world. How did you decide to make the switch over to food photography?
I moved to San Francisco in the early 90's and realized that food was the fashion of San Francisco. So I worked with a few chefs to really get a grasp of the culture of food out here and then put together a portfolio.

How did you first get involved with the Star Wars Cookbook?
It was the concept of an editor at Chronicle Books, Leslie Jonath

You are credited as the photographer in Wookiee Cookies and as one of the authors in the sequel Darth Malts. How did your role in the creative process changed from one book to the next?

From the beginning of the first few images, using the food and action figures as props, it became clear that those images were the foundation of the book. We came up with a lot of subsequent recipe ideas based on what images we could create. That was how we began the next two books [Star Wars Cook Book II and the Star Wars Party Book].
  Star Wars Darth Vader Balloon
Image Credit: Frankie Frankeny
What Star Wars cookbook would be complete without a Princess Leia pastry? Wookiee Cookies features a recipe for Princess Leia Danish Dos

Where did the idea to use Star Wars action figures come from? Were the Hasbro actions figures always part of the plan for the book?
I always liked making little scenes when I was a child. I guess it just carried over to this book.

Can you describe your process behind composing a shot for the Star Wars Cookbooks and the Star Wars Party Book?
Basically we just watched the movies over and over again, taking notes. Looking for anything that could represent food. I am not sure I can actually explain it.

How did photography for the Star Wars books differ from other projects you had done?

Well aside from using action figures with food, not a lot I guess. I wouldn't say I was a big Star Wars fan as a child. I didn't grow up around sand or snow and did a book on sandcastles and snowmen. I've done at least three xmas themed books and I'd say that was my least favorite holiday growing up. I don't really recall reading the Dr. Seuss books as a child, probably one or two. But with these types of books I think it takes someone who can look from the outside in.

What was one of the most challenging and one of the most rewarding parts about shooting the photos for these Star Wars books?
Getting the action figures. A lot of the ones I wanted to use were only available in private collections or came to stores randomly. It was a bit nuts.

Did you help name any of the recipes?
Sure. But [I] mainly came up with the image ideas.

Can you describe one of your favorite photos out of the Star Wars Cookbooks or Star Wars Party Book? What makes it one of your favorites?

I've always liked the ones that came close to looking like the real scene. We didn't use photoshop just food and action figures on set. So I'd say some of my favorites were: Boonta Classic Waffles; Booma Breakfast Tarts; Star Wars Pretzels; Qui-Gon Jinn-ger Snaps; Death Star Popcorn Balls; Princess Leia Danish Dos--I guess I have a lot.
  Star Wars Pretzels photo by Frankie Frankeny
Image Credit: Frankie Frankeny
The Star Wars pretzels photo is one of Frankie's favorites

How were the cover images for Wookiee Cookies and Darth Malts chosen? Did you know that those recipes would be featured on the cover all along, or were those recipes and images chosen after the photography had been completed?
With books you get to point out your favorites but that is usually up to the sales and marketing teams at the publisher.

Would you consider working on another Star Wars Cookbook?
With the right team, sure.

What's next for you?
I just finished Michael Chiarello's latest book out this fall, The Bottega Cookbook and The Harrah's Seven Star Cookbook which features all of their U.S. restaurants. I'm now working on a marriage equality book and one on cheese.

A big thanks to Frankie Frankeny for taking the time to share her story with For more information about Frankie, visit her website at

Back to Star Wars Interviews


© 2011 All rights reserved. This site is not affiliated with Lucasfilm Ltd.