CLIENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW – Imperial-Themed Desk!
Never underestimate the power (or great eye for interior design) of the Dark Side. Our client, Doug, originally requested a custom desk similar to the one Emperor Palpatine uses in Revenge of the Sith, but after seeing a concept we provided for a Darth Vader inspired desk, he chose a new path. You can see the results (and many more photos) on our Imperial-Themed Desk Page. This was a very fun collaboration for our team to work on alongside Doug, so let’s hear more about the story from the man himself!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Name, where you’re from, and how you came across Regal Robot.
My name is Doug Maulden-Locke and I live in Manassas, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. I’m a lifelong Star Wars fan and collector (more on that later) and I first came across Regal Robot when I started searching for Star Wars-inspired furniture towards the end last year. We built a new house which includes a spacious loft that now serves as my Star Wars room and home office. When my family agreed to do the loft, it came with the requirement that whatever I put up there had to be ‘next-level’ and upped my game for displaying my collection and establish a home office that fit with the collection.
I heard that your interest in commissioning Regal Robot originally started out with a request for the Emperor’s desk from Revenge of the Sith. What sparked the interest for this specific piece of furniture?
That’s correct. There aren’t many desks featured in Star Wars films, and I like the desk Palpatine had in Episode III. Paired with the Emperor Throne chair that Regal Robot was already offering, my first thought was that they would be a good way to establish furniture from the films in my loft office. Little did I suspect, Tom was able to take that vision and expand upon it in a way that blew me away.
How do these Imperial characters like Darth Vader and the Emperor resonate with you as a Star Wars fan?
This is where the ‘lifelong’ part of the story comes in. I was born in 1974 and saw the original Star Wars at a drive-in theater in 1977. I genuinely think that my earliest childhood memory is seeing Darth Vader on that drive-in screen, which had an obvious impact on me and seriously helped mold me into who I am today. Forty plus years later, I have more Vader pieces in my collection than any other character (displayed in a ‘Vader Shrine’) and have been known to don a Vader suit from time to time for various events or parties. (I’m by no means ‘official’ like the 501st or other serious cosplayers)
Tom and his team threw in a concept for the Darth Vader desk you ended up choosing along with concepts for the Emperor’s desk that you requested. What made you decide to switch gears and go with the Vader desk?
That’s right. Tom presented a handful of options after we reviewed the original Revenge of the Sith desk, just as food for thought. This design options really opened up the possibilities for what could be and I felt like a kid in a candy store with all the options. I ended up picking out various elements from a couple of the designs to land on what has become the current desk. The Vader helmet at the center spoke to me in a majestically Imperial kind of way and adding the Imperial insignias and side lighting were the icing on the cake. It just felt more me, epic enough to meet that ‘next-level’ requirement for the loft.
It’s no secret that (Regal Robot founder) Tom and his crew are huge Star Wars fans. Can you tell me a little more about the collaboration process with Tom and how he made your special requests a reality?
Tom is a fantastic collaborator and immediately started adding in creative ideas from the very first conversation. After I explained a bit about my own fandom, he was off to the races and when those design options came in, I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. Something that started as a hopeful thought was now going to be a reality, and each of the updates that followed in the months to come just made it more real, all the way up to delivery day- which was magical!
There are several great details on your new desk from Vader’s signature helmet to lighting that you can change depending on your mood. What details do you enjoy most about the desk?
The helmet centerpiece is the obvious draw, as well as the lighting. My daughter fancies the purple, but I alternate between red and blue, which both really pop. What’s so incredible, though, is how functional the desk actually is. It’s far more than a gorgeous collectible: the cable drops allow me to keep the setup tidy and the drawers offer me more space than I had before with my old desk. My co-workers are dying for me to do a video conference from home with the camera set up to see the desk in full, which I will do for sure.
What was your first reaction to seeing photos of the completed desk?
I squealed and jumped up and down for at least 20 seconds. I couldn’t believe it was real and finally ready to come to its forever home. Even after it arrived and has been in the house for a few days, I have had moments where I just look at it, pause, and savor its gloriousness.
It looks like your new desk is in a fairly empty room of the house. How do you plan on creating a Star Wars inspired space around the Vader desk?
As I mentioned earlier, we built a new home last year and the loft space has been eagerly awaiting the desk. I’ve been intending to use it as the anchor piece of the entire room, with my collection displayed on several cases around it. As you come up the stairs to the loft, the first thing you will see is the desk to get the big bang “WOW” factor, then turn to see the shelves housing my collection and art along the walls. I’m displaying my collection in film chronological from I – IX, with Solo and Rogue One mixed in prior to IV. Then there are standalone cases for the animated series, the Vader shrine and a special tribute case to Carrie Fisher.
You paired the custom Darth Vader desk with our Emperor’s Throne desk chair. How do you feel about this combo?
It’s phenomenal. A pairing that exceeds my wildest hopes for my Star Wars loft and I simply couldn’t be happier.
What sort of reactions do you get when people see your new Star Wars themed furniture?
It’s still very fresh, but the reactions so far have all been in the “WOW” category. Now that the desk is here, I’m able to complete the rest of the collection displays and hope to have my own “mini-Rancho” when it’s all said and done. I’m dying to invite folks over to come see and tour my little collection.
After working with Regal Robot, do you think you’d collaborate with them again? What ideas do you have up your sleeve to complete your fan space?
Absolutely. The original full vision I had for the Star Wars loft was to decorate the walls with ‘starship-style’ paneling to really give the feel of being on the Death Star or a Star Destroyer. I’ve since modified that concept after getting some of the display cases in for my collection and would like to establish the Emperor’s window from Return of the Jedi behind the desk, either through paneling or artwork. After that, there is a guest room in the loft that will serve as my Star Wars library and autograph hall and I’m still brainstorming how to set that space up. Tom and the Regal Robot team will be my first call once I’ve got a concept cooked up.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Doug!
Love what you see? On our Star Wars Custom Furniture Studio page, you’ll find our currently available premium special editions, past custom creations we’ve made for private clients and even some concept art as inspiration to start the design process for your project!
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