The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published December 17, 2023 Updated December 17, 2023

The Tarot Strikes Back

Roy Huteson Stewart's The Tarot Strikes Back combines Star Wars with Rider-Waite tarot imagery.

2023 United Kingdom MPC (makeplayingcards.com) Star Wars Roy Huteson Stewart Kickstarter Movies & Film Pop Culture Sci-Fi Tarot Add to Collection

"Exploring movies through Tarot," Roy Huteson Stewart's The Tarot Strikes Back unites Star Wars with traditional tarot, offering a deck that includes 22 Major Arcana and additional art cards.

An open coloring book showing two pages, with the left page featuring the words COLOURING BOOK in a large yellow font at the top, a yellow sun with a red background labeled THE SUN, and a small depiction of the Millennium Falcon. The right page shows a tarot card illustration of Darth Vader labeled IV, framed within a decorative border against a red background.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Backcoloring book, combining the art of tarot with the classic imagery of the Star Wars saga, featuring line art for fans to color.

This coloring book, The Tarot Strikes Back, fuses the imaginative worlds of tarot and the Star Wars universe. The left page proudly announces the book's title in a bold, retro font, reminiscent of classic movie posters, with the declaration "May the colours be with you!" playfully riffing on the famous Star Wars line. Below, 'The Sun' tarot card is reinterpreted with the iconic Millennium Falcon against a radiant sun motif. On the right, the figure of Darth Vader takes the place of the Emperor card 'IV', portrayed in a commanding stance with a lightsaber in hand, encapsulated by a fiery backdrop. This book invites Star Wars fans and coloring enthusiasts to engage with the characters and symbols in a uniquely interactive way, blending two distinctive artistic traditions into one creative experience.

An open coloring book with two tarot card illustrations • On the left, card IX titled THE HERMIT features Yoda with a staff, and the text below reads Yoda is IX the Hermit: Spiritual enlightenment • Guidance • Solitude. On the right, card X titled WHEEL OF FORTUNE shows the planet Dagobah with a spaceship, and the text below reads Dagobah is X the Wheel of fortune: Destiny • External forces • Fate.

Above: tarot card illustrations of Yoda as The Hermit and Dagobah as The Wheel of Fortune from The Tarot Strikes Back coloring book, blending Star Wars elements with classic tarot symbolism.

In this spread from The Tarot Strikes Back coloring book, the tarot's symbolism is reimagined with Star Wars imagery. On the left, Yoda represents The Hermit, associated with: Spiritual Enlightenment • Guidance • Solitude, his figure echoing the card's wisdom. The right page shows Dagobah as The Wheel of Fortune, a symbol of: Destiny • External Forces • Fate, with spacecraft illustrating change and evolution. Coloring enthusiasts are invited to add color to these themes, merging their creativity with the fate and wisdom of the Star Wars universe.

An open coloring book featuring two Star Wars-themed tarot cards. On the left is card III titled THE EMPRESS, showcasing an illustration of the Millennium Falcon, with the text below reading The Millennium Falcon is III the Empress: Creativity • Harmony • Art. On the right is card IV titled THE EMPEROR, with an illustration of Darth Vader, and the text below reading Darth Vader is IV the Emperor: Father Figure • Abuse of power • Authority.

Above: the Empress represented by the Millennium Falcon and The Emperor depicted as Darth Vader in a Star Wars-inspired tarot coloring book, linking iconic spacecraft and characters to traditional tarot themes.

In this spread from The Tarot Strikes Back coloring book, the tarot's archetypes are ingeniously fused with Star Wars imagery. On the left, the Millennium Falcon represents The Empress, symbolizing: Creativity • Harmony • Art, aligning with the card's embodiment of nurturing and growth. On the right, Darth Vader as The Emperor stands for: Father Figure • Abuse of power • Authority, capturing the card's essence of structure and control. These illustrations offer an opportunity for fans to color and reflect on the merging of creativity and power within the Star Wars narrative.

Roy Huteson Stewart, a UK-based professional illustrator, has launched his 10th Kickstarter tarot project, The Tarot Strikes Back, themed around The Empire Strikes Back from the Star Wars series. Known for incorporating cult cinema themes like Ghostbusters, Alien, and WWF Wrestling into tarot decks, Stewart continues this trend with Star Wars.

A sticker set from The Tarot Strikes Back series. On the left, Darth Vader is shown kneeling with stars around him. In the middle, a character resembling Luke Skywalker is floating with a lit green lightsaber. The right sticker depicts a figure in a helmet and cloak, holding a staff, identified as Princess Leia in her Boushh disguise, with RETURN OF THE TAROT text above. Below the central image is the artist Roy Huteson Stewart's signature.

This set of stickers from "The Tarot Strikes Back" presents Star Wars characters in tarot card styling. On the left, Darth Vader kneels, set against a starry background. The center sticker portrays a character like Luke Skywalker in mid-air, wielding a green lightsaber. To the right, the figure clad in Boushh’s bounty hunter disguise, known from Princess Leia's infiltration mission, stands holding a staff, with "RETURN OF THE TAROT" inscribed above. The artist's signature, Roy Huteson Stewart, anchors the artwork. These pieces artistically merge the visual iconography of Star Wars with the esoteric themes of tarot cards.

Above: Sticker collection from The Tarot Strikes Back series depicting Star Wars-inspired characters in tarot-themed illustrations.

The Tarot Strikes Back, which attracted a modest 73 backers, serves as a good example of tarot's growing appeal to mainstream audiences through its use of modern themes. This deck demonstrates the flexibility of tarot, capable of incorporating various interests to create a unique, branded spiritual product.

Stewart’s approach is hands-on, as he describes: "All 22 cards have been drawn, inked, coloured and set up to send to the printers. I create all the work by myself, without any investors or teams to support or help me." This reflects his commitment to creating a high-quality, individualised product.

The art mimics the style of Pamela Coleman Smith's Rider-Waite tarot, which has become the template for many modern tarot decks. This deck is a good example of a modern tarot that mixes popular culture with traditional themes. Stewart notes, "The Major Arcana cards symbolise life lessons, karmic influences, and archetypal themes that impact your life as well as the soul's path to enlightenment." While featuring a Star Wars design, it maintains the structure and symbolism of the Rider-Waite deck, blending familiar tarot elements with contemporary pop culture.


The Major Arcana

Four tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series, each featuring Star Wars-themed illustrations in place of traditional tarot imagery. The Fool card shows a character stepping off a cliff with R2-D2. The Magician card displays Yoda with various objects around him. The High Priestess card features Princess Leia seated between two pillars. The Empress card has the Millennium Falcon with three Star Destroyers in the background.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back series merges Star Wars with tarot, showcasing The Fool with R2-D2, Yoda as The Magician, Leia as The High Priestess, and the Millennium Falcon as The Empress.

The "The Tarot Strikes Back" deck by Roy Huteson Stewart presents Star Wars characters aligned with the structure of the Rider-Waite tarot deck. This series adapts the traditional tarot format, with cards like The Fool featuring R2-D2, The Magician as Yoda, The High Priestess as Princess Leia, and The Empress represented by the Millennium Falcon. Stewart's artwork pays homage to the familiar Rider-Waite designs while incorporating the distinctive Star Wars imagery.

Four tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series depicting Star Wars characters. The Emperor card features Darth Vader, The Hierophant is portrayed by Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Lovers show Han Solo and Princess Leia with a central figure, and The Chariot is illustrated by TIE fighters flanking the Millennium Falcon.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back series continues with Darth Vader as The Emperor, Obi-Wan Kenobi as The Hierophant, Han Solo and Leia as The Lovers, and the Millennium Falcon and TIE fighters as The Chariot.

In these cards from The Tarot Strikes Back, the essence of Star Wars is interwoven with the tarot. Darth Vader sits as The Emperor, surrounded by flames. Obi-Wan Kenobi stands as The Hierophant on a checkerboard floor, signifying wisdom. The Lovers card features Han Solo and Princess Leia with a cloud and sunburst backdrop, symbolizing partnership. The Chariot card depicts an action-filled scene with the Millennium Falcon chased by TIE fighters, representing motion and progress. Each card incorporates Star Wars imagery into the traditional tarot card format crafted by artist Roy Huteson Stewart.

Four tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series, each with a Star Wars twist. The Strength card shows a Star Destroyer and part of the Death Star. The Hermit features Yoda with a lantern. The Wheel of Fortune depicts the planet Dagobah with ships orbiting it. The Justice card displays a character resembling Boba Fett.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back deck pairs Star Wars imagery with tarot cards: Strength with a Star Destroyer, The Hermit as Yoda, The Wheel of Fortune with Dagobah, and Justice as Boba Fett.

In this set from The Tarot Strikes Back, iconic Star Wars elements are skillfully integrated into the classic tarot design by Roy Huteson Stewart. The Strength card is represented by imperial forces, The Hermit by Yoda on Dagobah, The Wheel of Fortune by the verdant planet itself encircled by spacecraft, and Justice by the bounty hunter Boba Fett, each rendered in a style reminiscent of the Rider-Waite deck. These cards blend the visual narrative of Star Wars with the structure of traditional tarot, providing a unique interpretation for fans and collectors.

Four tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series. The Hanged Man features Luke Skywalker hanging upside down beside R2-D2. The Death card shows Darth Vader in combat with Luke Skywalker. On the Temperance card, a figure pours liquid between two containers. The Devil card displays Darth Vader with two characters, one of whom resembles Han Solo, in chains.

Above: he Tarot Strikes Back series showcases The Hanged Man with Luke Skywalker and R2-D2, a duel between Vader and Luke on the Death card, balance on the Temperance card, and Vader with captives on The Devil card.

In The Tarot Strikes Back deck, traditional tarot imagery is transformed with Star Wars characters by Roy Huteson Stewart. Luke Skywalker, captured in a precarious moment, is depicted on The Hanged Man card alongside R2-D2. The Death card portrays the fateful duel between Luke and Darth Vader. Temperance is illustrated by a figure thoughtfully mixing two substances, and The Devil card ominously features Vader, presiding over figures in chains, evoking the theme of domination. These cards merge the storytelling of Star Wars with the iconic design of the Rider-Waite tarot deck.

Four tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series. The Tower card shows an exploding Death Star with a figure falling. The Star card features Darth Vader looking at a helmet with the reflection of Luke Skywalker. The Moon card depicts a scene with two characters facing off and stormtroopers in the background under a large moon. The Sun card displays the Millennium Falcon with the sun behind it.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back deck interprets The Tower with the Death Star's explosion, The Star with Darth Vader and Luke's reflection, a confrontation on The Moon card, and The Sun card with the Millennium Falcon.

This selection from The Tarot Strikes Back tarot deck captures pivotal Star Wars moments within the traditional tarot card framework. The Tower card is represented by the dramatic destruction of the Death Star. The Star card depicts Darth Vader, contemplating his connection to Luke Skywalker, symbolized by the reflected image. On The Moon card, a standoff unfolds under the celestial body, and The Sun card prominently features the Millennium Falcon against a radiant backdrop, evoking a sense of adventure and vitality. Each card translates the cinematic energy of Star Wars into the static imagery of the tarot, offering a unique collectible for enthusiasts of the franchise and tarot readers alike.

Four tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series. The Judgement card depicts a scene of a character raising their lightsaber towards the Death Star. The World card features Darth Vader surrounded by various characters and icons. Another version of The World card shows a character levitating with R2-D2 and C-3PO below. The fourth card is a back design pattern with Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire symbols.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back interpretations of tarot cards include Judgement with a lightsaber and the Death Star, two versions of The World with Darth Vader and Star Wars characters, and the card back design featuring Star Wars faction symbols.

The Tarot Strikes Back series delivers a Star Wars twist on traditional tarot cards. On the Judgement card, a figure confronts the Death Star with a raised lightsaber, signaling a decisive moment. The World card is represented twice: once with Darth Vader central among Star Wars figures and symbols, and again with a levitating figure surrounded by companions, indicating completion and unity. The card back is adorned with a repeating pattern of Rebel and Empire symbols, encapsulating the dualities of the Star Wars narrative within the familiar backdrop of a tarot deck.


Minor Arcana (Cups)

Three extra art cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series. The first card displays the medical droid 2-1B with a winged emblem above. The second card features Korin Pers, depicted with C-3PO in a village scene. The third card shows a stormtrooper seated with nine cups behind him.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back series expands with art cards of 2-1B the medical droid, Korin Pers in a village scene with the head of C-3PO, and a seated stormtrooper in front of nine cups.

In The Tarot Strikes Back, the art cards add layers of Star Wars-inspired storytelling to the tarot experience. The first card's 2-1B, juxtaposed with a winged emblem, references its role in healing and repair. The second card illustrates Korin Pers in a serene village setting, a nod to the broader Star Wars narrative, with familiar droids. On the third card, a stormtrooper is positioned before a backdrop of cups, suggesting a moment of reflection or achievement. These cards weave the essence of Star Wars characters into the visual language of tarot, offering a unique collectible for fans.


Minor Arcana (Pentacles & Swords)

Four Star Wars-themed tarot cards. The Seven of Pentacles features a Rebel pilot with a contemplative stance by a bush of Pentacles. The Page of Pentacles depicts Willrow Hood, known as the

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back series shows a Rebel pilot on the Seven of Pentacles, Willrow Hood with a camtono on the Page of Pentacles, a Wampa on the Five of Swords, and a Probe Droid on the Knight of Swords.

In The Tarot Strikes Back deck, familiar Star Wars characters are featured within the Minor Arcana. The Seven of Pentacles card presents a Rebel pilot reflecting on his efforts and rewards. The Page of Pentacles card humorously portrays Willrow Hood clutching a camtono, a nod to his background as "the Ice Cream Guy" in fan lore. The Five of Swords card captures the raw strength of a Wampa, suggesting triumph or aggression. On the Knight of Swords card, the Imperial Probe Droid is depicted in action, echoing themes of pursuit or a mission underway. Each card is a playful yet respectful blend of the Star Wars story with traditional tarot elements, designed by Roy Huteson Stewart.


Minor Arcana (Wands)

Three tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series. The Six of Wands shows AT-AT walkers in a triumphant stance. The Ten of Wands features the medical droid FX-7 amid a cluster of wands. The Page of Wands presents Lobot holding a wand upright.

Above: In The Tarot Strikes Back, AT-ATs march on the Six of Wands, FX-7 appears encircled by wands on the Ten of Wands, and Lobot stands with a wand as the Page of Wands.

The Tarot Strikes Back deck brings a Star Wars perspective to the tarot's Wands suit. The Six of Wands depicts the formidable AT-ATs, iconic to the Empire's ground forces. The Ten of Wands features FX-7, the medical droid, surrounded by wands in a formation that suggests burden or challenge. On the Page of Wands, Lobot is seen with a communicator device, known for his resourcefulness and intelligence, attributes resonant with the card's symbolism of curiosity and potential. Artist Roy Huteson Stewart's adaptation of these characters into the tarot framework creates a compelling blend for both Star Wars enthusiasts and tarot collectors.


Bounty Hunters

A collection of six Justice tarot cards from The Tarot Strikes Back series, each card featuring a well-known Star Wars bounty hunter. The characters include Boba Fett, Zuckuss, Bossk, Dengar, IG-88, and 4-LOM, presented with their signature weapons and standing before drapery and scales, the traditional symbol of Justice.

Above: The Tarot Strikes Back series features Star Wars bounty hunters on the Justice card, including Boba Fett, Zuckuss, Bossk, Dengar, IG-88, and 4-LOM, each embodying the balance of Justice.

The Tarot Strikes Back deck assigns the Justice card to the formidable bounty hunters of the Star Wars universe. Boba Fett, Zuckuss, Bossk, Dengar, IG-88, and 4-LOM are each portrayed with a backdrop of scales, representing the balance and fairness that the Justice card signifies. In this series, the hunters' representation on the Justice card suggests a theme of karmic balance and the law, as these characters often operate within the complex moralities of the galactic underworld. Each card is a fusion of Star Wars narrative and the symbolic gravity of the Justice tarot card, offering a unique twist for tarot enthusiasts and Star Wars fans alike.


References

avatar
151 Articles

By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

1904 Miniature Card Dominoes

Miniature Card Dominoes

A miniature set of Goodall domino cards (5.9 x 3.5 cms) still in perfect condition.

1875 T. Drayton & Son

T. Drayton & Son

Bezique and Whist boxed sets by T. Drayton & Son, London, c.1875.

2021 Hitchcock

Hitchcock

A deck of 55 cards, celebrating the master of mystery, murder and mayhem, Alfred Hitchcock.

2011 Colour doodle deck

Colour doodle deck

“1952-2002 commemorative deck” customised with doodles by an uncredited artist, UK, 2011.

1985 I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

Etchings of cats on a set of major arcana created by Evelyne Nicod.

2016 Tuxedo playing cards

Tuxedo playing cards

Stylish ‘Tuxedo’ playing cards with animal faces created by Natalia Silva, USA, 2016.

1984 Tarot de Madrid

Tarot de Madrid

Black-and-white photographs of models whose faces are made up using elements found on the major arca...

2020 Alice in Wonderland: we’re all mad here

Alice in Wonderland: we’re all mad here

Alice in Wonderland themed playing cards, UK, 2020.

2008 Politicards 2008

Politicards 2008

Politicards ’08 with caricatures cast as characters from classic movies, USA.

2003 Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars playing cards with mug shots of the rich and famous under arrest, USA, 2003.

1825 Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger

Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger

Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.

1965 Jeu des Copains

Jeu des Copains

French popular singing stars of the 1960s.

2023 Wren 300 playing cards

Wren 300 playing cards

Papercuts by Chloe Campbell of the 52 Wren churches in the City of London.

2023 Marlow playing cards

Marlow playing cards

Visitor attractions and businesses to be found in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

2010 Playing Politics 2010

Playing Politics 2010

“Playing Politics ’10: With no expenses spared” featuring caricatures by Oliver Preston, published b...

1992 Playing Politics ’92: Pack of lies

Playing Politics ’92: Pack of lies

Playing Politics ’92: Pack of lies with caricatures by Grant Robertson, UK.

2005 B-Deck

B-Deck

“B-Deck” scurrilous playing cards poking fun at a former UK prime minister.

2017 Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards produced by Natalia Silva, USA, 2017.

1820 Animal Tarot by Joseph Fetscher

Animal Tarot by Joseph Fetscher

French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.

2016 Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards produced by the Godesky brothers, USA, 2016.

1967 Winstanley Geographical cards

Winstanley Geographical cards

Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.

1971 Meal Tub Plot

Meal Tub Plot

Meal Tub Plot playing cards [facsimile] with 17th century sketches by Francis Barlow.

Golf playing cards

Golf playing cards

Golf playing cards published by Marks & Spencer, UK.

2020 5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom Luxury playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020.

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.

2011 Great inventions playing cards

Great inventions playing cards

Great inventions playing cards designed by Gary Wyatt, United Kingdom, 2011.

1980 Christmas 1980 playing cards

Christmas 1980 playing cards

Festive courts on a Waddingtons pack designed to celebrate Christmas 1980.

Gone to Pot: Gardener’s playing cards

Gone to Pot: Gardener’s playing cards

‘Gone to Pot’: special playing cards for keen gardeners, United Kingdom.

2023 The Tarot Strikes Back

The Tarot Strikes Back

Roy Huteson Stewart's The Tarot Strikes Back combines Star Wars with Rider-Waite tarot imagery.

Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.

Tottering-by-Gently

Tottering-by-Gently

‘Tottering-by-Gently’ playing cards with cartoons by Annie Tempest.

1990 Sally Ferries Euro playing cards

Sally Ferries Euro playing cards

Sally Ferries Euro playing cards and phrase pack, United Kingdom.

1890 Swiss Scenic Tarock

Swiss Scenic Tarock

Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.

Don’t come back

Don’t come back

“Don’t come back” playing cards produced by Hounslow NHS Primary Care Trust and Feltham Young Offend...

1800 Costumes of Turkey Tarot

Costumes of Turkey Tarot

‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.

1810 Natural History Tarot

Natural History Tarot

Natural History Tarot published by G M, Germany, early 19th C.

1790 Animal Tarot by J. B Dubois

Animal Tarot by J. B Dubois

French-suited Bavarian Animal Tarot by J B Dubois, Liège, Belgium, late 18th C.

1998 From Empire to Commonwealth

From Empire to Commonwealth

Flags, locations and admission dates of 52 Commonwealth countries.

1800 Æsop’s Fables tarot

Æsop’s Fables tarot

French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.

2023 House of Tudor

House of Tudor

Randy Butterfield's House of Tudor playing cards feature detailed art in a high-quality collectible ...