Warhammer 40K fans create high fashion fan art with the Warp Gala - 4 minutes read

The universe of Warhammer 40,000 is filled with brutality, viciousness, and endless war. But while there are plenty of terrible tragedies to mull on, there are still bright points — fantastic spectacles and fraternal bonds. Some fans have started to explore an alternate universe that highlights the more fun and light-hearted dynamics of Warhammer 40,000, while combining them with high fashion. Welcome to the Warp Gala, a red carpet event that takes place in this alternate history.

In the world of 40K, the current galaxy is in a fraught place. The Imperium of Man, the last bastion of humanity, controls a million, million worlds... give or take. The Imperium is a deeply religious and superstitious state, barely able to maintain its vast territory. The Imperium is also defined by the Horus Heresy, a civil war that took place 10,000 years ago. While the current denizens of the galaxy don’t know much about that history, its aftershocks still influence major parts of their current day lives. They commit to worship of the God-Emperor of Mankind, and his sons — demigod generals known as Primarchs.

“I was always fascinated by the themes of fraternity and brotherhood reflected in the Primarchs, however minor they appear within the setting,” said Sarah, the artist who created the fiction behind the Warp Gala, speaking to Polygon on social media. “I find that those merits keep them grounded in an era that knows only war.”

Sarah, who posts her art under the handle Mixuen, has re-imagined the Horus Heresy, which split the Primarchs in half in a war so epic it merited a 64-book series from the Black Library, into an alternate setting called the Hollywood Heresy.

I'm many months overdue but am happy to announce #warpgala40k!I want everyone to join in on the fun of the Hollywood Heresy AU, so some art moots and I have banded together to create a red carpet themed collab campaign "Warp Gala"!Instructions on how to join in next twt pic.twitter.com/Bb1JzoVPWO— Sarah ✨ () March 15, 2024

“My initial intention for the Hollywood Heresy was simply for the fun of making an entire alternate universe: a film or drama production made by a close-knit community of actors and crew members with a common passion of turning the Horus Heresy series [into something] for the big screen.”

So, Sarah and other fans have cast fictional actors to play the Primarchs in a TV adaptation. The guy who plays Sanguinius, for instance, has some of the same noble qualities — but his character does also divert from the source material in interesting ways. The Primarchs and their interpersonal dynamics are one of the most important parts of the Horus Heresy series, and those dynamics still play a big part in the current 40K setting. Both Guilliman and the Lion have returned for the loyalist side, while the traitor Primarchs are running around causing chaos. There’s a similar level of shenanigans happening in the alternate universe, without the fatalities and betrayal.

Image: Mixuen

The creation of the Hollywood Heresy dovetailed nicely with the Amazon deal for bringing Warhammer 40,000 to small screens, which drew interest from new fans. Other collaborators then joined the Hollywood Heresy fandom, making their own fan fiction and fan art of the Hollywood Heresy. It’s the same logic behind loving coffee shop AUs for Overwatch characters. It’s a way to see familiar characters through a new, lower-stakes lens. For the Warp Gala, all characters are invited — not just Primarchs.

“Given it was a small project for the fun and giggles, it didn’t cross my mind how much of [an] impact it would make in the Warhammer community,” says Sarah. “I had people approaching me [about] how much the Hollywood Heresy works gave them joy. Some remarked how well these scenes reflected the closeness or aspects of the Primarchs.”

Of course, if there’s an alternate universe where all of the Primarchs are on a movie set, it makes sense that they’d eventually have to walk a red carpet. The setting also allows artists to play with different themes, from the Catholic imagery that runs through the Imperium of Man, to the abstract majesty of the galaxy. Similar to the Rift Gala, a red carpet fan event for League of Legends, fan creators for Hollywood Heresy have fun mixing high fashion with the fantasy aesthetics of this beloved franchise.

“The Warp Gala was made to reflect the community’s love for 40K,” Sarah says, who hopes it helps encourage more 40K-related fanworks.

Source: Polygon

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