Even without a whole new slate of enticing, mysterious Star Wars characters being rolled out for The Force Awakens, every Halloween fans and cosplayers come up with increasingly inventive and elaborate costumes based on the franchise. Dork Side’s Jedi Council pays tribute to these dedicated roleplayers by sharing our favorite concepts and why they stand out from the rest of the pack.
Kyle Warnke – Darth Maul from The Clone Wars
There are Star Wars costumes, and then there are Star Wars costumes.
I snapped this picture while covering Star Wars Celebration back in April (there were a lot of really, really good costumes there), but there’s no question that this one took the cake. While there were plenty of impressive Darth Maul imitators at the con, this guy took it one step further by incorporating Darth Maul’s robolegs that he sported for his revival in the animated series The Clone Wars.
This image doesn’t even really do the costume justice, as I could tell in person that his attention to detail was immaculate. The patterning of the tattoos, the shape of the metal legs, the fully grown horns, it was all there and seemed like it was real. Unfortunately, I never learned the name of the fan donning the costume, but as you can see, he really got into it and never shied away from taking photos with his admirers.
Though judging by his stare in this photo, perhaps I should have asked permission before I posted it on Instagram.
Ani Bundel – Every Girl I See Dressed as Rey
I’m a little older than some of my cowriters here, in that I remember when Star Wars was big the first time. I was in elementary school when The Empire Strikes Back was the biggest thing to ever hit the kid’s market, and old enough to go find and read reviews in my parent’s newspapers and magazines when The Return of the Jedi came out. And I remember that there were only two costumes for me. A white robe and a headband of buns, or a gold bikini that my mother went through the roof at the idea a child my age would actually wear out at night at the end of October. Everything else was for boys.
I had no idea how much this had effected me as a child until I saw the Rey-centered poster a few weeks ago for The Force Awakens. It was like my heart broke open to see a female warrior front and center. After Natalie Portman’s simpering “Hold me like you did on Naboo,” it was like the world was refreshed. But I still didn’t realize how important it was until this weekend. Dozens upon dozens of little girls on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all dressed in goggles and carrying huge sticks. Some with little home made BB-8s and some without. All badasses. All with a role model they can dress as, that doesn’t focus on hair, or skin. All those girls who came to our door last night for candy, never knowing how much i would have killed to have something that awesome to wear at their age. And the movie hasn’t even come out yet.
Rock on kids. And it even keeps you warm in the chilly October night.
Mike Valverde: It’s been nearly 30-years since I last went and made rounds for Halloween. If I could do it again, I would want to be Wilhuff Tarkin. The dude was stoic enough to give Darth Vader orders and not worry about getting choked or thrown into a metal pipe or something. Grand Moff Tarkin was who shaped Imperial doctrine and was the driving force behind the creation of its key embodiment, the Death Star. I also enjoy how militaristic Tarkin is. He enrolled in a military academy, following the footsteps of his family, and was driven to keep all the aspects and traditions of his legacy.
Tarkin took part and became an expert in several fields, and established himself as an intellectual prodigy. He was also a well-rounded student in course achievement. Tarkin displayed great understanding at school, he drafted starship designs that inspired the design of interdictor craft, broke new ground in xenobiology theory, and demonstrated great talent as a poet and philosopher. Tarkin perceived the Galactic Republic to be a deteriorating and envisioned a new future galaxy to be a more militant, authoritarian and Humanocentric. Because he had such driving ambition to rise to the ranks of power, where he could affect change. Rising to Commander, he decided to retire and run for political office on Eriadu. Due to his family support and large connections he was able to be elected lieutenant governor of Eriadu.
His military mind is wrapped up in this statement:
"“Dire circumstances demand that I must be blunt: I fear the Jedi Order will lose this war if they are allowed to continue in their role as the leadership of the Grand Army of the Republic. These recent weeks have piled debacle upon debacle upon us, and I cannot sit in silence and still call myself a patriot. I have expressed concerns of this type to you in the past, and you’ve been generous enough to offer an attentive ear. I know your time is valuable, so this is not just a repetition of earlier misgivings.”―Admiral Tarkin, in his letter to Chancellor Palpatine"
Tarkin had a sense of his dignity, refusing to show weakness, strong emotion, or inappropriate behavior before subordinates, from whom he demanded nothing short of excellence. This is apparent in his observation of being on the Death Star when it exploded.
David (Razor) Harris: I think of all the new Star Wars costumes I have seen this Halloween, my favorite has to be Neil Patrick Harris and Husband going full lightspeed with their fraternal twins — Harper Grace, and Gideon Scott — as the Original Trilogy characters, Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Ben Kenobi. First off, can we just discuss the synergy of the twins being fraternal…and being Luke and Leia? The entire family looks amazing, and I love when stars like Harris take to Instagram to share with their fans, photos like this. Also, I’m not entirely sure Harris isn’t lobbying for a role in the next Star Wars film. Sorry Doogie, there’s only one Obi-Wan, and his name is Ewan McGregor…but at least you do look pretty freaking awesome.
Elaine Tveit: Even though I don’t celebrate Halloween, I enjoy seeing all the Star Wars costumes and cosplay that come out of the holiday. One good thing to remember, though, no matter what time of year it is, is you can be any Star Wars character you want regardless of your gender. My friend, Johnamarie (pictured below), exemplified this perfectly. She isn’t of African descent, nor is she a man, but she nevertheless decided to be Finn from The Force Awakens for Halloween. And she did an awesome job. That’s what I love about Star Wars and being a fan of it: You can love and play as whichever character you want. When I was younger and played Star Wars in the backyard with my brother, I always used to be Obi Wan because he was (and still is) my favorite character (which may have made it kind of weird for my brother, who is five years older than me and who would play Anakin, my apprentice). It’s great to see those values of childlike play still apply, to both children and grownups, in this day in age.
Joe Prescott: I have a few friends who do cosplaying, and the level of work and effort that goes into it is staggering. I love how much detail can be produced from such small budgets and the ingenious solutions to fixing problems are fun and interesting, plus the final product always looks amazing and there’s such a sense of pride in what can be accomplished when you truly adore the project. They’ve bugged me for years that I should do a Star Wars cosplay as I’m always talking about the Saga with such passion, but when it comes to it it’s almost like putting me in a cake shop and asking me to choose only one!
It’d be cool to focus on a slightly less recognisable character only for my own EU/Legends adoration, but then there’s the danger of being looked at as a sanctimonious fanboy! Fortunately these costumes can be worn and recognised at conventions and such, but it still requires a level of determination that may or may not pay off. Being that the Universe is so big itself with a plethora of races, droids, factions and creatures, I’d quite like to take an existing version of something recognisable and modify it myself. Just search for “Mandalorian cosplay” and see how many customised versions of the Mando armour pop up, all of them superbly crafted and usually accompanied by three or four other unique cosplayers.
I would cosplay as a Wookiee, but I do that every day anyway until I shave! How about a vehicle? An AT-ST would be fun, there are some awesome robo-influenced suits out there (check out the ED-209 and Aliens Power Loader costumes) and it looks do-able if I had the time and budget! Surely such a labour of love would be worth every agonising second for such a glorious pay-off. So yes, there we go, I’d like to cosplay as an AT-ST: Different, unique and I can stomp all over Ewok cosplayers while I’m at it! Unless they run at me with sticks and stones, then I’d quiver and explode for some ridiculous reason…