Kelly Lynn Thomas rounds up the team’s first Star Wars costumes!
Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have put somewhat of a damper on Halloween this year, it’s not stopping us from celebrating the first time we dressed up as our favorite characters from a Galaxy, Far, Far, Away.
Our firsts are always special. From the first day at school, to our first cars, to our first kisses, these milestones tend to hold special places in our hearts, and our first Star Wars costumes are no exception.
From homemade Halloween costumes to “closet cosplay” looks to club-approved costumes, we’re celebrating the joy and fun of pretending to be our favorite characters for a day, and we’d love for you to join us! Send us a tweet at @proj_stardust or tag us on Instagram @theprojectstardust with a photo of your first Star Wars costume!
Our First Star Wars Costumes
This is me at Alamocity Comic con in 2018 with a Jyn Erso costume I put together. Rogue One became a favorite movie of mine after it came out. Jyn’s story arc was something so many go through: not wanting to get involved, but finding out we can make a difference and finding hope that propels us to do extraordinary things. She became a powerful character for me, and I set out to make the costume for the con coming up that year. I created most of the pieces from thrift store finds, except the holster, gun, and vest, which I purchased. I sewed or created all the rest.
It’s no “this was my childhood” photo, but this was my first Rey! From 2016! I wasn’t a big Star Wars fan until the sequel trilogy, and Rey was what brought me in. This was the first time I wore my Rey out to a convention.
After seeing the Star Wars trilogy for the first time in the spring of 1997, I knew I wanted to be Princess Leia for Halloween. My grandmother made the dress for me from scratch without a pattern, and my mom found the belt at a thrift store. I remember being annoyed that the belt looked nothing like Leia’s actual belt, but I was 11, so there wasn’t much I could do! Despite the lack of a screen-accurate belt, everyone knew who I was, and I had a blast trick or treating that year. Just a few years later, I had my grandmother teach me how to use patterns and sew with a machine so I could start making my own costumes.
Here’s me in my Jedi costume with my Mando partner Victor (and his Enfys staff) at the Hollywood Christmas Parade last year! This was my first approved costume club costume (approved for the Rebel Legion), and I made all the pertinent parts myself! Her name is Requel Prey (a play on Prequel Rey, hence the colors). I love it and am very proud of it! For more, follow us on Instagram at @lightsaber_librarian (Kendra) and @fragowump (Victor).
Somehow, I didn’t wear my first Star Wars costume until I was 23. It was not easy to find adult costumes then, so I bought a child’s Darth Vader costume and made it work. I unfortunately don’t have a good photo of my Vader mask-off makeup! I still hope for a legit cosplay costume at some point.
This is definitely not the best costume, but I was really proud of it at the time! After seeing The Force Awakens, I felt instantly connected to Rey, and knew I needed to make a costume. Most of it was stuff from my closet I threw together. But what I’m most proud of is the staff. My dad did the large part of making it. It’s 3D printed and assembled around a metal pipe, and looks absolutely amazing.
I had just met my fiancé, whose DMs I initially only started replying to because his profile picture showed him in a discount, home-made Kylo Ren costume. Myself, I had no experience in making costumes (and no money), but we were heading to our first con together, so hastily put something “Sithy” together from what I had in my closet, slapped on a ton of eyeshadow, and called myself Lilith Ren (Lilith is my middle name). We made our own lightsabers out of paper clay, cardboard, duct tape and, well, love. Today, we’re 501st and Rebel Legion cosplayers, but these first kind of crude costumes will always remain close to our hearts.
So for the first few years of my Star Wars fandom I was just too overwhelmed. There were so many characters and so much stuff. And I’d only really just started getting back into cosplay.
And then I read Leia: Princess of Alderaan and met Holdo. I was only about halfway through, and I called my best friend and immediately started a ramble about how they needed to be Leia to my Holdo because Holdo and Leia were us. Mind you, The Last Jedi wasn’t out yet. But I needed to cosplay Holdo because Holdo was me.
I got the dress commissioned. It didn’t turn out the best, so I commissioned a second dress. But I did my first cosplay shoot ever with the original dress, with a photographer who had also never done a cosplay shoot before. It was the two of us wandering around a park and having no idea what we were doing!
I did eventually get my Holdo and Leia shoot, but that was with the second dress.
Here I am wearing Elhoffer Design’s “Rebel Pilot” dress as Luke Skywalker and drinking blue milk at Scum and Villainy Cantina in Los Angeles in 2012.
I made this costume for San Diego Comic Con in 2018. I really wanted to do a Leia costume, but also wanted to make it myself with my limited sewing skills. I decided this Endor costume would be within my range! I hadn’t sewn anything on a machine in over 30 years. It’s basically just a poncho, but the neck was the challenge. I made it a cowl neck and I really had no idea how to do that and had no pattern. I just winged it! A lot of sweating and redoing but I’m most proud of how the neck came out. The pants (not shown) I found at Goodwill. Same stripe and everything! I already had boots. I decided on doing the helmet another time.
I loved dressing up as Leia! I’ve worn this costume to other events too, and Star Wars fans love it. I’m inspired to do another. I may go for a more mature version of Leia next time.
When I make a costume I think about the practicality of wearing it all day. This costume was great for hiding a bag under! I kept my backpack under the poncho all day and it didn’t change the appearance from the front.
It was February 2015, my first ever Wizard World. I was also 5 months pregnant. It was so much fun, the most I’ve ever been photographed at a convention. We even ended up on the news.