May the 4-0 Be With You

It’s THAT day! The day when all us Star Wars fans celebrate the stories of a galaxy far far away…

Take the amazing vision of George Lucas, add in the music of John Williams and stir in the magical creation of thousands of set designers, costumer designers, visual effects artists, actors and more who came together to create these stories splashed across the big screen. (Everyone ever listed in the credits for any of these films and the families who support them – we salute you!)

Released in 1977, we have now experienced the Star Wars universe for FORTY years. 40. The big 4-0. That’s a huge cultural impact on the world.

Ranging from the high (queen, princess, lords, senators) to the low (farmers, drunken bar patrons) and everything in between, the costume designers and their teams worked to make functional expressions of the characters the actors brought so vividly to life.

Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Salo, Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Rey – can you picture them in your mind’s eye? The clothes they wear are a part of the story.

Our hats are off to the creative genius of John Mollo (Star Wars 1 & 2), Aggie Guerard Rodgers (Star Wars 3), Trisha Biggar (Star Wars 4-6, the prequels), Michael Kaplan (Star Wars 7), David Crossman and Glynn Dillon (Rogue One).

Staying out of actually critiquing the story lines, the most elaborate of the costumes created so far have been the court gowns of Padme, Queen Amidala. Luckily for us, these were well documented during and after the creative process. Using haute couture techniques, these richly decorated gowns feel familiar and foreign to us at the same time. Using everything from ancient Japanese samurai to Celtic influences, the design team then added enough “other” elements to come up with something new and beautiful. If you want to learn more about it and have an amazing piece of the Star Wars universe, buy Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars by Trisha Biggar. There are two editions – both pricey. The special edition version of this includes a DVD and fabric swatches from the materials actually used in the costumes.

Although closed now, the Denver Art Museum staged an exhibit of over 70 costumes from the movies for several months. Check their site as they still have some sketches, photos and short film clips posted of the exhibit. (So wish I could have seen this in person.)

If you want to watch more clips, check out these available at YouTube.

Great fan site – Star Wars: Fit for a Queen which focuses primarily on all the amazing costumes created for the prequels, but does have images from some of the other films.

So geek out my friends and escape! If you run out of Star Wars content before the weekend ends, you are not trying hard enough.

May the Force be with you…

The movies:

Books to get inspired by: