Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy


Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy is a neat book. It starts with some humble introductions from John Mollo, Aggie Rodgers and Nilo Rodis-Jamero, the costume designers for the original trilogy films. There are a couple introductory pages for each film setting up the circumstances for the production. Then it dives right into the outfits. From full page shots of the costumes arranged on mannequins, to concept art, costume design notes, production stills, reference photos and behind the scenes shots of the costumes being made. The book covers a wide selection of costumes from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In addition to photos, each costume includes text detailing the idea for the outfit, who designed it, fun notes and even what the costumes were made from. No matter what kind of Star Wars fan you are, Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy provides a new look into the films we love.

There’s a lot to be said about the coverage of the characters chosen for this book. There are of course the main characters like Leia, Darth Vader, Luke, Han Solo and C-3PO, but there are also minor characters like the CZ-3, the Bespin security guard and Jabba’s skiff guards from Return of the Jedi. For me, I enjoyed seeing the minor character a lot more than the main characters. The imagery for Darth Vader’s suit has been covered a lot in other books, even the history of his outfit has been covered in depth in other books. But I can’t recall any book that’s ever dived into the story for CZ-3’s creation. It’s also interesting how some characters get more attention than others. Leia’s white robe outfit from A New Hope gets two pages of text and pictures. Boba Fett, on the other hand, get’s eight pages. Some characters like Darth Vader or the stormtroopers get several spreads as their outfits change from movie to movie. The book also covers all the various costumes for the principal characters, so you get Luke’s Tatooine outfit, his pilot outfit, his Dagobah clothes and his black Jedi outfit. There’s even some coverage of the outfits used in the cut sandstorm scene in Return of the Jedi. It’s a wide and varied selection.

The sheer scope of the book, however, is also a problem. With 225 pages, there’s just not enough room to cover every character. Some outfits only get one picture, which isn’t enough for a serious cosplayer to go for reference. On the other hand, some outfits get a lot of pictures detailing the front, back and close-ups of the costume, which really shows what kind of attention could have been brought to each outfit. It’s also disappointing that there wasn’t better coverage of the cantina aliens who get one black and white crew shot, a color still from the movie, and some sketches of costume ideas. It’s all crammed on just two pages with many of the aliens not even shown. Another thing that got me was the bounty hunters. The only character that really gets any attention is 4-LOM. While it was awesome getting to see parts of that outfit, I would really have liked to have seen Bossk, Dengar and Zuckuss get the same treatment some of the other characters received. The only thing I can think of is that those costumes were not available to be photographed.

On the plus side, I really enjoyed the attention given to helmets. It might seem like an odd thing, but there are a lot of helmets in Star Wars and it was cool to see all the X-Wing, A-Wing, B-Wing and Y-Wing helmets laid out with all their varying designs. Throw in all the different imperial helmets and the headgear worn by Jabba’s minions, and you get a lot of helmets from no name characters. This is the first time I’ve gotten a good look at these items and it really opens up the films in a new light.

Another great aspect of the book is the text. It’s easy to get lost in the gorgeous photography, but there’s actually quite a bit to be read. Many of the costume designers share their insights on what inspired them for various outfits, what they used to put them together, and some of the difficulties they ran into. There is a lot of fun behind-the-scenes info. I actually enjoyed reading the book almost as much gazing at all the pictures.

While Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy is not as comprehensive as it could be, it still covers a lot and provides enough to satisfy readers in the end. Cosplayers will still need to check out other sources to reference their costumes, but this book will certainly help. For general Star Wars fans, this book gives us a much more extensive look at the outfits we merely glimpsed on screen. Each of them has a backstory, and learning about those stories enriches the galaxy far, far away. The short of it is that you’ll definitely want to check this book out and add it to your library. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis. While a three book series might have provided more room for comprehensive coverage, this single volume does a good job at covering a little of everything. It’s not perfect, but there’s some much goodness crammed in, that’s it’s hard not to love it anyways.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

To give readers a better idea of what’s in the book, we’re including a small gallery showcasing some of the pictures. Keep in mind these are scans and some are heavily cropped. The images in the book look a lot better.

Image Gallery

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