Costumes: Star Wars: Expanded Universe – Jacen Solo (Traitor)

Jacen Solo

Through all of the Star Wars: EU books I have read so far, Traitor is definitely my favorite. I figured that I could pay homage to this awesome book by doing a costume from it! Disclaimer: I am in no way or shape a professional costumer or cosplayer, but damned if I’m not gonna try anyhow. And no, I was not gonna just rip off the Jacen Solo figurine costume (hint: it’s COMPLETELY inaccurate to the book). I was going to get down and dirty into the grubbiness of his Yuuzhan Vong bestowed outfit.

The first step was to visualize what his outfit actually looked like in the book. The only real keys here were “robeskin” and “amphistaff”.  The rest was up to me…if there was any more than that. I don’t think there was, but I couldn’t go running around a convention barefoot, so I added some boots. I also added some shorts that would extend the length of the robeskin, because I’m not one to have my balls hanging out. Hours of scouring various fabric and craft places finally led to something weird and organic enough to be the base of my boots and robeskin.

Boots!

After designing the boots, my wonderful girlfriend Heather cut and sewed the pattern for my robeskin. I applied the same fabric and spray paint style to create the organic OMG WTF IS LIVING ON ME sort of look. Ditto for the shorts.

So at this point I looked pretty creepy, but I needed the key ingredient in this costume: Jacen’s amphistaffs. Without those little guys, I looked like nothing more than fantastically homeless dude. So I borrowed an idea from a fellow SW: EU cosplayer who had made an amphistaff before: use microphone gooseneck for the bodies! This turned out amazingly well, as the stuff is stiff enough to stay in place, but able to be bent when needed. It also happened to be the perfect color and texture, so that was convenient for my lazy ass.  What do to for the tails? I used painted wonderflex. That stuff is great, but it wasn’t going to cut it for my entire head. No…I needed something that looked like a snake, or at least snakeish. I set off to craft some heads.

Amphistaff head!

So Crayola Model Magic. It LOOKED nice, but looking nice wasn’t enough. In the end it was too soft and bendable, even after drying for days. I opted for Delight Paperclay as used by Heather for her Tenel Ka lightsaber. This stuff is strong, light, and dries fully in about a day! Too bad I had to scour several Michaels to find enough. Anywho, I looked at rubber and real snakes alike to model my amphistaffs after.

One in Crayola MM & one in paperclay

I tried to make them a little menacing, but pretty much everyone who saw pictures commented on how cute they were. Hey, cute things can be deadly. Just look at the Platypus! Done googling? Okay now where was I… ah yes. I taped the amphistaff heads, bodies, and tails together with black duct tape to finalize the process. As lazy as that sounds, it worked quite well. Though I have to admit they didn’t stay wrapped around me for very long. I sure as hell couldn’t walk with them around me for more than 20-30 feet without having to tighten them up. This made moving around the con difficult.

Jacen Solo

Apologies for the severe amount of derpitude plastered to my face. This close up is better.

Jacen Solo

And there you have it! It was definitely a hit at the con, and definitely worth the effort of lugging around several pounds of props for awesome pictures. I’m out of witty things to say, so I’ll leave it at that.

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