SO, WHAT’S DRESSING UP IN A STAR WARS COSTUME LIKE?
Thinking of taking on the Star Wars Run in costume? Our editor discovers why Kylo Ren was so emo- it’s the outfit.
When Kylo Ren first showed up on Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s trailers, he entered an echelon of fan-favourite villians from the past: Darth Vader, Darth Maul, General Grievous, and not forgetting the Emperor. However, little is known about him, except that he’s a member of the “Knights of Ren”; he’s one of the leaders of the First Order (a.k.a. the new Empire), and he has a creepy obsession with Darth Vader, going as far as to retrieve the Sith Lord’s burnt mask to hero-worship.
Well, I took it one step further- I went out and got one of the more authentic costumes on the marketplace, one of the more authentic lightsabers on the marketplace, and one of the most authentic helmets on the market place, spending almost a thousand bucks in the process. And here are three things I discovered about Kylo Ren that we might not see when the movie hits our screens soon.
His Lightsaber Is Hardly Light
Finding a lightsaber, one of the key elements of getting the outfit right, was harder than it seemed. Hasbro has a line called The Black Series, a premium line where all the toys and collectibles have been designed and produced with greater care for authenticity. Googling brought me to the saber I’d need- the Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber– but buying one was another problem altogether. Apparently they weren’t produced as much as the more toylooking sabers for kids, and every Toys R’Us I hunted down was sold out of it. In the end, I gave up and paid off some guy on Carousell $450 bucks for it, over a hundred more than it cost at the stores. The price of true love, I guess.
After the initial oohs and ahhs over it, I realized one problem- this saber was heavy as hell- according to the some sites the shipping weight comes up to 8kg! Not exactly the lightest saber to swing around- so when you see Adam Driver doing fancy lightsaber techniques, just remember- he’s probably getting a pretty good forearm workout at the same time.
Kylo Really Likes To Layer
Then came looking for the costume- not an easy task. Once again, a few hours of Googling was necessary, and in the end I had narrowed it down to a vendor on Amazon called The Costume Base . They weren’t cheap- with the Kylo Ren outfit priced at USD$189, but the outfit seemed authentic enough, and included both the inner and outer tunic, as well as pants, a belt and sash. But the trouble was shipping- it’d take forever, and I had only started looking a week before the The Force Awakens would hit our screens! Then, The Force intervened- I found out that the Costume Base was actually based in Singapore! Thank the Maker!
I managed to contact the owner of The Costume Base, Simon, and after an exchange of emails, popped down to pick up the costume from his shop in Macpherson- and lo and behold, everything fit perfectly! I also picked up a pair of gloves to complete the look.
But getting home and putting it all on was another story. I ended up taking
about ten minutes to dress and undress in the costume- there was just so many layers! First came the pants- thankfully that had a comfortable elastic band to hold it up. Secondly, the inner tunic, which required some co-ordination to put it on. And then the tunic. And the boots. And the helmet (more on that later.) And then the sash. And then, finally, flipping up the hood over the helmet. Then the gloves.
Man, just typing that all out is exhausting- imagine doing it, and then taking it all off! It was hot as a furnace inside, and I could only image how Driver would have felt in it during filming! Sure, the scenes in a Hoth-like setting would have been fine, even comfortable in the cold- but imagine the scenes for tropical planets!
And Lastly, The Helmet
Actually, amongst the various bits of the costume, the helmet came the easiest- I chanced upon it in Japan, during a stroll at one of their many toy and tech chains called Yodabashis. It was like the Force guided me to it- out of the myriad of toys and gadgets I chanced upon Hasbro’s Kylo Ren Voice Changer Helmet– and best of all it was a Black Series edition, making it look really authentic! It also came with a voice changer that gave a realistically detailed, movie-accurate reproduction of Kylo’s voice, which sounded a tad Bane-like from Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. And the damage after taxes was refunded was pretty decent too- SGD$100 bucks!
Using the helmet though, really needs a Force Sensitive- after some adjustments I managed to get it on fairly securely, but the trouble was seeing through it- the visor was really fairly narrow as well! Now couple that with putting on the costume and wielding the lightsaber and let’s just say in the real Star Wars universe I’d expect Kylo to be lopping off quite a few droid’s heads by accident!