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.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - FIELD GUIDE -

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!

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