Fans Were Out in Full Force at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Fans came to Star Wars Celebration Chicago from all over the world. Some live just a couple of hours away in a town in Illinois, some made the trek from the east and west coasts of the United States, and some even settled in for hours on a plane from places as far away as England, Spain, and Japan. The one thing that surrounds them and binds them all together? Their love of the galaxy far, far away.

Steve Jackson didn’t have to go far to reach the bustling halls of the convention center from Chicago, being from the Windy City area himself. But it was his first ever Star Wars Celebration, he said. To mark the occasion, Jackson dressed as the striking Count Dooku, and the resemblance was uncanny.

Count Dooku cosplay at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Jackson represents the 501st Legion’s Midwest Garrison and his take on the mysterious Count rightfully turned heads and camera lenses on the show floor. He told about what caught his eye on the show floor. “I’m enjoying the large props,” he said. “I’m enjoying the photo opportunities, and I’m a member of the 501st so I’m enjoying that particular area, as well. I’m meeting a lot of people.”

Also local to the area, the Kowalski family from Oswego, Illinois, weren’t there for their first Celebration — it was their sixth! With mom Diana, dad Chris, five-year-old Ben, and nine-year-old “super fan” Jude, each dressed in creative costumes as Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, John Williams, George Lucas, and J.J. Abrams, respectively, it’s plain to see that every member of the family is a Star Wars fan.

Family of cosplayers dressed as Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, and John Williams.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Chris said on just the first day of Celebration. As parents unable to wait in long overnight lines, Diana said, she was thrilled with the new lottery system in place for Celebration’s biggest panels. “We’re very excited we got in for The Mandalorian panel,” she said. “We never would have been able to actually wait in line, so we’re thrilled about that.”

Illinois residents Maricruz Rojas and Rose Tintera also didn’t have to go far for Celebration, but that doesn’t mean they were any less excited. Delightfully decked out in fuzzy Wookiee Mickey ears, Rey-inspired ensembles, and glittery Star Wars accessories and buttons galore, it’s no surprise that the two were smitten with the costumed attendees at the show.

Rey cosplayers at Star Wars Celebration.

“Everyone dressed up in cosplay is just so amazing, and everyone is so creative. There’s swag, props, everything!” said Rojas.

“[It’s] our first time here. We didn’t expect all of this, but it’s amazing,” agreed Tintera.

Padmé Amidala cosplay at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

The queen of dressing up at Star Wars Celebration just might have been Queen Amidala herself, cosplayer Kelly Coffman, who donned an intricate, beaded gray gown. Coffman, also known as Eveille Cosplay, painstakingly sewed and assembled one of Padmé’s most regal and iconic looks from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The Pennsylvania-based cosplayer drew an adoring crowd befitting royalty everywhere she went on the show floor.

Padmé Amidala cosplay (back of head) at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

“I made the whole costume myself,” Coffman told “I started in the summer of last year, worked on it a few months, then took a small break and finished it up for C2E2… It took me about 500-600 hours to build everything, and everything is from scratch, the beading, just all of it. I tried to make it as screen accurate as I could, so I did a lot of research on the materials.”

The debut of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer was her favorite moment of Celebration, she said, and the moment was very emotional. “It was amazing!” she recalled. “I was in [the arena] so I got to see everyone on the stage, see the trailer, get chills, and cry. Everything.”

For George Kostal in particular this Star Wars Celebration was unforgettable. The Connecticut-based fan, who was attending his second Celebration, runs a Twitter account dedicated to General Veers of The Empire Strikes Back called Veers Watch.

Kostal decided to take a chance on meeting Andi Gutierrez, co-host of The Star Wars Show, after she interviewed actor Julian Glover on the live stage. “I had actually been hoping to meet her for most of the convention because she was an early follower of Veers Watch,” he said. After returning to the stage when the show was winding down, Kostal luckily flagged down Lucasfilm producer Scott Bromley, who insisted on introducing him to Andi.

“It was really just the coolest thing,” said Kostal. “She was so nice and great to talk to, and then while we were talking [Star Wars Resistance’s] Christopher Sean — another Veers Watch follower! — actually came by after filming his interview to say hi to her, so I got to meet him as well.”

Star Wars fan at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

Of course, Celebration wouldn’t have been complete without meeting his hero. “Beyond just meeting everyone, [another favorite moment has] got to be going back to see my good man [General Veers actor] Julian Glover, getting his autograph on a few more things,” Kostal said. “I found a Veers storyboard at the Prop Store of London, and I picked that up for myself. Very happy! It’s been great.”

From dazzling costumes, to memorable panels, to meaningful moments, to meeting Star Wars heroes, there really is something for everyone at Star Wars Celebration. Who knows what your favorite moment might be at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in 2020?

Visit’s Star Wars Celebration Chicago hub for panel recaps, interviews, and more.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.

Fans Were Out in Full Force at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

7 Last-Minute Cosplay Tips for Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Star Wars Celebration Chicago is rapidly approaching — meaning it’s next week — and you’re pretty sure you’re ready. Your tickets are purchased, your hotel is set, and you’ve even pulled out all the novels and comics you want to get signed by your favorite authors. You’re all ready to start packing when suddenly you realize: you forgot to make cosplay plans!

If you’ve been to Celebration or any other convention before, you know what a big role cosplay can play. Everywhere you look, there are people wearing costumes of their favorite character, some of whom even look like they walked right off the screen! It’s hard to not want to join in on the fun and pretend to be a Jedi or a TIE pilot or a smuggler with a spectacular cape. However, starting to work on your costume a week before the convention can feel a little intimidating. After all, some people have spent weeks if not months working on theirs. But fear not! An elaborate, screen-accurate costume may not be possible (unless you happen to have one sitting around) but you can still be a part of the costumed crowd. Here are a few tips for how to pull together a costume even though time is against you.

Doctor Aphra cosplayer with Darth Vader.

Bria as Doctor Aphra with a certain Sith Lord. Photo by Haythem Lafhaj.

1. Costuming should be fun!

One of the most important things to remember about cosplay is that there is no one right way to do it! There are some people who only want to walk around in screen-accurate costumes and that’s awesome — but it’s not the only way. If you want to be a bathrobe Jedi, be a bathrobe Jedi and carry your lightsaber with pride! Above all else, cosplay is supposed to be fun. Do what make you happy because that’s what this hobby is truly all about.

2. Be realistic about your creating skills and pick a character you care about.

If you’re comfortable with sewing or are familiar with creating armor, the possibilities for what you might create in a few days are more limited by time than anything else. If you’re a novice when it comes to sewing needles and craft foam, you’re going to be limited to mostly what you’re able to find or buy, so keep that in mind while you decide what character you’d like to be. That should be the first step, by the way: deciding which character(s) you want to cosplay as. It doesn’t matter whether you really love the character themself or their design or maybe what they stand for. You should love at least something about them, or what’s the point? You’ll want to keep a somewhat open mind as you go through the first few steps of the process but you should know who you’re aiming to be.

Ordinary jackets used for last-minute Star Wars cosplay.

3. Examine your closet/what you already have.

Thrift and discount stores are about to be your best friends, but start by taking a look at what you already have in your closet. For those who’ve done cosplay before, include old costume pieces in this inspection. You never know what you might be able to repurpose. If you have a lot of black, perhaps the good guys aren’t in your costuming future for this particular Celebration. If you’ve got a lot of earth tones or perhaps some bright orange, the Rebellion may be your destiny. Think outside of the box as you go through your things. A black shirt doesn’t have to be just a black shirt; it could be the top for Imperial officer with just a little bit of tweaking. An olive drab jacket could be the perfect touch for a member of the Rebel Alliance or Resistance. That vivid green jacket could be the start of a Kaz Xiono costume.

The ladies may have a slight leg up in this department thanks to Her Universe’s many costume-ready offerings over the years. This is the perfect time to break out that Sabine Wren tunic or that Ahsoka Tano dress or the Hoth Leia vest. If you’re using an article of clothing like one of those, the job’s half done and it’s just a matter of picking out shoes and accessorizing appropriately.

4. Hit up your local shops.

Thrift stores can be life-savers when it comes to costuming, but it could take a bit of time and digging to find what you’re looking for — and time is running out. The same applies to discount department stores. Again, keep an open mind as you go through the racks and think about what could work and keep your expectations reasonable. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a pair of flared black jodhpur pants to complete your Imperial officer uniform, but you might find a pair of gray pants to pair with your Ahsoka tunic. Be sure to also keep an eye out for boots as they’re something almost everyone in Star Wars wears but you might not have on hand.

If you’re looking to go as a pilot or a member of one of the galaxy’s militaries, check out an army surplus store or somewhere that might sell jumpsuits. A rolled down orange flightsuit, T-shirt, and black boots can instantly turn you into an off-duty x-wing pilot.

5. Think about what you may be able to easily find on the convention floor.

If there are only mere days before you leave for Celebration, it may be too late to order more specialized things like blasters or patches. However, Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire crest patches are easily found from vendors. Bring along a needle and thread and voila! Your costume could be complete within minutes of arriving.

Lando Calrissian plays sabacc in Solo.

Lando Calrissian cosplay

6. It’s all about capturing the character’s vibe.

Don’t limit yourself to the galaxy far, far away when it comes to the style of your costume. You can still embody Anakin Skywalker without trying to mimic his Jedi robes or feel like Kylo Ren without having to wear all of those pleated and quilted layers. Bring the character into our galaxy. If you’re unsure of what this entails, take a look at fan art for some inspiration. You can find everything from 1950s Padmé to modern day Poe Dameron. Think about what some of the key visual elements for your character of choice are. For Rey, that may be her triple bun hairstyle and her signature arm wraps. For a member of Inferno Squad, it’s likely their uniform’s striking black-and-red color scheme (and handily enough, black clothes with red stripes down the side has been in fashion lately.) As a bonus, wearing a modern day version of your favorite character also means you’ll likely be more comfortable too!

7. The details can make the outfit.

We’ve already discussed how screen accuracy probably isn’t in the cards, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the small details. This can be anything from styling your hair to look like lekku for a Hera Syndulla costume to making sure you wear double belts for a Rey look. This also applies to accessories. The perfect finishing touch for your Poe Dameron costume could be carrying around a plush BB-8. After all, who doesn’t love BB-8? Keep in mind that you’ll also probably need some sort of bag to carry all of your things and if you’re able to work one into your costume, that’ll make it even better. (Shout out to all the Dagobah Luke cosplayers who have Yoda backpacks.)

And that should put you on your cosplay way! Don’t forget to practice your poses for any picture requests — and to have a blast pretending to be a part of the galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Celebration Chicago will take place April 11-15 at McCormick Place. Visit for tickets and more information!

Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.

Site tags: #StarWarsCelebrationChicago2019

7 Last-Minute Cosplay Tips for Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Cosplay Is Outgrowing Cosplay Conventions


For decades, cosplay conventions have followed the same basic formula: everyone goes to a hotel or convention centre, they meet up, they take photos, they party after then they go home. As cosplay grows in size and scope, though, some cosplayers are finding that the same ol’ same ol’ just isn’t enough anymore.

Read more…

Cosplay Command Center, Part 3: The Clone Wars Returns to Star Wars Celebration

Cosplay Command Center is a special three-part series connecting cosplayers attending Star Wars Celebration Chicago to resources and expert insights to complete their costumes from Star Wars animation.

When we learned that Star Wars: The Clone Wars was returning with new episodes, we could barely contain our excitement (or, honestly, our tears) knowing that the adventures of Anakin Skywalker and his former-Padawan Ahsoka Tano weren’t over yet.

But truth be told, fans have never stopped loving these characters, and the depth and breadth of storytelling that the animated series added to a period in Star Wars mythology that began as a single line of dialogue in A New Hope. Today, Kilian Plunkett, who served as art director for both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, is back with some tips for cosplayers perfecting their Togruta montrals and experimenting with Jedi general robes.

“As with Rebels and Resistance, there are two different basic approaches to take for cosplaying The Clone Wars,” Plunkett says. “Either create an exact replica of what we saw on the screen or take some license to interpret what we saw into a more real world or, if you like, live-action movie look. Whichever way you choose to go, don’t be afraid to experiment with materials and fabrication to achieve a costume you’re happy with.”

Previously, Plunkett and Amy Beth Christenson helped fans achieve their dreams of joining the Aces in Star Wars Resistance, and remembering Star Wars Rebels with insights and images to guide cosplayers in their crafty creations ahead of Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Today, Plunkett offers his final lessons in recreating some of the main looks from later seasons as well as a few special variations.

Ahsoka in Season 3
Animation concept art of Ahsoka.

When the series leaped ahead in time for Season 3, so did the design of the characters. Ahsoka’s look was more mature, reflecting the fact that she was older, taller, and maybe even a little bit wiser. “The Ahsoka Season 3 outfit looks like it would be a challenge,” Plunkett says. There is a fair amount of detail, even in her animated design. A live-action version could include finer detailing in the leather tooling of her belt, boots, gloves, and tabard.”

The designs were intended to help bridge the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith by making characters like Anakin, who appeared on screen and in animation, look closer to their counterparts in the second film. Other intricate live-action Jedi costumes, like those of Ahsoka’s fellow Togruta Shaak Ti, can also help guide you on your crafting journey. “Looking at the kind of stitching and engraving on live-action costumes like Shaak Ti and Luminara Unduli will give you a sense of what extra seams, buckles, and even ribbing could be added to Ahsoka’s costume,” Plunkett says.

Costumers and make-up artists up for an even bigger challenge may want to consider transforming this cosplay further — to channel Ahsoka possessed on Mortis. “For the most part, the costume is the same as her standard Season 3 look, although it is covered in a layer of soot/ash to make it more sinister in appearance,” Plunkett says. The look also calls for special Sith-like contacts. “Her eyes are Sith eyes in this version, just like Darth Maul’s.” And the usual orange make-up will need to be highlighted by a web of veins. “All of her exposed skin is covered in dark veins and her eyes and fingers have taken on a dark, bruised look,” Plunkett says.

Ahsoka cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Anakin in Season 3 and pilot gear

Animation concept art of Anakin Skywalker.

To transform into Anakin Skywalker as he steps closer to the edge of his downfall in Revenge of the Sith, designers updating Anakin’s look for Season 3 consciously tried to bridge his more carefree and colorful armored costume from the start of the animated series, and get closer to his live-action counterpart’s look in Revenge of the Sith. “The glove he wears in his right arm is much closer in detail to one seen in Revenge of the Sith, as is his tunic and leather tabard,” Plunkett says. “If you’re going for a live-action interpretation, the right glove, belt and boots could match pretty much exactly what’s seen in his final Episode 3 Jedi look,” he advises, “although the colors are a slightly warmer dark brown on the glove and tabard rather than the black of Revenge of the Sith. The cloth sections of his outfit are also lighter and warmer in tone.”

For an alternate challenge, craft Anakin’s Naboo pilot outfit from Season 2. The costume was based directly off of Captain Typho’s uniform from Attack of the Clones, Plunkett says. “It was tailored to fit Anakin’s proportions but all the fabrics and details on the costume are intended to make Anakin look like a typical Naboo pilot.”

If you’re aiming for realism, the Naboo pilot helmet seen onscreen in the first two prequel films is what you’re looking to match. And you can even add back in elements that were left out for the animated series, like the goggles.

Anakin cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Obi-Wan in Season 3

Animation concept art of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

To create Obi-Wan’s costume from Season 3, Plunkett and his team looked to Episode 3 again for inspiration.  “It’s a close match to his Revenge of the Sith look with the exception of the sleeves on his tunic,” Plunkett says. “The idea was that they have been gathered and tucked inside standard Clone forearm armor.”

Completing the look can be as simple as copying the animated details on both the armor and Obi-Wan’s gear, including his belt, boots, and lightsaber, “or swapping them out for the higher-fidelity live-action version,” Plunkett says. “In either case, a small extra comlink device has been added to his left forearm. In a realistic interpretation, this could be based on the comlink we see Qui-Gon use while he’s in Mos Espa in The Phantom Menace.”

Obi-Wan cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Captain Rex in Season 3

Animation concept art of Captain Rex.

If you already have early Captain Rex armor in your cosplay closet, recreating his look from later seasons will take just a few special modifications that you can make yourself. “The thinking was that Rex trusted the first set of Phase 1 armor he wore and so he welded only a few new sections of the Phase 2 armor into place himself,” Plunkett reveals. To account for the changes, animators drew in discolored blue-ish seams as evidence to the most discerning eye as to where the two sets of armor have been joined. “The chin on his helmet, for example, is Phase 2, but the rest of his headgear, apart from the ‘fin’ on the head, is still the original Attack of the Clones-era armor,” Plunkett says.

The key to making Rex’s armor look more realistic is to keep pieces from looking like too much of a match. “This gear is battle-worn, pitted, scratched, and scorched. There’s a great opportunity to really weather this costume,” Plunkett says. “Different sections of armor, even within the same piece, can be slightly discolored and mis-matched. From head to toe, it can be distressed, including the leather pauldron, holsters and kama.” This is one case where organic imperfections in the crafting process can actually make the cosplay feel more authentic.

Rex cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Padmé in Theed Palace attire

Animation concept art of Padme Amidala.

Padmé wore no less than 22 different outfits over the course of the show, sometimes channeling her live-action counterpart. For example, in Season 3, animators recreated her costume from the end of The Phantom Menace, as she stormed Theed Palace. “There’s a lot reference for this costume, we really just simplified it  for The Clone Wars version,” Plunkett notes.

“The same materials found on the screen-used version will look best,” Plunkett says. “Some kind of velvet seems to have been used here, along with a more rigid metallic fabric for the shoulders. As with any of the characters we interpreted into The Clone Wars style, we pared down the amount of detail on things like boots and holsters, as well as the engraved hair clip.”

Padme cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Duchess Satine

Animation concept art of Duchess Satine.

“In comparison to Padmé, Satine kept her wardrobe to a spartan seven different costumes throughout her run on The Clone Wars,” Plunkett says, maybe even eight depending on how you’re keeping track. Ambitious cosplayers may want to try their hand at recreating her intricate attire from “Voyage of Temptation.”

“This gown is very ceremonial, very regal,” Plunkett says. “It’s designed to make a statement and involves multiple layers of printed or woven silk-like fabric.”

Early designs called for vents in the skirt to give Satine some freedom of movement, but she was still limited by her massive headdress. “The headdress, made of a stiff frill with copper accents and flowers woven into the hair, along with jade earrings, is definitely a challenge,” Plunkett says. “The orchid-like flowers could be recreated in a light fabric like satin but the rest of this outfit, with its draped layers and tassels along the hem of the jacket, would be quite heavy.”

There’s also the corset-like belt with inlaid copper piping. Plunkett recommends either leather or another silk-like cloth for that piece. “Both would be effective.”

Satine cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.


Animation concept art of Bo-Katan.

Ever the proud warrior of Mandalore, cosplaying as Satine’s sister Bo-Katan means crafting traditional Mandalorian armor.”In many regards, it hews closely to the classic look sported by the Fetts, apart from the ‘Night Owl’ visor shape,” Plunkett says.

Animators made Bo-Katan’s armor form fitting, and you could create your own costume in this same style. Or, “taking the idea of this outfit into the real world, I’d consider using a base flightsuit that is much closer to Boba Fett’s,” Plunkett says. “Tailored or left loose, it’d be a good layer to build on for this costume.”

As you add layers, stick closely to classic Mandalorian materials — metal-looking armor, leather-look straps and holsters, and a padded upper tunic — to complete the look.

Bo-Katan cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Hondo Ohnaka

Animation concept art of Hondo Ohnaka.

We recently got our first look at how the Walt Disney Imagineers have brought Hondo Ohnaka to life for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. “They did a great job translating him into real life,” Plunkett says.

If you’ve also always wanted to be a Weequay marauder, Plunkett has just one recommendation: “Hondo is a pirate. He gets himself and his crew into enough trouble that none of his clothes are going to be pristine.”

In other words, here’s another cosplay costume where it’s beneficial if it isn’t too perfect. “Scuffing, fraying, and staining Hondo’s outfit might help add another layer of interest to the most interesting Weequay in the Galaxy,” Plunkett jokes.

Hondo cosplay reference

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Cosplay Command Center and we can’t wait to see what amazing costumes you create for  Star Wars Celebration Chicago!

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Cosplay Command Center, Part 3: The Clone Wars Returns to Star Wars Celebration

Cosplay Command Center, Part 2: Remembering Rebels at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Cosplay Command Center is a special three-part series connecting cosplayers attending Star Wars Celebration Chicago to resources and expert insights to complete their costumes from Star Wars animation.

It’s been almost a year since we said goodbye to Ezra, Hera, and the rest of the Star Wars Rebels gang with the series finale of the beloved show. But in a few weeks, when fans gather to celebrate the Star Wars saga, we can expect that there will be a few Kanans, Sabines, and other cosplayers roaming Chicago as the Ghost crew.

The show itself was an homage of sorts to the striking works of Ralph McQuarrie, which shaped the look of the original Star Wars film, and classic anime, says Kilian Plunkett, who served as art director for both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.  “The color palette came from Ralph’s work and the clean, simplified shapes came from our admiration for the work of Studio Ghibli. To match what appeared on screen in Rebels, the outfits would be simple and they would generally be more form-fitting than those of the characters in live-action movies.” Think large swathes of flat color. “To take what was on screen and bring it into a real-world feel, compare the stormtrooper armor of Rebels to that of their real-life counterparts,” Plunkett advises. “Outfits will have more details and pouches, buckles, etc. will break silhouette more. Garments like Hera’s flightsuit or Ezra’s tunic would be looser and have more wrinkles and folds.”

Last week, Amy Beth Christenson helped fans achieve their dreams of joining the Aces in Star Wars Resistance, with insights and images to guide cosplayers in their crafty creations ahead of Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Today, Plunkett offers up his own Jedi-like guidance to recreate some of your favorite looks from the final season of Star Wars Rebels.

Hera in A-wing pilot gear

Hera Syndulla

“Hera is an ace pilot, adept at flying everything from a bulky cruiser like the Ghost to a nimble fighter like an A-wing or X-wing,” Plunkett says. For Season 3, animators designed this look for Hera, but it didn’t show up onscreen until she hopped into an X-wing in Season 4. As Christenson noted, there are two ways to approach bringing animated characters to life: “match what appeared in the show as closely as you can or use the show as inspiration to adapt the costumes into real-life interpretations,” Plunkett says. “Which way to go is up to you.”

In this case, Hera’s flightsuit would be fashioned from the same heavy canvas suits that were worn by the rebels in the original trilogy. “The chestplate and ‘cheeks’ of the helmet would be the same material as that found on other live-action rebel flight gear,” Plunkett says. The vest should be a close match to a typical X-wing pilot.

For Hera’s boots, Plunkett suggests a leather base “with metal guards on the tops of the feet.”

To capture Hera’s everyday look, as seen throughout the series and with some special modifications and updates in the epilogue, Plunkett advises cosplayers follow the basic flightsuit pattern of an X-wing pilot for a costume that’s both loose and functional. “Even the flight harness, with its extra straps, would work really well as a realistic interpretation of this outfit,” he says. “The high-collared shirt could be made from two different cotton or linen shirts stitched together.”

Hera’s standard harness and vest should be crafted from a brown leather or leather-like material, made to match her gloves, goggles, and earphones. To complete her head covering, add in some cotton or canvas stitched to hug your faux lekku. And for aging her gear to match her final look in the series, “looking at the various outfits in Rogue One should give you a good idea of the amount of weathering all of Hera’s gear would display after all her time on the front lines of the Rebellion,” Plunkett notes.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Jacen Syndulla


The newest member of the Ghost crew, Spectre 7 takes after both his parents. “Jacen has a short amount of screen time so we had to have his costume convey a strong sense of who he was for quick read,” Plunkett says. “His pale grey/green flightsuit is utilitarian, like his mother’s. It’s made from a similar canvas-like cloth. His short jacket is a lightly-padded fabric and could be realized using a standard Rebel Alliance jacket without sleeves or else a shinier finish more like a traditional sleeveless puffy jacket.”

Although his wolf patch would be ironed on or embroidered in place, “the painted decal on his shoulder is courtesy of Sabine and can have a hand-painted look,” Plunkett says.

And since Jacen is still a child, the tech on his outfit should look appropriately oversized. “The Droid Caller on his belt, for example, is the same size as the one on Ezra’s belt but look bigger because Jacen is small.”

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Ezra’s helmet and cadet uniform


Ezra Bridger was a collector of Imperial buckets, including this special helmet with retractable visor, perfect for sneaking around and avoiding detection.

“Just like the live-action helmets, each of Ezra’s helmets would be made of vacuform plastic,” Plunkett says, with “pieces of leather padding and metal greeblies seen in the designs to help finish them off. Like the original trilogy helmets, any decals can be stenciled on or even be made from strips of adhesive tape, depending on the shape of the design.”

Deep cover inside the Imperial Academy calls for a full cadet uniform. “This is an Imperial uniform, very much along the lines of Yularen or Krennic,” Plunkett says, “so the fabrics and construction would closely match those seen in A New Hope and Rogue One.” A sturdy pair of black leather boots, matching gloves, and a jacket fashioned from wool or canvas make up the bulk of the ensemble, with accents including metal buckles and the appropriate rank insignia.

But Plunkett notes that Ezra’s longer locks are decidedly not up to the Empire’s standards. “I doubt that Ezra’s shaggy haircut would have lasted too long if he’d stayed in the academy,” he says.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Blind Kanan


Viciously attacked by Maul at the end of the second season, Kanan spent the rest of the series blinded and often wearing a special mask with painted accents. To upgrade a Kanan cosplay to match this look from later in the series, Plunkett suggests forming a faceplate with a material similar to Jango Fett’s helmet — metal lined with leather padding — instead of the more plastic-like looking material of a stormtrooper or Royal Guard helmet.

Staying screen-accurate may be tricky since Kanan’s mask is held in place without any obvious ties or straps. “It’s one of the few times that we used the fact that, as a CG show, Rebels isn’t beholden to physics,” Plunkett admits. “Kanan’s faceplate stays on his head as if by magic!”

For cosplayers who need the extra support, “a real-life solution would be to use a brown leather strap to attach the faceplate to the head,” Plunkett says.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Thrawn’s armor


Thrawn’s cold and calculating personality comes through on the battlefield as he channels another efficient Imperial officer who once marched his AT-AT across the snowy plains of Hoth — General Veers.

“Thrawn’s armored look is intentionally modeled on that of General Veers’ field outfit on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back,” Plunkett says. “It’s made of almost the same pieces and materials as Veers, just in a different palette.”

The accents share similarities with the Chiss commander’s standard tunic, down to pale gold clasps on the shoulders and accents on the helmet that should match his usual gold epaulettes.

To make a costume that’s more of a live-action interpretation, Plunkett would add back in some details that were stripped away for animation. “The chin-strap, the small microphone/earpiece and the ‘lip’ that runs on the edge of all the armor sections would all translate really well into a realistic interpretation of this character, I think,” he says.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Kallus in rebel gear


Who could forget #HotKallus? The dashing agent from the Imperial Security Bureau defected from the Empire to serve the rebellion by the end of the series, and his buttoned-up look got a little more relaxed along with his all-new wardrobe.

To bring his rebel look to life, look to the costumes of Rogue One for guidance. “When we started Season 1 of Rebels, Rogue One was still just an idea in John Knoll’s head,” Plunkett says. “By the time Kallus joined the Rebellion in Season 4, though, we had a wealth of great reference for Jyn, Cassian and their crew.”

Kallus looks right at home striding around the base on Yavin 4. “His rebel look aims to fit right into this aesthetic with its earth tones and simple materials. His boots, belt, gloves, and holster are all brown leather. His T-shirt is a straightforward cotton shirt.”

Like some of the quilting seen more recently in Star Wars Resistance, details of his jacket hark back to the bundled-up rebels serving on Hoth. “The jacket is intended to evoke the Echo Base look with its padded collar and quilting,” Plunkett says.

He also suggests taking a page from the closets of two very different rebel heroes. “The darker stripe down the shoulders and arms could be piped just like Cassian Andor’s jacket. And the small, greeblie badge on the chest can have higher-fidelity detail, more like the greeblies on Admiral Ackbar’s tunic.”

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Sabine’s last look


Throughout the series, Sabine expressed herself through a rainbow of hair colors and ever-changing art emblazoned on her armor (and sometimes on the very walls of the ship she called home.)

When we last saw the fearless Mandalorian warrior, she had a new deep purple pixie cut and shoulder armor that depicted the majestic purrgil blasting into hyperspace. Sabine’s armor calls for standard Mandalorian construction, similar to any Fett outfit or earlier Sabine look you might already have in your cosplay closet. “The challenge with Sabine is probably going to be the elaborate paint scheme,” says Plunkett. But of all of Sabine’s various armor decos, her last look may be the easiest to emulate. “This one has the most geometric shapes across the armor, so making stencils for the kneepads and other parts should be a little simpler than her other iterations,” Plunkett says.

Her jetpack mirrors one worn by Commander Cody onscreen in Revenge of the Sith, Plunkett says, “although we scaled it down quite a bit to fit Sabine’s frame better.”

And although Plunkett understands why some might guess that Sabine’s bodysuit would be fashioned from some kind of spandex material, “in reality, it’s meant to be cloth, more like the tight, tailored costume worn by Zam Wessel than the bodystocking worn by Aurra Sing.”

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Check back for more Cosplay Command Center as we explore detailed images of characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars ahead of Star Wars Celebration Chicago!

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Cosplay Command Center, Part 2: Remembering Rebels at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

5 Tips for Perfecting Your Cosplay for Star Wars Celebration Chicago

There is only one event where you can find General Grievous hanging out with General Leia, see a Sith Disney princess twirling a red lightsaber, or meet Chewie’s Angels, a trio of pastel-colored Wookiees. Star Wars Celebration is truly the ultimate fan experience where anything is possible — new friends are made, old friends catch up, and you can meet your childhood heroes. In fact, you might meet several different versions of your favorite Star Wars hero. There is only one Mark Hamill, but at Star Wars Celebration you can see countless Luke Skywalkers roaming the halls. Cosplayers add so much joy and whimsy to the Celebration experience. If you’re thinking about giving cosplay a try for Star Wars Celebration Chicago, here are a few tips to help you get ready!

Supplies to make a Star Wars Celebration cosplay.

1. Fabric or cardboard? Now that you’ve decided you want to cosplay, it’s time to figure out your costume and the first question you must ask yourself is, “Do I want to wear clothes or cardboard?” If you’ve always wanted to craft an AT-ST that you can walk around in, Star Wars Celebration is the place to do it! Just know that the more elaborate the costume, the more limited you might be in terms of getting around the convention floor. As someone who has cosplayed as the Millennium Falcon, I can tell you that it wasn’t easy navigating through Artist Alley while wearing a very wide foam starship.

Another thing to keep in mind when selecting your costume is your comfort level. Dressing up as Rey or Lando Calrissian will probably be much more comfortable than cosplaying as Queen Amidala or Chi Eekway Papanoida. An elaborate outfit will make a statement, but you may not be able to sit in it, which will limit your time in the costume. Also, if you’re traveling and the costume is oversized or delicate, you may want to carry it on the plane or ship it to your hotel ahead of time.

Time is probably the biggest factor in deciding what to wear. But even if you’re short on time and money, there are plenty of costumes you can whip up on a budget and with only a week to work on it. Having limited resources can often lead to unique and unexpected costumes!

Supplies to make a Star Wars Celebration cosplay.

2. Make a costume emergency kit. It is inevitable that something will go wrong with your costume, even if it’s store bought. A zipper may break, a Styrofoam eye may fall off, or the glue may not hold. If you’re traveling to Chicago from out of town, be sure to pack a costume emergency kit. Some kit essentials to consider: safety pins, double sided tape, hot glue or super glue, and any other odds and ends that you might anticipate falling off your costume. (I’m looking at you, feathers.) You may not end up needing the kit, but in the case of a cape crisis, you’ll be prepared!

Jennifer Landa poses in her Han in carbonite cosplay.

3. Get ready to get into character. If this is your first time cosplaying, prepare to strike a pose. As you walk around the convention center in costume, people may stop and ask to take your photo. It might feel weird at first, especially if you’re dressed as a Star Wars villain, but posing in character makes for a great photo! And it’s amazing how putting on a costume can change how you stand, act, or speak; you might find that getting into character comes naturally once you start walking in that character’s shoes.

A snack bag and supplies to make a Star Wars Celebration cosplay.

4. Remember, even Kylo Ren gets hangry. It’s surprising how quickly time goes by when you’re having fun at Celebration. And when you’re dressed in costume, taking photos, and chatting with friends, you may look at the clock and suddenly realize you forgot to eat lunch. Make time for snack breaks and tuck a protein bar into your Han Solo holster or some trail mix in your Ewok pouch so you’re prepared for wherever the day takes you.

Jennifer Landa cosplays with a tauntaun.

5. Troop with a friend. What’s better than one cardboard stormtrooper? Two, of course! Cosplaying with friends is sure to be a great time, but even if your friend doesn’t feel like dressing up, they may be able to offer a helping hand as you’re waddling around in your homemade Gonk droid costume. If your costume makes it difficult to see or restricts your movement, you will absolutely need a buddy to help you navigate the convention hall, lead you to the water fountain, and remind you about the panel schedule.

And if this is your first time cosplaying, know that you will be surrounded by fellow Star Wars fans who love these characters and stories as much as you do. No one will judge you by your size or your design (unless you enter a costume contest and you actually want your costume to be judged.)

Star Wars Celebration Chicago will take place April 11-15 at McCormick Place. Visit for tickets and more info!

Jennifer Landa is an actress, host, and crafter. Follow her on
Twitter @JenniferLanda and for more
Star Wars DIYs, visit her YouTube channel.

5 Tips for Perfecting Your Cosplay for Star Wars Celebration Chicago

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Our Favorite Cosplay From Alamo City Comic Con 2018


Beginning in 2013, the Alamo City Comic Con has grown to become one of the fastest-growing shows in the US, with around 80,000 people turning up at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio last month.

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The io9 Halloween Costume Show Gallery Is Here!


Happy Halloween, everybody! For the last month we’ve been asking you to share with us your devilishly delightful plans for costumed creeps this All Hallow’s Eve, and you’ve been spooking up a treat. Here’s just a few of our favorites from your wonderful entries.

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Haunt Thanos With This Fantastic Zombie Gamora Makeup Tutorial


What’s Gamora up to after the events of Avengers: Infinity War? She’s a zombie, of course! To celebrate Halloween in true nerdy fashion, makeup artist and cosplayer Phillicia Deanell, also known as HeirOfGlee, came to our studio to show us how to turn Gamora into the undead. The results are haunting.

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