“Star Wars and the Power of Costume” at the EMP

It’s been over six years since I last donned a Halloween costume. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve gotten too old for that kind of thing. Or maybe it’s because I’m just too lazy these days to put that much thought into an outfit.

Or maybe it’s because I’m sure will never, ever be able to top this sexy, scruffy, scoundrel-chic masterpiece of a Halloween ensemble from 2009:

Dan Solo
“Dan Solo.” (Settle down, people. I’m married.)

When I was in Seattle last spring, I had a chance to take in the “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibition at the EMP. The show featured an exciting array of original costumes from across the Star Wars saga, along with some memorable wardrobe pieces from a few other fantasy-cinema classics. It was awesome.

Of course I was totally geeking out in the presence of these iconic costumes – outfits actually worn on-screen by the likes of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. I mean, you could practically smell Chewbacca’s enchanting Wookiee musk. And what a thrill to meet the dark, helmeted gaze of Boba Fett as he stares you down like the Empire’s put a price on your head.

Boba Fett
Indulging my “Fettish”

So naturally, I took a lot of pictures, the highlights of which I’m now happy to share with you here (and please forgive my sub-par phone photography). Hopefully they’ll give you a sense of just how sweet this exhibit was, and help you appreciate what incredible works of art these costumes really are.

And who knows, maybe this post will inspire me to up my Star Wars costume game for Halloweens to come.

Happy Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you.

Sand people
Tusken Raiders (aka “Sand People”)

A good outfit for choir practice.


TIE pilot
TIE fighter pilot

There are clubs in New York where this look would totally work.


Imperial officer uniform, Luke’s X-Wing flight suit

Apparently those Empire guys were giants.



“Look, sir. Tourists!”


Leia bounty
Leia’s bounty hunter disguise

“Someone who wants to have your son even though he’ll grow up into an angsty, obsessive emo-guy who will abandon his Jedi training for a path to the Dark Side, fall in with the evil First Order regime, wreak bloody havoc across the galaxy, and eventually murder you in cold bloo … I mean, someone who loves you.”


Leia slave
Leia’s slave bikini

I feel like this one would eventually transition from “costume” to regular beach wear.



I could just quit manscaping. No costume needed.


Han Solo

Dan or the mannequin: Who wore it better? (Answer: Harrison Ford. Always.)


R2-D2 (not sure why C-3PO’s cropped out)

OMG. Totally the droid I was looking for.


Dan Vader
Darth Vader (really wish this one had come out better)

I’ve got mad Force-choke skills.


And here are some highlights from the other films featured in the exhibit.


Proton Pack
Proton pack and ghost trap

The Princess Bride:

Princess Bride
Inigo, Buttercup, Westley
Six fingers
Count Rugen’s glove

I do not have six fingers on my left hand. I do, however, have two belly buttons. (Childhood surgery. Long story.)


The Wizard of Oz:

Wicked Witch of the West’s hat

On loan from Christine O’Donnell.


Witch Guard, Cowardly Lion

Again, I feel like I could pull off the Lion look with minimal costuming.


And finally, Labyrinth:


RIP David Bowie.