Look, guys, I know what you’re thinking. What does Star Wars have to do with music, right? Um, hello, it only has the BEST MOVIE SCORE of all time (John Williams I ♥ u 4ever). To this day, whenever I hear the 20th Century Fox intro at the beginning of a movie I get chills, because it’s so closely linked in my mind to the opening bars of the Star Wars theme.
Best. Movies. Ever.
There was just so much to love about the first three (Episodes IV, V, and VI, that is). Intergalactic warfare. Rakish smugglers. Droids!! Ewoks, bounty hunters, a city in the clouds. The dark side of the force. Darth vader. Yoda. A love triangle (at least, until the incestuous aspect of it was revealed. Ew). Good vs. evil. Jedi masters, fighter pilots, the Death Star….
I could go on and on, but there have been millions of Star Wars geeks before me who have waxed rhapsodic about it on the internet, and I won’t pretend to be the be the final authority on Star Wars trivia. All I know is that, as kids growing up in the ’80s, my brother and I were obsessed with the movies. We used to fight over who got to be Boba Fett. We played with lightsabers that our dad fashioned for us using flashlights and rolled-up sheets of green and red colored plastic (this was way before you could totally nerd out and buy expensive ones). We both had Star Wars themed sleeping bags, sheets, and pillow cases (mine was Return of the Jedi and featured a rather menacing image of Darth Vader, which gave me nightmares). Also, the only all-nighter I have ever pulled in my entire life was in grade 4 when my best friend and I stayed up ’til dawn playing the Star Wars board game. In short, it’s safe to say that Star Wars had a huge impact on my young psyche.
In fact, my very first crush, at age 10 or so, was on Luke Skywalker. Since I seem to have a history of being confused about whether I am in love with someone or just want to be them, I insisted on dressing up as Luke for Hallowe’en. I wish I could say that it was Han Solo who piqued my pre-teen ardor, as he is about a million times cooler than Luke, but the heart wants what it wants, I guess.
Anyway, there is much to love about Star Wars. Over the years, though, I think one of the things that I’ve come to appreciate the most about the movies is the sartorial styling. And I have to say, although Leia’s character generally gets all the glory when costumes are being considered, I think the real unsung hero of these productions was the person in charge of outfitting Luke and Han. Whoever devised their ensembles was doing military chic way before it was trendy.
Join us, friends, as we examine style in each of the movies…
Episode IV: A New Hope
Luke starts off as a backwater farmboy, stuck on the family ranch on his home planet of Tatooine:
This look was the inspiration for my Hallowe’en costume. I actually had that haircut at the time, so it worked out well. Anyway, it’s not haute couture…but it looks like a nice breathable fabric, perfect for lounging around in the desert right?
As for everyone’s favorite space pirate — in my opinion, Han has the best outfit in this movie:
I mean, check out those boots! Awesome. I dig the stripes on the pants, too, and the vest…yeah, I pretty much love this entire look. Also! I know Chewie doesn’t wear much, but that leather sash/ammo belt he’s sporting is great. His fashion M.O. is obviously quality over quantity.
Leia’s look in episode IV is pretty iconic, I think mainly because of her hair:
We used to go to a summer day camp that had a Star Wars dress-up day (I know, the ’80s were awesome, right?) My friend dressed as Princess Leia — her mom made her a headband with hot-cross buns attached to it for the hair. I busted out my Luke outfit, and I have to say that we looked pretty adorable.
I am quite partial to everyone’s outfits for the medal ceremony at the end of the movie:
Luke, in particular, looks miles better than he did at the beginning. That’s what intergalactic space travel will do for ya, kid!
Of course we can’t forget Darth Vader. This guy was one badass mofo:
Yeah. Here is someone you do not want to mess with, am I right? The thing that takes this look to the next level, though, is that it’s scary, but also incredibly stylish! I love the cape, I love the helmet, and I seriously covet those metallic pants.
Episode IV honorable mentions:
You talkin’ to me, punk?
Freaky little dudes, but they’re working their strengths. I mean, considering they have no faces, the results are not half bad. The cloak and gun belt are kind of rad.
World’s shiniest (and most annoying) droid
I have a well-documented attraction to gold jackets, and I love 3P0’s take on it. Apparently, I am not the only one who takes inspiration from his style.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
For me, this is the movie where Luke really hits his stride style-wise. He sports a succession of fab outfits:
Off to save the universe!
Admit it: how awesome would it be to just slip into a flight suit every morning and call it a day? So easy! True, not everyone looks great in orange, but I think Mark Hamill is rocking it, and I enjoy the silver straps.
Great jacket. Love the collar. A nice mix of military and safari styling.
On the ice planet Hoth, everybody busts out some serious steez:
I want Leia’s boots
I particularly like Han & Luke’s patrol outfits:
This is basically how we dress for winter here in Canada (minus the tontons, obvs)
Leia dons some pretty groovy suits of her own:
Die, empire scum!
What, this old thing?
Episode V honorable mentions:
Swanning around in capes, selling out his friends…it’s all in a day’s work for our pal Lando
Two dudes you probably do not want to mess with
Jabba the Hut:
Seriously, Jabba, you couldn’t hit the gym every once and a while…? Jeez buddy.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
We’ll start with Leia this time. Here she is in what is probably one of the most famous costumes of all time:
The outfit that inspired a million teen male fantasies
I myself am partial to her various looks on the forest moon of Endor:
The ne plus ultra of covert-ops chic
Shut your face, droid, before I shut it for you
Thank god my brother isn’t in love with me anymore! That was awkward.
Luke may be dealing with some heavy shiz by the time Ep VI rolls around, but at least he’s got his look sorted out:
Lessons learned: 1) Never underestimate the dark side of the force 2) You really cannot go wrong with all-black
And Han’s fashion strategy? Why mess with a good formula!
A striped pant for every occasion!
Of course he gets the girl in the end:
Han, I simply cannot resist the power of your vests! Kiss me now!
Poor Luke, no girl for him…
Don’t be sad, Luke. Spencer will make out with you!
I am wearing a leather hood and carrying a stick! I will f&ck you up, compadre!
Proof positive that evil douchebaggery wreaks havoc on your looks
Listen up Jabba. Your pals here…Warthog, Squid-face, & Zombie Hands…they’re no match for my Jedi skills
In summary, I am starting to wonder if my entire concept of style was shaped at a young age by these movies. I love all things military, metallic, robot, camo… and the accessories! High boots, goggles, helmets, studded belts…yeah, I think I have Star Wars to thank for my sartorial obsessions.
As with all our Spotlight on Style features, we will now endeavor to re-create an outfit using only the contents of our own closets. Join Donkeysuit and I here and judge the results of our attempt.
Yeah, good luck trying to copy our style, plebes!