Friday, November 17, 2017
Arts

A peek at the Star Wars costumes coming to St. Petersburg with ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’

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A galaxy far, far away just got a lot closer.

More than 60 hand-crafted costumes from the Star Wars saga landed this week as part of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit "Star Wars and the Power of Costume," docked at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg through April 1.

Included are cultural icons such as Darth Vader’s mask and Princess Leia’s metal bikini as well as the stories behind them, exploring the creative process from George Lucas’ vision to concept drawings to construction.

The exhibit opens Saturday for MFA members and Monday to the public, running through April 1 at 255 Beach Drive NE. Because the museum expects high demand, tickets are sold for a particular entry time — staggered every 20 minutes — though there’s no time limit once you’re inside. With each slot limited, the museum advises buying tickets in advance … and leaving aliens at home.

Tickets also include admission to the other galleries. $25, $18 ages 7 to 17, free children 6 and younger; $10 members after opening weekend. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.

The best part? Costumes are encouraged.

Here’s some inspiration from the exhibit itself.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

The Throne Room Dress

The movie: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Who wore it: Natalie Portman as Queen Padm Amidala

The scene: Amidala’s ensembles are some of the most striking in the world of Star Wars, and her entrance into that world is announced by this bold, Asian-influenced red outfit, trimmed in fur and embroidered in gold. Wearing the Throne Room Dress, she first appears via a screen talking to the viceroy of the Trade Federation, which is blockading her planet. Though under attack, she remains bold and defiant, including in a subsequent meeting with her advisers during which she declares: "I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war."

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Jedi Robes: Obi-Wan Kenobi

The movie: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Who wore it: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

The scene: The first glimpse of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), in The Phantom Menace comes shrouded in their cloaks, anonymous. Once they land aboard a Trade Federation ship as ambassadors, their Jedi identities and attires are revealed. Moments later, the Jedi are attacked and spring into action, spinning through the air and swinging their lightsabers , loose costumes allowing for the range of motion. The design drew on Ben Kenobi’s outfit in the 1977 original Star Wars (rough tan tunic and brown cloak) to form a new Jedi norm: earthy tan and brown colors, vestlike overshirts covering a knee-length tunic, matching cummerbund, utility belt holding a lightsaber, the brown cloak.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Jedi Robes: Luminara Unduli

The movie: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Who wore it: Mary Oyaya as Luminara Unduli

The scene:Unduli, a Jedi master, appears in a few scenes in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In Attack of the Clones, she is one of the many Jedi who arrive in an arena with Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) for the Battle of Geonosis, the beginning of the Clone Wars. The Jedi in this scene represent a wider range of species and costumes than previously seen, but most still include the earthy color palette and flowing styles. Unduli’s includes a painted leather skirt panel, a headdress and arm cuffs

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Stormtrooper Armor

The movie: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Who wore it: Every ’trooper from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi; some features of the costume changed in The Force Awakens

The scene: Stormtroopers have many iconic scenes (most featuring a missed shot or 49), but they arrive on the scene in A New Hope storming the Tantive IV, Princess Leia’s ship. After blowing through a door to the ship, the troops encased in stark white armor come out shooting and march through the door even as the Rebel crew fires on them.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Vader’s Armor

The movie: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Who wore it: David Prowse as Darth Vader

The scene: This particular costume is from Return of the Jedi, but Vader first appears in A New Hope behind the stormtroopers attacking Leia’s ship, the Tantive IV. One of Star Wars’ most iconic characters, he storms aboard, issuing orders through his mask, cape flapping, a sharp contrast in black to the white stormtroopers and the white walls of the ship around him. James Earl Jones famously provides the dark lord’s booming voice, but Prowse quietly carried out his actions from within the suit, standing a head above everyone at 6 feet 5.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Han Solo

The movie: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Who wore it: Harrison Ford as Han Solo

The scene:This particular costume is from Return of the Jedi, where Solo doesn’t wear it quite like this often (early, carbonite-freed Solo lacks the vest, later he trades it for a jacket), but he first appears in the outfit in A New Hope. In the Mos Eisley Cantina, he slides into a booth with Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who hire him, Chewbacca and their Millennium Falcon for a trip to Alderaan. Wearing the rugged (see: open collar, cowboy-style holster) but pseudo military (see: cavalry uniform style pants and boots) garb, he brags about the capabilities of his ship and piloting, typical of the scoundrel we now all know and love.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Mas Amedda Senate Robes

The movie: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Who wore it: David Bowers as Mas Amedda

The scene: Amedda is a vice chancellor throughout the prequel movies, appearing in the chamber’s central podium at the side of Chancellor Valorum (Terence Stamp) and then Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Next to the human chancellors, he cuts an imposing figure: tall with dangerous horns, armorlike shoulder pads and a large staff. This particular costume appears in several scenes in Revenge of the Sith, mostly as Amedda does Palpatine’s Sithly bidding: searching for the body of Yoda to dispose of after a battle or Amedda flanking Palpatine as he declares himself emperor.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Sidious’ Senate Robes

The movie: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Who wore it: Ian McDiarmid as Darth Sidious

The scene: Throughout the prequels, Sidious’ role is a duplicitous one — he is both Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate, and Darth Sidious, Lord of the Sith orchestrating most of the galaxy’s chaos. This ensemble comes after the revelation both are one and unites elements of the characters’ garb. From Palpatine, it takes the color red and the ornate central panel. From Sidious, a cloak — now hiding his disfigurement — with long, draping sleeves. Wearing these robes, Palpatine stands before the Senate and declares that the Republic will become the Empire, a pivotal moment.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

C-3PO and R2-D2

The movies: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Who wore them: Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Kenny Baker as R2-D2

The scene:Perhaps some of Star Wars’ most iconic characters, the droids you’re looking for are some of the only ones to appear in all Star Wars movies to date, even brief appearances in 2016’s Rogue One. They are actually the first characters to appear on screen in 1977’s A New Hope, frantically shuffling the hallways of the Tantive IV as the Empire prepares to board. 3PO is convinced they’re doomed as R2 twitters on more excitedly. Then, of course, Leia inserts the Death Star schematics into R2, and the droids hop in an escape pod to Tattooine, touching off the major plot arc of A New Hope.

Copyright and TM Lucasfilm

Lake Retreat Dining Gown

The movie: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Who wore it: Natalie Portman as Sen. Padm Amidala

The scene: In Attack of the Clones, Amidala’s life is threatened and she is sent into hiding with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). This gown is featured in a scene where the two flirt over dinner and then discuss their romantic feelings fireside, leading eventually to their secret wedding at the movie’s end. Amidala’s costumes in Attack of the Clones are not so outsized as in The Phantom Menace, and though still elaborate, they take on different tones: more sultry (see the open shoulders and tighter silhouette) and softer. (Despite the dark color, note the feathered cape and lacy dress.)

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