Monday, April 25, 2011

Film Costume: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

by Zo-Ee Chee

The costume of padawan (Jedi in training) Luke Skywalker was designed by John Mollo to reflect the principles of a knight of the Jedi Order. Also responsible for the iconic Darth Vader costume, Mollo crafted Skywalker's costume based on Japanese Gi (the standard karate uniform) and traditional Japanese clothing. These costumes were intended to reflect the outlook and Zen leanings of the Jedi Order who prefer resolution over conflict and violence, integrity and truth. Here, Skywalker's clothing is instead utilitarian, much like a Japanese peasant's from the late 19th century and allows for freedom of movement (running or fighting, whichever the case might be).The color is also significant as white connotes purity and goodness: an intentional polar opposite to Darth Vader's all black and militaristic costume.

Here, power is communicated through an opposition to fashion. The look is relatively timeless, though rooted in a specific culture. Mollo rejected any trendy or fashionable item in order to let Skywalker and the Jedis look timeless. It may even be compared to "utilitarian outrage" as a standard form that does not undergo constant modification or "minority and faith groups" which choose to show certain principles through their clothing (in this case, simplicity). Also, as a standard Jedi uniform, power is communicated as their clothing becoming a identifiable as part of an institution and the larger Jedi order.

1 comment:

  1. Recently I have purchased the "Jedi" costume for my kid and he was so happy.I purchased this costume on Dressy Costumes costume which was very reasonable.