Science Fiction and Costumes – Star Wars

Recently I got to see the Star Wars and the Power of Costumes exhibit at the EMP Museum. It started out as kind of a “ooo Star Wars!” followed by “oh, look at all those Queen Amidala dresses…” and finally led to that deeper thought and understanding: that costumes really matter a lot for a science fiction (or fantasy, or a lot of other genre) movie. Costumes that look different from what we are used to create the sense of a whole new world.

One of my favorite examples is still the Dune mini-series, for which someone decided that clearly, what all the different groups in the galaxy did was just wear really big hats to show who they were:

We don't know what you mean...

We don’t know what you mean…

I could gush about this, or I could mainly share some pictures and a couple of thoughts. Let’s let the pictures speak for themselves!

This is only some of the many costumes of Queen Amidala!

This is only some of the many costumes of Queen Amidala!

One of the things that the exhibit pointed out was just how much more costumes and the pomp and circumstance mattered in the prequels. This was the more civilized age, the bygone era that Obi Wan lamented being gone. This was an era of the Senate, of different cultures all having a voice. Before the Emperor took over, and all the soldiers looked the same…

More photos and thoughts below!

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Star Wars Saturday: Representation Matters (and a Book Announcement)

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If we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones. – Jane Espenson

In almost 40 years of existence, Star Wars has done some good work in terms of diverse characters, though there is still room for improvement, even in more recent creations.

Source: Wookieepedia.

Source: Wookieepedia.

I grew up with favorites such as Leia Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. I fell in love with Mara Jade when reading Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in the early 90s. I jumped up and down when we got Mace Windu, Bail Organa and Padme Amidala in the Prequel Trilogy. I can’t wait to see the new trio in Episode VII, as well as the new and returning characters.

Star Wars has had recurrent missed opportunities with depiction of disability. So far, most romance and characters presented were straight. I hope to see more characters of colors and other species have important roles in the future, as well as even more compelling female characters of all ages.

Yet, the franchise has done good things since it was created. It was what prompted me to return to my collection of essays A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars, and revise it, as well as add two new chapters. Tackling the whole universe would be a lifetime work, but the following essays aim at shedding some light and discuss aspects of diverse representation in the franchise:

  • Introduction: Why Representation Matters and Why Star Wars has a Role to Play
  • Chapter 1: Star Wars Rebels: A New Text to Link the Old
  • Chapter 2 : Lando Calrissian : Iconic Scoundrel
  • Chapter 3: Star Wars’ Jedi Younglings: A Benevolent but Controversial Education System
  • Chapter 4: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II – A Milestone for Star Wars Female Characters
  • Chapter 5: Mara Jade: Pillar of the Star Wars Expanded Universe
  • Chapter 6 : Female Wizards: Jocasta Nu and Kreia
  • Chapter 7: Tenel Ka: Negotiating Acquired Disability
  • Chapter 8: Nala: The Missing Link between Disney Princesses and Leia Organa
Cover designed by Jennifer A. Miller.

Cover designed by Jennifer A. Miller.

The New Revised Edition will be available in Kindle format on September 9 (print version TBA later this year), on all Amazon sites, including Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada. You can also find the book’s Goodreads page here. I’m always happy to connect with my readers!

What about you, fellow Star Wars fans? What aspects of diversity do you think were well done in Star Wars and which ones do you hope to see improve in the future?

Give Natacha the Bloglove Today, Peeps!

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So, I stubbornly refuse to post the premium stuff on Thursdays from here on out. Also. I’m committed to promoting our contributors, our friends, and good creative work in general. Most of the internet-folk seem to be reading other things on Thursdays, and that’s fine.

Taking a day off every week makes a certain amount of sense for us, because man. It burns hot around this place sometimes. If you wish to hang out at other blogs on Thursdays, I shall suggest blogs to you.

So give Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom the #bloglove today.

You want to stop by here on Saturday. Natacha’s got a #StarWars Saturday post for you this week, and she is bringing the awesome.

Star Wars Saturday : Favorite Video Games

After David’s post about the franchise’s video games last weekend, I thought it made for the perfect opportunity for a Favorite Video Games Star Wars Saturday! With the large choice we have, I thought it would be difficult to pinpoint favorites. Against all odds, I came up with mine more easily than I had expected! Of course, the fact I only play RPG types of Star Wars games helped, just as naming series of games rather than individual titles did!

Source: Wookieepedia.

Source: Wookieepedia.

Dark Forces / Jedi Knight Series

These games aren’t young anymore but I still like them a lot. I played them as they were released and had a great time with each new title. Dark Forces was basic in visuals but I spent hours shooting things on it. The live-action cinematics of Jedi Knight were epic and Jan Ors is still a favorite female character of mine. I remember being so excited about the Mysteries of the Sith companion game, which featured Mara Jade. I was happy to have family in the US who could bring it to me as a gift when visiting, as finding it in France wasn’t an option at the time. I recently played Jedi Academy again and the experience was still good. I need to go back to Jedi Outcast because I don’t remember much about it!

Source: technologytell.com

Source: technologytell.com

Knights of the Old Republic Series

KOTOR I and II were my introduction to Bioware games and my love for them has never diminished since then. I love the Bioware Star Wars games as much as the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises! KOTOR I was my first ‘big’ RPG game, I think. When I can play a female character, I always do, which means that in my mind, Revan is a woman. So, the canon male Revan isn’t the only one existing in my head. The first time I played KOTOR II, I wasn’t so sold on it compared to the first one. When I played it for the second time last winter (years after my first round), I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Source: swtor.com

Source: swtor.com

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I never got into any MMORPG before SWTOR, even though I tried WoW. This type of game wasn’t to my taste. Then, I got sucked into SWTOR since the original early access. I have never regretted it. So far, I have finished the original game with all eight classes and enjoyed every story. I am in the process of experiencing the two first expansions on the imperial side (as I finished them with my Jedi Knight). I love the game’s narratives and the character development you can have. There are aspects I am not familiar with (I never did an Operation) or not interested in (Space Battles and Starfighter) but many others I enjoy a lot besides the main game, like PvP Warzones or the amazing new feature the Solo Flashpoints are!

What about you? What are your favorite Star Wars Video Games?