It has been said that if you want to design a memorable character for a visual medium (TV, film, video, anmiation, comic book, etc) that you should design a character that’s recognizable in silhouette. think about that for a moment, and think about some of the most memorable characters. Can you recognize them in silhouette? Consider these examples: Mickey Mouse; Donald Duck; Batman; The Hulk; Indiana Jones; Superman; Zorro. These are all examples of character designs that can be recognized in silhouette.
The same can be said of many of the Star Wars characters. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Chewbacca are all easily recognizable in silhouette. Even Princess Leia with her infamous hair buns is recognizable in silhouette The character designs are so strong in this regard that the early “Revenge of the Jedi” theatrical poster featured Luke and Vader dueling in silhouette.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The costume design in Star Wars is fantastic. I recently visited the “Jedi Rebel Princess Queen” exhibit of screen-used Star Wars costumes. The costumes were amazing. the fabrics used, the patterns, the leatherwork, and the details (which quite often weren’t even seen on screen) were incredible.
From the simple farmboy attire of Luke Skywalker, to the stark white armor of the Imperial Stormtroopers, to the traditional Japanese-inspired clothing of the Jedi, to the western-inspired smuggler attire of Han Solo, the clothes really do make the man or woman in the Star Wars universe. The costumes tell you a great deal about the character. Costume design contributes so much to the timelessness of the movies. So often, science fiction films are dated by the costume design. The costumes in Star Wars really look like something from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and I enjoy them so much that I spend time replicating them.