Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thoughts on Making a Mara Jade Outfit (Emporer's Hand) & Blaster Packs...

My awesome little sister has been kicking around the idea of dressing up as Mara Jade one day. Earlier this week I sketched out some ideas.

I love Mara Jade. She's just so...real.
I mean, you've got your stock sci-fi/fantasy women who run around with weapons & perfect makeup while doing cool things. Sometimes they don't make much sense.
The better written ones, the girls like too...
And then there's Mara.

She's so incredibly real. She thinks like a real girl. She acts like a real girl. She even picks fights (with Luke) like a real girl. I feel like I know her in real life. Actually, she constantly reminds me of my said younger sister...

Mara has self respect, is incredibly loyal but holds grudges more than she should, always keeps her word, can be a little bossy but knows how to take orders, outwardly seems unsentimental, has a thing about protecting families & babies, can be rather grumpy, and really really really cares about doing the right thing.
She's exactly who you want at your back in a firefight.

Anyways, I had some preliminary ideas for what her outfit would look like.
I looked up cosplayers versions and was underwhelmed. I don't think a lot of people understand her. They try to make her look kind of sexy & femme-fatal-ish, like Black Widow. Mara isn't Black Widow. (For one thing, she's a blazing idealist who crushes any feelings she has, and also whose version of letting a guy know she likes him is by listing all his faults and lecturing him on his character development...I love her)

And she doesn't have time to look sexy. She's too busy killing pirates. And she sure doesn't want them to think she looks sexy. She wants to be respected, and feared.
She does wear a tight-fitting black combat suit for practical reasons. But I didn't really like any of the cosplay versions I saw....they were all too busy trying to look hot, and didn't seem to think through the practical ramifications of it. I think the whole point of a leather combat outfit is to give minimal armour with maximal mobility.

But I thought this picture I thought was decent.
Mostly because it gets her face right, idealistic and not covered in make-up (seriously, who would Mara be trying to impress? I just can't see her pausing mid-mission to reapply lipstick. I mean, Princess Leia had to wear makeup because she was a Princess and all. But Mara was an judge & ninja & executioner. Its a different job description)

To maximize mobility, but still have some protection, I thought it would be a leather suit with padded leather panels in key places where they wouldn't hinder mobility as much. So that would be around her torso and thighs. (the calves would be protected by tall boots).

Because the removable sleeves did hinder mobility a bit (in Allegiance she keeps them in her backpack because of this, while taking out the pirate ship) I figured they would probably have more serious armor on them, like pauldrons and long bracers.

So here's my ideas

We'll see if I every manage to make something like this for my little sister. I know with all the leather, it will be hours of handstitching leather padding, etc. But it would be a labor of awesomeness, like the Imperial Grand Admiral uniform I hope to make for Josh one day....

I thought I'd start with the much more humble goal of working on a blaster pack/ thigh holster/ glorified non-dorky hip-pack.

Some thigh holsters from the star wars universe...

I loved the first season of this show so much. I really wasn't expecting too, but its so refreshingly heroic & idealistic, and the old-married-people vibe in it is priceless. A post will probably come soon.

The basic design is 2 straps from the belt, coming down at an angle to the holster/pack, which itself straps to the leg just above the knee.

on a person.

Han's holster, laid flat.
My idea, laid flat.
 So, off to find leather belts and learn how to sew and rivet leather....
I will probably spend a good amount of time on duck cloth mockups first. These are my (non-secret) Christmas Presents for my younger sisters, so I have a good bit of time to figure this out.

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