I wanted to do a “STAR WARS: The Empire Strikes Back” version of Luke Skywalker, precisely from the scenes where he trains with Yoda on the planet Dagobah. This Luke Skywalker costume took some time to make, but I am very proud how it turned out and made on a budget. I won a costume contest at a local bar and received tons of attention with many compliments! Yoda stole the show of course, but the rest of the costume is still very elaborate as you can see. I have described how it was made below…
YODA: A plush teddy bear wearing an adult latex Yoda costume mask, a pair of adult latex Yoda costume gloves, a brown thermal shirt and a toddler sized Yoda costume robe. I weathered the robe to look old and worn out. The realistic-looking eyes were made by printing out irises onto paper, gluing them onto ping pong balls and then spraying with several thick layers of clear-coat to give them a glassy appearance. They were then taped into position from the inside of the mask.
A handful of white hair from a cheap Santa costume beard was pulled off then attached sparsely onto the Yoda mask using spray-adhesive to complete the life-like look of the 900 year old Jedi Master. A simple belt was made to hold his clothing on tight and both wrists were rubber-banded to the shoulder straps of the backpack, making him appear to be holding on to my shoulders.
BACKPACK: An inexpensive blue tote bag with about 18 feet of blue nylon webbing stitched on to make a secure harness with added slide buckles and one quick-release buckle for an adjustable, customized fit. It was then spray-painted a lighter tint of blue for accuracy. Foamie sheets were cut to the same width and glued underneath the shoulder straps for added padding and comfort while wearing.
WEAPON BELT: The weapons are simply a modified costume/toy Han Solo blaster and a modified costume/toy Anakin Skywalker lightsaber hilt. All of the seams and screw holes of these cheap toy weapons were filled with caulk, sanded smooth and then each weapon was meticulously painted to look as real as possible. Added details included screws to the hilt handle to make it appear like Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber. A D-ring was also added to the end of the handle for attaching it to a belt clip. The telescoping saber-blade was removed to prevent it from popping out while wearing.
A red, transparent, plastic gemstone was added to the blaster’s scope to give it a neat lens effect. The belt and holster were hand-made from brown vinyl that resembled leather, which was glued to foamie sheets for added thickness, cut into several pieces the correct shape and size, then stitched or riveted together as needed with added snaps and large metal buckle. The corners of the buckle were even sawed and filed down, giving it an accurate octagonal appearance. Three functional pouches were made from the same vinyl glued onto cardboard, folded and glued into small box-like shapes. Snaps were added to the pouch flaps, which securely held my phone and wallet! The weapon belt was then airbrushed slightly to make it looked worn and dirty.
BOOTS: Costume Renaissance boots, modified by trimming areas off and adding straps made from fabric glued onto foam sheets and attached to each boot at one end with rivets. Snaps and Velcro were added to each strap for a secure hold and easy on/off. Everything was then spray-painted a grayish-tan.
PANTS: Wrangler cargo pants with the belt loops and pockets carefully removed, then two of the pockets repositioned and stitched into place at the front thighs to look film accurate. The pocket flaps were made from the material of the remaining pockets, trimmed to the size and shape desired, then stitched on.
SHIRT: A white, sleeveless shirt I had in my closet, dyed to appear the same approximate color as the pants.
WIG: A Justin Bieber wig I found on sale…the only part of the entire costume that was not modified or made, but looked just like Mark Hamill’s hair style and color in the film.
I hope you enjoy viewing this costume as much as I did making and wearing it. May the Force be with you!