Cosplaying my way through Star Wars Celebration 2022

Ever since I created my own Mandalorian (Din Djarin) inspired cosplay for SVCC 2021 last year, I got hooked into building and making cosplay. So, attending Star Wars Celebration 2022 (SWCA22) in cosplay became a must for me. My goal being to share my self-made Star Wars inspired cosplay, with the wonderful folks at SWCA. For this con, I decided to go as two cosplay: one inspired by Luke Skywalker with Grogu and the other inspired but The Mandalorian (Din Djarin). See below:

I say “inspired” because after doing a lot of research, and seeing all the amazing Star Wars cosplayers out there, I can’t say my cosplay is a screen accurate representation of Luke or Din Djarin Mando. For instance, I don’t have all the parts and my armor isn’t nearly as shiny and as weathered as Mando’s Beskar. But it’s as close as I can get it to be. I know some cosplayers are really all about getting things exactly right, and perfectly screen accurate. But that’s not me. After all my hard work, and looking at what I had accomplished, my “inspired” Star Wars cosplay I was more than what I had expected and what I wanted it to be. Of course, there is always room for improvement!

Luke and Grogu Inspired Cosplay

For my first cosplay, I wanted to go with something flexible and easy to get around with, but still have that “cosplay” feel. I mean, I didn’t just want to go around wearing a T-shirt and mask, but I also didn’t want to wear for armor for this cosplay. So after I saw post Return of the Jedi (RoTJ) Luke training Grogu on The Book it Boba Fett Episode 6, I thought yes! That looks totally doable. Or at least, I think I could put something together that would be a ”passable” Luke (for me). See below photos of Luke and Grogu from the Book it Boba Fett Episode 6.

After carefully studying the above, I then realized I already bought a “Jedi” costume from Amazon about a couple years back that fit the bill. It was black, and had a similar black robe to the one Luke was wearing in the show. I think I had used it for a Kylo Ren Halloween outfit a couple years back.

Now, I just needed to add Luke’s belt buckle and I needed to somehow get my buddy Grogu hanging from my back. So for the belt buckle, I decided to create on my own. I 3D printed the the backing and used EVA foam for the face of the buckle. I found that it’s substantially easier to paint and “smoothen” EVA foam, under a time crunch. I painted it using silver aluminum acrylic paint. You can see the completed buckle, which includes the 3D printed backing, EVA foam front and acrylic paint.

With all that done I just need to figure out how to attach Grogu to my back. . . So, after a lot of thought during my non-existent downtime, I decided to go with adapting a Star Wars Astromech bag I got from Galaxy’s Edge, adding cardboard box inside to reinforce the bag, and make a harness for Grogu using a plastic ruler, rope and a lot of Velcro! Hot tip, the soft parts of this particular Grogu are made of material that adheres well to Velcro. Very well.

I also propped Grogu’ hand with some popsicle sticks:

But that wasn’t enough, I had some extra space (where the droid was supposed to be) so I thought to make it a display for my Star Wars pins and also cover up the Astomech wording and replace it with a SWCA appropriate banner. I used EVA foam for the backing and clear vinyl over the pins and SWCA banner to protect both. I then stenciled the banner myself, which is also made of vinyl. So, with all that done, I pulled it together and it looked something like this:

All and all I was super happy with my cosplay build and con bag. It also was perfect for taking selfies:

The Mandalorian (Din Djarin) Inspired Cosplay

This cosplay is waaaay to complicated to go in depth here. So I’ll be making a separate post on how I 3D printed the hard parts and pulled all the soft parts tigger from various places. For this particular post, I’ll share the biggest challenge from the con: handling, a last minute broken prop: both how I mentally handled it and how I went around to make a fix, acceptable to me, for the con. The drama ensues, haha. Exciting stuff, so read on!

So last year I made my own Darksaber based on a remix design I did from Adafruit’s Darksaber build. For more on that, check out my post here. Now, my most ideal plan was to wear my Mando suit and bring my sword to get photo ops with the Mando cast members. I’m very proud of that sword and my cosplay! It would mean a lot to me, even looking at those photos 5 years from now to see it all come together.

Now, as all things, Murphy’s Law applies “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. While testing my cosplay I knocked it and it cracked in half. You’d think, after working in tech and manufacturing for many years I’d know better but apparently not! I had underestimated how weak the 3D printed focal point of the sword was. See the result below:

So, inspecting the sword carefully I felt like this was the end of the road for the sword. Mentally this was devastating since I 100% wanted that sword in my photo op shots. Again, mentally, I was at the end of my rope. I had been working long hours at work to make up for my vacation, and working later on my cosplay. Probably one of the other reasons of how things went wrong.

But after getting some strong words of encouragement from one of my friends, I had a burst of inspiration! I inspected the break closely and quickly tested the electronics. One thing I found was that the electronics still worked. That at least meant the sword could still work, electronically speaking. So, how was I going to make it work on the mechanical side? I thought of the break as a broken bone that needed a “splint”. So, that’s what I did. I used popsicle sticks for the makeshift splint, see below:

I proceeded to wrap everything with duck tape, and got very creative with the duck tape colors. I chose to use black and white duck tape, to match the colors of the Darksaber. I really have to credit one to my good friends for really encouraging me to make it work and find a way. So after a lot of sweat, some tears, and hard work I got a workable Darksaber. See below:

So with some trepidation I packed up my sword and Beskar and left for the con. . . It’s when I arrived that things got more complicated. To explain, I checked the Darksaber when I arrived from my flight to Anaheim. This is what I found:

So the airport security probably did a routine check, and may not have known how fragile the sword was, which could have resulted in the break happening during inspection. Heck, it could have happened during handling of the hard case I used to pack the sword. I took a deep breathe and, after inspecting the damage I decided to glue the saber back together and reinforce it with popsicle sticks (again). Thankfully the electronics still worked! It was also a good thing I had planned for this potential moment, and brought the necessary materials (super glue, extra popsicle sticks, duck tape). I, again, got creative with the duck tape.

So after taking my time with the fix, I was able to get it back to an acceptable and working state!

Overall it was working well and the result, was great. See me, my Mando AND my Darksaber at SWCA:

And, I even after all those challenges, I was able to get my photo ops with the Mandalorian cast wearing my self-made Mando cosplay AND my Darksaber.

And to top it off, I was able to get my Darksaber signed by Katee Sackhoff, Bo Katan, herself! Solidifying a super eventful con.

Final Thoughts

As I said in my previous posts, SWCA22 was a very memorable con. There are so many fun moments, and my cosplay a really added to the experience. If you want to hear more about that, check out my con stories post where is share the most memorable moments from SWCA22 – a lot of which were related to my cosplay! I’m so glad, even with all the challenges, I was able to pull it all off. A total con Win!

I hope you enjoyed checking out my cosplaying experience to attending SWCA22. I also hope this post may be helpful for any future SWCA cosplayers. As always, This Is The Way!

Did you attend Star Wars Celebration 2022 in cosplay? Have any fun cosplay stories to share with us? We’d love to hear about it via the comments below!

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