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Star Wars Costuming Comlinks: Finishing Details

Jun 28, 2016
When creating a costume, it's important to know what finishing details will be needed in order to completely embody the character you are cosplaying. These subtle details tend to get overlooked when making a costume, but they could really make or break how accurate you look. Makeup, hair, and contacts will work wonders in making you look like a specific character. Fitness and shapewear can help sculpt your body to look like someone from a movie or television show.


Makeup
Even if you're a guy who has no idea how to wear makeup or a girl who tends to be fresh-faced on a regular day, makeup is a key element in finishing your costume. For example, if you're cosplaying as Asajj Ventress from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you may have already purchased white body paint to cover your face since she obviously has an unusual skin tone. However, characters who look natural like Rey are often overlooked or overdone when it comes to makeup. Rey has a very simple look. Heavy contours, foundation, and eye shadow are not good choices when doing your makeup to resemble Rey. If you have small breakouts or imperfections, cover them with a concealer that matches your skin tone. Use sheer, tinted moisturizer to even your skin tone rather than using a full coverage foundation. Stay away from thick eyeliner or shimmery eye shadows and stick to a simple black mascara. For lips, avoid bright lipsticks and opt for a natural tinted lip balm. Other characters may wear a lot of makeup with bold designs or colors, so be aware of choosing the right products and techniques when doing your makeup. Also be aware that when people take photos of your costume with a flash, it could wash out your makeup. You'll have to decide if you want to apply your makeup a little more than usual if you'll be taking a lot of photos.


Hair
Hair styles and color can be tricky to get right when finishing your costume. If you don't want to cut or color your hair to look exactly like a character's style, try a wearing a wig. Some wigs that are made from synthetic fibers tend to look fake or have a weird sheen to them. Wigs made from human hair look more natural and you can style them better. If you're wanting to temporarily color your hair, I highly recommend using liquid hair chalk. This product comes in a bottle and you brush it directly onto your hair, then blow dry it and brush it. I've used several brands of this product, but my favorite is the L'Oreal Hair Chalk because it evenly coats hair and gives bright pigments, even on dark hair. This brand doesn't give a ton of color choices, but other brands may have better options for the color you need.


Contacts
Some characters have crazy, neon colored eyes and others have more natural colors like blue, brown, and hazel. Whatever color their eyes may be, it's a good idea to get contacts if you don't have the same exact eye color. There are tons of places that sell colored contacts, but if you already wear prescription contacts or glasses, talk to your eye doctor about getting colored ones.


Fitness & Shapewear
Let's face it, actors in movies have personal trainers who can make their bodies look ripped and nipped in all the right places. Animated characters have unrealistic proportions with long, lanky limbs and torsos. Fitness and diet can help you look like a certain characters in a lot of ways. If you want to dress up as a shirtless character, it might be time to start doing some crunches and cardio if you want that character's washboard abs. Some costumes like C-3PO require you to stay lean just so you can fit into the outfit. Shapewear like Spanx or corsets can help give the illusion of a thinner waist or more curves. It's important to embrace your body type and feel comfortable in your own skin, but fitness and shapewear can give your costume a little extra "wow" factor.


If you have questions about anything covered in this article, feel free to send me an email at savannaakiefer@gmail.com or tweet me @Savanna_Kiefer

Dorky Diva of the Week: Megan Cullinan

Jun 22, 2016
Megan Cullinan, a 35-year-old resident of Illinois, is a fangirl that is proud to have found her self-confidence and creativity through Star Wars. She has modeled for a Star Wars fashion campaign and utilizes social media to connect with other fans of the franchise she holds so dearly to her heart.

Megan Cullinan in New York City for the Kohl's Yes2You campaign photoshoot

Cullinan's longtime love of science fiction and fantasy turned into a lifelong passion for Star Wars when she saw the special edition of the original trilogy in 1997. In September 2015, she was contacted by Kohl's to participate in a once in a lifetime opportunity of modeling for an upcoming Star Wars fashion line. This contact from Kohl's sparked from a direct message that she sent to the company via Twitter earlier in 2015. The message expressed her love for their Star Wars clothing, but suggested that they expand their collection to women and girls. The best part about this photoshoot for Cullinan was that she got to model with other ladies who were die-hard Star Wars fans just like her. 

"We were all different, had different experiences but came together for one day and were able to connect because of Star Wars. It was such an awesome experience and I'm so thankful that I could display my love of Star Wars in this way," says Cullinan. 

For years she's collected Star Wars merchandise that have been purchased and created by hand. One of her favorite things to collect is fashion wear, especially Her Universe. Her mom helped her create skirts out of Star Wars fabric to wear at Disney's Star Wars Weekends in 2015. In addition to collecting clothing and accessories, Cullinan has a large collection of Legends books and Expanded Universe novels. 

Cullinan in her handmade R2-D2 skirt with Shaak Ti at Disney's Star Wars Weekends

One of Cullinan's favorite activities to do as a fangirl is attend various Star Wars events and conventions. She regularly attends Disney's Star Wars Weekends and a local event at Joliet's Public Library called Star Wars Day. Next year will be her very first trip to Star Wars Celebration, the mecca for all Star Wars fans. 

"Star Wars has inspired me to be true to myself and never compromise what I love," says Cullinan. 

She remembers having confidence issues when she first became a fan because she didn't know too many other Star Wars fans and found it difficult to be outspoken about her love for the franchise. Since then, she has transformed into a proud fangirl who displays her fandom on social media. Prior to the release of The Force Awakens, Cullinan hosted a "365 Days of Star Wars" series on Twitter where she posted photos of anything and everything related to Star Wars. 

Cullinan and her friend Kay dressed as Rey at Joliet Public Library's Star Wars day.

"Star Wars comes from a community of people that works hard to create it for other people to enjoy. It represents that something good can come from something bad and to fight for what you believe and what is right. I'm really thankful for the people I've met and connected with over the years because of Star Wars," exclaims Cullinan.

You can find Megan Cullinan on Twitter at @MegZCull and watch her in the Kohl's Yes2You campaign HERE

All photos used with permission and courtesy of Megan Cullinan.

Giveaway

Jun 21, 2016
I'm hosting a giveaway that's exclusive to subscribers of my official newsletter. If you'd like to enter, all you have to do is click the Newsletter tab above, enter your email address, and that's it!

One subscriber will be randomly selected to win the prize pack below including 3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Tsum Tsums (Rey, BB-8, and Kylo Ren), a Rey action figure, 5 Force Awakens trading cards, and my personalized 501st Legion coin.

I will contact the winner via email on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Check your inbox that day to see if you won this one-of-a-kind giveaway prize pack.


Star Wars Costuming Comlinks: Tools, Materials, and Safety

Narrowing down the type of costume you want to build is a huge step. Once that's been done and you've planned your costume build, the next step to take is gather tools and materials. In addition to purchasing big pieces like a stormtrooper kit of armor, you will need tools to assemble the armor and materials to finish the pieces. Safety is another key element of creating a costume. Without taking steps to be safe, you could seriously injure yourself and cause permanent damage to your body.


Tools

Dremel. "This weapon is your life." No seriously, if you're building an armored costume, a Dremel will become your life and your best friend. These power rotary tools can cost anywhere from $50- $150 depending on the number of volts it uses. I have a Dremel 4000 and it has lasted several years through multiple projects. If you buy a lower powered Dremel, it could burn up after using it for an extended period of time on very thick plastic. Ideally, these tools are using for trimming off excess plastic on Stormtrooper armor, but they can be used for a wide variety of projects. The standard cutting wheel that comes with the Dremel is a staple that you will use on most projects. Other cutting bits can be used for drilling out holes in clone trooper helmets or creating slots for elastic to run through on a biker scout costume. 


Precision Knives. Different knives can be used for cutting masking tape, cutting leather, or even cutting plastic. Rather than using a Dremel to cut plastic, sometimes you can score the plastic with a knife and snap it off across the line you just cut. Investing in a box cutter with a strong blade will save you headaches when needing to shave off small pieces of plastic or trim masking tape for small corners of a helmet. I have a box cutter, X-Acto knife, and a kit of different precision knives to use for various projects. 

Sewing Machine. I'm not an expert when it comes to sewing machines, but I will say that if you're planning on doing a lot of sewing for your costume, invest in a high quality sewing machine. Dealing with heavy fabrics can get frustrating if you're using a cheap sewing machine that isn't strong enough to puncture or feed the fabric through the machine. Along with a sewing machine, you may need pins, fabric shears, and a cutting mat for all of your fabric costume needs. 

Heat Gun. If you're planning on reshaping plastic armor or Worbla, you may need to purchase a heat gun. This is basically a high-powered hair dryer that will heat up materials and make them softer in order for you to reshape them. I don't prefer a certain brand when it comes to heat guns, but definitely buy one with a long power cord or invest in an extension cord so you can move freely when using it. 


Using a Dremel to cut out the visor and teeth of a clone trooper helmet. 

Materials

Fabric. Fabric is obviously an important part when creating soft costumes. The type of fabric you will need depends on the costume you're making. Be aware of the weather you'll be wearing your costume in. If you live in a hot climate like I do, don't choose heavy or thick fabrics for your costume. Cotton fabric will absorb sweat while polyester will let sweat roll away from your body. Buying fabric on clearance or using coupons can save you a great deal of money for your overall costume budget. 

Glue. Armored costumes are usually glued together. For example, a clone trooper bicep piece actually comes as two halves that you need to glue together and then smooth down with Bondo. My favorite glue to use for these projects is CA glue, which is basically a much stronger version of super glue. This stuff can glue your skin together so be very careful when using it! This glue comes in different consistencies so be sure to get the thick kind if you don't want it running everywhere. You can also purchase a kicker spray for CA glue which makes it dry lightning fast. A little bit goes a long way with this stuff. Another glue you can use is E6000. It does not dry quickly, so invest in clamps to hold pieces in place while the glue dries. I personally don't use this glue because it takes a long time to dry and I find that it isn't very strong in the Florida heat/humidity. However, some people prefer it over CA glue so it might be wise to get both and try them on scrap pieces of plastic to see which one you like best. 

Bondo. Bondo is an all purpose body filler that is typically used for filling dings or scratches on vehicle exteriors, but it works really well when smoothing pieces of armored costumes. You can find this product at automotive and hardware stores for a low price. Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty is wonderful at filling tiny pin holes and fine lines in props or costumes. Bondo products are easy to sand and create a smooth surface for your paint to adhere to. 

Spray Paint. There are all sorts of spray paint brands to choose from, but I stick to two main brands- Rustoleum and Krylon. I prefer Rustoleum over Krylon because I feel like their paints adhere better to plastic in Florida's humidity, but sometimes I like Krylon's color choices more than any other brand. Be aware of finishes when buying spray paint. There are matte, satin, semi-gloss, and glossy paints to choose from. Most original trilogy armored costumes on the Imperial side have a glossy finish whereas troopers from The Clone Wars have a matte finish. Glossy paints can always be scuffed with a light grit sandpaper to look matte if you can't get that color in a matte finish. 

Masking Tape. Masking tape is great for taping off designs that you will paint. It's important to use painter's tape so that you don't peel off layers or primer or paint that has already been applied. If I'm doing a costume on a tight budget, I use blue painter's tape that you can purchase at any hardware store. If I have a little extra money to spend, I love using Frog Tape. This brand is excellent at preventing paint from bleeding under the tape. If you're trying to get a super sharp line on your paint, I would use Frog Tape. If you're planning on weathering the paint job and scuffing it up, using blue painters tape will do the job just fine. 


Safety

Safety is super important when building costumes! Please do not underestimate the dangers of building a costume, even if it's a small project. It doesn't take much time or effort to be careful. 

Safety Glasses. I can't even count the amount of times I've had bits of plastic fly into my eyes because I was trimming armor and my Dremel decided to spaz out while I wasn't wearing safety glasses. Do not make this mistake because it could cause permanent damage to your eyes. When Dremeling a piece of plastic, it only takes a split second for a chunk of plastic to come flying into your eyes and cause damage or even blindness. Safety glasses are cheap and lightweight so there's really no reason to not wear them. Grab a few pairs from the hardware store and make sure you always have some in your toolbox to throw on when working on armor. 

Gloves. There are different types of gloves for different projects. Thin latex gloves are great to wear when painting or using chemical products. I would suggest getting a box of throw away gloves to wear so that you don't get spray paint or chemical residue all over your fingers. Construction or garden gloves are a good idea to wear when using Dremels, knives, or any other sharp tools. I've seen people cut their fingers and be rushed to the hospital for stitches because they carelessly didn't wear gloves. Some garden gloves have rubber palms and finger pads so it's easier to grip and hold onto tools while wearing them. 

Here I am wearing a mask, glasses, and a hat to keep plastic shavings out of my lungs, eyes, and hair.
Masks. Sanding and painting are two big elements of building a costume that could seriously hurt your lungs. There are different kinds of protective masks to wear while painting and sanding so that you don't inhale dust or chemicals. Always spray paint in a well ventilated area and wear a mask to keep your lungs safe. 

Proper Clothing. Much like wearing safety glasses, your body needs to be safe too. If you're cutting plastic or using sharp tools, make sure you're wearing the proper clothing. Jeans and a long sleeve shirt will protect your legs and arms from cuts or scrapes.

If you have questions about any of these tools or materials, feel free to send me an email at savannaakiefer@gmail.com or tweet me @Savanna_Kiefer

Dorky Diva of the Week: Skyler B.

Jun 17, 2016
Skyler B., a 17-year-old girl who resides in Orlando, Florida, has expressed her longtime love of Star Wars by creating highly detailed costumes from a galaxy far, far away. She and her mother share their passion for Star Wars and celebrate their fandom together through cosplay.

For as long as she can recall, Skyler has been a Star Wars fan. The Phantom Menace and A New Hope were two of her favorite movies to watch while growing up. Star Wars played a huge part in her life from a young age as she played with action figures, video games, and creating her own costumes.

Skyler and her brother at Disney's Star Wars Weekends when she was only six years old.

Her costume endeavors started in May 2013 when she received tickets to her first convention, Philadelphia Comic Con, for her fourteenth birthday. She was new to the world of cosplay, but decided to piece together a costume of Chell from Portal 2. During the convention, she was surprised that people asked to get photos of her, since she had never experienced a sci-fi convention before. In November of 2014, she started creating large scale costumes and diving head first into the world of cosplay.

Skyler debuted her handcrafted Queen Amidala's senate gown at MegaCon in May 2016. This beast of a costume was started in November 2015 and took over 100 hours of work- 40 of which were completely dedicated to the headpiece alone. She found that searching for reference images was difficult, but eventually found resources like Padawan's Guide, The Rebel Legion, and Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars by Trisha Biggar to use for this project.

Skyler's beautiful creation of Queen Amidala's senate gown.

"The largest obstacle I ran into while making the costume was the amount of non-purchasable fabrics, trims, and accessories. A lot of the cosplay had to be hand created- including the ruched panels on the back and sides, roses on the back, orange-gold trim fabric, braided gold trim, beading on the under dress, and the pleated panel of the under dress," explains Skyler.

Some of Skyler's other Star Wars costumes include Queen Amidala's Theed throne room gown from The Phantom Menace and Padme's torn Geonosian outfit from Attack of the Clones.


Adrienne, Skyler's mom who also dresses up from time to time, has been a Star Wars fan ever since she saw original trilogy as a child. She sometimes helps Skyler with her enormous costume projects. When they worked on Amidala's senate gown, they wrestled over 10 years of velvet through the sewing machine together. She treasures the time they spend together on such a fun and creative hobby.

"Cosplaying with my daughter is always a fantastic experience and I can honestly say it's been one of my favorite things to do. Even though we've been doing this for a relatively short time, we've already created so many happy, funny, and crazy memories," says Adrienne.

Skyler and her mom Adrienne after winning Best Group Entry in MegaCon 2016's costume contest.

Skyler's future costume plans include Sabe's black decoy gown from The Phantom Menace, Padme's lake dress from Attack of the Clones, and possibly Padme's meadow dress from Attack of the Clones. She's also looking forward to the new Star Wars films and hopes to one day create a costume from the new movies.

To see photos of the cosplay creating process and follow more of Skyler's costuming adventures, follow her on Instagram @SkyCosplays.

Skyler in her Queen Amidala Theed throne room cosplay. Photo by Eddie Brown- Papanotzzi.

All photos used with permission and courtesy of Skyler B.

Star Wars Costuming Comlinks: Research and Planning

Jun 14, 2016
After deciding which costume is suitable for your body type and budget, the next steps to take are researching and planning your costume build. Creating a costume can get overwhelming very quickly and sometimes you might feel like no progress is being made. However, if you research and plan your costume properly, all of these hiccups and discouragement can be avoided.


Research

Do your own research first. Don't waste anyone's time asking a question until you've done a little bit of research on your own. If you still can't find the answer, that's probably a good sign that the question hasn't been asked a hundred times. While asking questions can be a great way to get information on building a costume, you don't want to be that one guy that always asks the rookie questions. Some questions are explained very thoroughly online and it only takes a little bit of research to discover the answers to your inquiries. Never feel like your question is a dumb one, but be sure to do a little digging before asking someone else for help.

Gather reference images. In order to create an accurate costume, you'll need to compile a collection of reference images of the costume you'd like to replicate. The best way to gather these images is to screen-shot scenes from the movie or television show where the costume appears. Books can also be a great source for accurate photos of the costumes. I highly recommend Star Wars Costumes and Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars if the costume you're building was featured in one of the Star Wars films. The photos featured in these books are highly-detailed and were taken of screen-used costumes.

An example of my reference photos for a Sabine Wren costume.

Dorky Diva of the Week: Jenmarie

Jun 10, 2016
Jenmarie, a 30-year-old Californian, was always known as the "Star Wars Girl" among friends when she was growing up. Never ashamed of her fandom, she proudly displays her love for Star Wars through fashion and a number of outlets online, including her popular blog- Anakin and His Angel.

Raised by parents who enjoyed watching Star Wars, Jenmarie had always been exposed to certain scenes of the original trilogy but didn't have her own revelation until seeing A New Hope during it's special edition re-release in 1997. She was an instant fan of iconic characters like Han Solo and Darth Vader while falling in love with the movie's breathtaking costumes and musical score.

Jenmarie posing with a LEGO poster at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California.
"The original films inspired me to be Princess Leia while making up my own Star Wars stories with my siblings and collect anything I could get my hands on, but it wasn't until after seeing The Phantom Menace that I truly became a hardcore Star Wars fan," says Jenmarie.

Just as the title of her blog suggests, Jenmarie is an avid fan of Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. Anakin and His Angel was founded in 2000 and originally served as a place for Star Wars fans to get the latest news, interact together, and read articles about Anakin and Padme. After Revenge of the Sith left theaters, her blog's posts switched over to a Facebook page format. It wasn't until the announcement of The Force Awakens that she decided to start posting on Anakin and His Angel regularly again. Her blog now features posts about galactic news, collecting tidbits, and style inspiration while still spotlighting her favorite Star Wars couple.

Star Wars Costuming Comlinks: Body and Budget

Jun 8, 2016
"I want to build a Star Wars costume, but I have no idea where to begin!" There's no right or wrong way to begin a costume build, but there are two key factors that will determine which costume you can make- body type and budget. Once you figure out both of those factors, you'll be ready to move onto the next phase of creating a costume.


Body Type

First and foremost, The Dorky Diva is a non-discrimination zone. This segment will not be criticizing shape, size, or anything that makes you special and awesome. Each body is different and beautiful in it's own way! With that being said, body type is a really important topic to discuss when choosing a costume.

It's imperative that you understand your proportions and curves to know what costumes will fit you and which costumes may need to be modified. For example, a fully armored costume (stormtroopers, clone troopers, etc.) would not work for my body type because I am not tall enough to have accurate proportions. My short torso and legs don't leave enough room for the chest plate, ab plate, thigh, and shin armor of a fully armored costume to fit properly together. Here's a little cheat sheet to determine if you're a good candidate for a fully armored costume.


If you're in the 5'8" and under category and still want to create a costume with armor pieces, consider characters like biker scouts, TIE pilots, Sabine Wren, and Boba Fett. All of these characters have helmets, chest armor, and other armored pieces on their body while still mixing in a flight suit or under clothing of some kind to flex with their shape.

Coming Soon: Star Wars Costuming Comlinks

Jun 7, 2016
Stay tuned for a new series on The Dorky Diva called Star Wars Costuming Comlinks where I will be divulging all my knowledge, advice, and tricks on creating  your very own Star Wars costume. I've built many different Star Wars costumes ranging from clone troopers to biker scouts to Jedi. The first part of this series will cover how to choose a costume for your body, budget, and skill set. Then I will get into all the details of planning and researching how to create your character. Finally, I will give advice on how to modify armor, sewing patterns, and store bought items to complete your costume. Check back tomorrow for the first post because this is where the fun begins.


Dorky Diva of the Week: Johnamarie Macias

Jun 3, 2016
Johnamarie Macias, a bubbly 29-year-old Puerto Rico native who's grounded herself in New York City, is never seen without a smile that gleams as bright as the twin suns of Tatooine and has a sweet soul full of passion for Star Wars.

"Star Wars, to me, is imagination at its best. One person dreamed up a galaxy, took us along for the ride and the ride just keeps on going. It’s an escape to a far-off place filled with unlimited possibilities where an ordinary person, whether they’re a farm boy or a scavenger, can change the galaxy," remarks Macias.

Captain Rex from Star Wars: The Clone Wars captured Macias's heart.
Introduced to Star Wars at a young age, Macias remembers Star Wars: A New Hope as a classic movie that she would watch whenever it was played on the television. Her mom and uncle were also fans of the franchise, which helped cultivate her interest in the Star Wars universe, but she didn't find a true passion for the saga until a little later in life. 

"It wasn’t until the prequel films and the debut of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars feature film in theaters that I found myself back in the galaxy far, far away," says Macias.

She found herself attracted to Star Wars because it opened up her imagination as a child and continues to inspire her to dream up her own stories today. Macias notes that she was never great at verbally communicating her thoughts while growing up, but her involvement in the Star Wars podcasting community has helped her feel more comfortable in voicing her opinions out loud.


Macias uses her website called The Wookiee Gunner as a platform to write about her favorite aspects of Star Wars. She's also involved in three different collaborative podcasts: Rebels Chat, Galactic Fashion, and Hangin' with Team Kanan.

Coming Soon: Dorky Diva of the Week

Jun 2, 2016
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Star Wars fan is getting to meet other people who share the same passion as you. The Star Wars fan community is indescribable. Many of the men and women I've met through Star Wars have inspired me to proudly display my love for this galaxy far, far away. After noticing that many of my fangirl friends run amazing Star Wars inspired blogs, Youtube channels, and podcasts, I thought it was finally my turn to give back to the fan community. I'm pleased to announce that in the next month, The Dorky Diva will be hosting a feature on a different Star Wars fangirl each week.

Before a bunch of men start asking why I'm not including them in this new project, let me just say, I love my guy friends that are Star Wars fans! However, I've chosen to keep this weekly feature centralized around women because I wish I had known other girls who were into Star Wars when I was growing up. Women tend to compare themselves to each other and tear one another down, which is totally not okay. My hope is that with each week, my readers will be able to celebrate fangirls and make new friends, whether they are male or female.


Her Universe's "Fangirl of the Day" inspired me to bring female fans together and create my own special project. In these weekly features, readers will learn about a fangirl and the impact she's left on the Star Wars fan community. My mission with these weekly posts is to celebrate what it means to be a female Star Wars fan, discuss the challenges we've overcome, and inspire future generations of Star Wars fans. Stay tuned for the first Dorky Diva of the Week. Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed (@Savanna_Kiefer) in the coming weeks. I will be asking for YOU to get involved with this project. It doesn't matter if you're a cosplayer, collector, blogger, student, stay at home mother, or anything else. If you love Star Wars and want to share your passion, I want to feature you! 

MegaCon 2016 Recap

Jun 1, 2016
Over the past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending one of the nation's largest sci-fi conventions, MegaCon, in Orlando, Florida. In past years, I've attended MegaCon as a regular guest, but this year was a little different. The Florida Garrison of the 501st Legion was in need of members to volunteer at their booth during the four-day event so I signed up as an exhibitor to help my garrison. MegaCon was full of amazing highlights including celebrity guests, panels, and tons of wonderful cosplayers showing off their latest work. Keep reading to hear about my favorite elements at MegaCon 2016. 

Lemmy the Luggabeast
Tal'ama Parqual! If you're a fan of The Force Awakens, then you may remember a very special scene when Rey finds and rescues BB-8 from his captor, Teedo. In this scene, Teedo is riding a peculiar organic and mechanical creature called a Luggabeast. The folks at Pizzazz Scenic Contractors, the same company that made Roxy the Rancor, turned this creature into an 8-foot tall, 13-foot long life size prop and debuted him at MegaCon. Fans of Roxy the Rancor's Facebook page were asked to vote for her new little brother's name. The Luggabeast's name, Lemmy, was announced on Saturday night. MegaCon attendees were welcome to take photos with Roxy and Lemmy during the show while some special attendees, including myself, were even invited to sit on Lemmy for a photo opportunity. 


Cosplayers 
There was no shortage of Star Wars costumes at MegaCon. It was my personal mission to snap photos of every Star Wars costume I saw, which quickly turned into an impossible task due to the abundance of cosplayers everywhere. One of my favorite moments was seeing a group of women that dressed as General Leia Organa, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Rey, and Padme Amidala. There were tons of ladies cosplaying as Rey with different versions of her costume including her debut scene with the head wraps and googles as well as her final costume in The Force Awakens with her vest and Luke's lightsaber. Several men were even cosplaying as Rey, which really goes to show that her character is loved by all genders. Couples were dressed together as Han and Leia, Hera and Kanan, and of course, Anakin and Padme. 


Celebrities
While MegaCon had a plethora of non-Star Wars related celebrities at the show to meet and greet with fans, they also had a few well-known guests from a galaxy far, far away. Anthony Daniels who played C-3PO in all seven films, Jeremy Bulloch who portrayed Boba Fett in the original trilogy, Daniel Logan who played young Boba Fett in Episode II and voiced him in The Clone Wars, and James Arnold Taylor who voiced Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Clone Wars were all in attendance. They signed autographs for fans and participated in panels for MegaCon visitors to hear stories about their experiences working on Star Wars. 

Merchandise
The exhibit hall of MegaCon was covered with vendors selling all forms of Star Wars merchandise. ANOVOS was showing off their latest products including the replica Captain Phasma helmet, Rey costume, and Kylo Ren costume. I spotted Black Series action figures left and right- even a few Ahsoka Tano figures which have been difficult to find in stores. Artist Alley featured some stunning pieces from artists of all ages. I snagged a one-of-a-kind Star Wars comic with Rey sketched on the cover by Danny Haas and a vibrant Ponda Baba print from Mike Maydak. While these pieces of artwork were absolutely beautiful, my favorite purchase at MegaCon was a gold necklace from It's a Steel featuring the Jedi emblem and two sparkly crystals on each side. 


If you are a Star Wars fan, you would have loved MegaCon 2016. I highly recommend this convention to all fans of sci-fi and pop culture. MegaCon will return to Florida in the city of Tampa soon so keep an eye on www.megaconvention.com for more details.