Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Recently, Holly and I – and Julia! – made it to the “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibit, traveling around from the Smithsonian. It was a lot of fun with a lot of great pieces. They were clearly aiming for a wide audience and don’t seem to have been too snooty about the subject matter, either, which is nice.

I took a ton of pictures, and decided that pictures would be a fun way to do this post, rather than very much of me writing. Sorry about that, if this post is taking a long time to load for you… and in the comments, if there are any other pictures you want to see, might be I have them!

Iconic Characters

One of the great things from the exhibit is just seeing the costumes from all the great iconic characters.

Along with about 30 costumes for Queen Amidala. We’re thinking we’ll rewatch all of Star Wars soon… seriously, I’m going to watch for all those new outfits in every scene. It’s a thing.

They even had Rey and Finn! And other stuff from Force Awakens. That was cool to see!


So one thing I learned from the exhibit is that there is a name for all the various accessories and pieces on the characters in the Star Wars films, and the word is “greeblies.” I hadn’t really noticed them before someone made a meme of it, showing them all over characters from Rogue One saying basically “we get it, you smoke,” since so many look like cigar holders. Now I see… they’re on just about everyone!

And they provided some examples:

There’s the dark side equivalent, I suppose, but that has its roots in fascist military attire.

One of the other greeblie-like facts we found out that blew our minds was that an aesthetic vision George Lucas had was that the audience shouldn’t see any fasteners, zippers, etc. It’s just not part of the Star Wars universe. And that made us stop, and think, and realize it’s true – and impressive.

Concept Sketches

I loved the various concept sketches and scene art throughout the exhibit, as well. Seeing some of the early visions of the characters was fascinating, because they weren’t all close to where they ended up. A lot of things also end up happening because of practicality, which, the practical effects of Star Wars are one of the series strengths.

Also, Jedi fights are awesome. It is known.

Final Word

Oh, I should include this picture, as well. So’s ya know.

2 responses to “Star Wars and the Power of Costume

  1. I saw this exhibit last year in New York, it was awesome. It makes such a difference to see costumes like this up close, to see what the materials are like and also how tiny some of the outfits are — while others are huge!


    • Oh man, the materials were so interesting! Like the Jedi robes, which were in theory drab and simple, but were in practice silk and other fine things! It had to be for the movement and all they needed out of it.


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