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Cosplayers influenced the costume design in Star Wars animated shows

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Fans impacting the creative process


One of the big panels this afternoon at Star Wars Celebration was Dave Filoni: Animated Origins and Unexpected Fates. Filoni, the supervisor on Clone Wars and Rebels, and Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo spoke about the origins of Lucasfilm’s animated shows. During the presentation, Filoni revealed an interesting tidbit: cosplayers helped the creators improve the show.

Filoni dropped the remarks as an entire line of Clone Troopers and characters from two animated shows filed into the room to stand before Filoni and Hidalgo. The troopers were members of The 501st Legion, a worldwide costuming group, who came onstage to present Filoni with some swag.

“I love this, you have no idea,” Filoni said as the troopers arrived. “I love the cosplay. To draw something on a piece of paper one day, and then a year or so later to have it come up to you and say hello — boom.” That interaction had a direct impact on the design of the TV shows. “I give a tremendous amount of thought to the costumes, and it’s something we were able to improve in part, especially on characters like Ahsoka, knowing that so many people were out there wearing that costume.”

Seeing the costumes in person forced them to focus on making sure that the costume designs were realistic, functional, and ultimately wearable. “I want to get it right, because I want you guys to have fun wearing this stuff.”

This is a pretty interesting interaction to witness (speaking as one of the cosplayers who’s built several sets of armor), because it shows off the reciprocal relationship that Star Wars fans have with the franchise. The sheer dedication of fans can circle back in instances such as this and impact the very thing that they’re fans of. In this instance, it’s the costumes, which helped create better new costumes for fans to make.