Jacen Solo – Star Wars: Expanded Universe/Star Wars: Legends
I didn't know a thing about the Star Wars EU until I met Heather. She introduced me to the wide cast of misfits and untold journeys across many books, the likes of which I would have never imagined! In said books I learned that Han and Leia produced some Jedi children that would embark on such journeys, the oldest son (and Heather's favorite, of course) being Jacen Solo. He wasn't exactly a gallant knight though. More of an awkward nature boy with a repertoire of dad jokes. Heather was quick to point out the similarities between us despite insisting that my jokes weren't THAT dadly (although they really are). His love for all animals is something I also share, so it was natural to explore the costume possibilities. And boy, were there some possibilities: from silly kid to snake-armored wizard to straight-up Sith!
"How many of you does it take to kill someone you call a coward?"
Nate: Ah Traitor Jacen, my Magnum Opus. Mostly on account of my wonderful amphistaffs and not the raggedy nature-boy garb. I spent quite a while looking for the perfect solution to create these magic armor snakes that could be bent easily but keep their shape while in place. Not surprisingly I found the black metal flexi-tubing used for the amphistaff bodies at a hardware store. The rest was created with common craft materials and a bit of puppet humor: paper clay, wonderflex, duct tape, beads, and irridescent paint (thanks for the great idea with the paint mom!). I have always been fascinated by snakes since I was a kid, so its no surprise I enjoyed studying them again to make the amphistaffs look plausible. Although with not a lot of canon source material, I could have made them look like bananas if I wanted to. Really long bananas. At least I wouldn't starve trapped on Yuuzhan'tar.
Nate: Let the jumpsuit montage commence! As you might have guessed, the Solo kids (and most of the NJO crew) are donning pretty standard jumpsuits. Why? It's space man! You wouldn't want your pants and shirt floating in opposite directions would you? I don't think so. But seriously, the real highlight of this photoset is the green lightsaber, courtesy of Ultrasabers! Also the weather for making my hair look much more dramatic than otherwise possible.
Nate: I think I was spoiled on the origin of Darth Caedus before I had even finished the Young Jedi Knights series. The tragic tale of Jacen Solo had some cool upsides though, such as aquiring a red lightsaber, fire-orange contacts, and a badass cloak! Just like the green lightsaber, this one came from Ultrasabers. The contacts were from an Asian import store, on account of not requiring a prescription to order them (yes, in the U.S. you need a prescription even for novelty/fashion contacts!). The cloak was handmade, but not by me! Back in the day, Etsy had a service called Alchemy where you could place a wanted ad on hand-made-to-order pieces. Sellers would bid on your ad and you could chose the one you wanted. It was awesome and I never would have gotten such a great cloak for a great price if not for it. Anyhow, between ebay and good ole fashioned Michael's, I had a Sith costume!
Nate: The secret to this slightly pre-Caedus costume is that, perhaps to no one's surprise, I'm reusing my Caedus jumpsuit! And probably the boots and belt as well. And of course you've seen the green lightsaber above... not much to say then is there? I'm quite fond of the look and fit of the black jumpsuit though. I believe I snagged that one at a military surplus store.
Nate: What happens when you put a group of force practicing teenagers on a ship, reveal a hideous alien race that wants to wipe out the galaxy, and tell them to get cracking? Enter the NJO Strike Team! As you can see we're in jumpsuit land again, but with the addition of some fancy all-atmosphere breath masks. Not shown are some home-made thermal detonators. Who doesn't love the smell of burning in the morning?
Nate: Hey look! It's actually a two piece, not a jumpsuit! Back in his youngin' days Jacen put on his pants before his shirt... well... probably. As much as I enjoyed acting like a youthful nature boy, this costume will always be infamous for being the one other time I had gotten a tick since early childhood. Yes, I suspect that had more do to with trying to go full shoeless nature boy rather than the outfit itself. But it didn't make me less salty... ticks are gross.
Nate: Last jumpsuit guys, I promise! Actually this may have been the first jumpsuit I bought, which explains why it fits so poorly. I was practically bursting out of the seams every time I got into it. On the plus side, it's a genuine aviator jumpsuit and looks quite nice (with the sleeves rolled up and tucked into boots). The green goes well with the Dark Nest series theme... cause you know, bugs! At least I didn't get a tick in this outfit.