It all started back on Oct. 31, 2019. I took my then 8-year-old little girl out trick-or-treating. We live in Snoqualmie, WA, and the community puts on an annual event called “Happiest Halloween,” with various characters from pop culture. The idea is that your child can take photos with their favorite characters while they go trick-or-treating.
I talked to the guy who directs and manages this event and asked if he needed any more Star Wars characters. He said absolutely! I told him of my obsession with Boba Fett and how it was always a dream to make a screen-accurate costume based on his Return of the Jedi appearance.
After a year of hard work researching, painting and assembly, I was ready. As everyone knows, COVID hit us during this time. So, this hobby kept my mind off it. Thankfully when hobby stores opened up, I was able to secure the paints needed to complete this project.
The armor is all made from molded ABS plastic (just like in the movie). The flight suit and soft pieces came from a master seamstress and propmaker who sells these suits from her home in California. The boots came from another source, as did many of the other pieces. In short, you cannot simply buy this costume in any store. Well, you can, but it won’t look like what you see on the big screen.
For 2020, the “Happiest Halloween” show was a drive-thru experience and met with an enormous crowd. The show went on from 6 to 8 p.m. and eventually had to turn cars away.
After some minor revisions, I had a buddy photographer friend of mine do a little photo shoot of me on St. Patty’s Day … in an effort to wear something green? We went to a local park about two blocks from my home and the kids at the park went nuts!
And so, how much did all of this set me back?! At the time of this writing, I’ve got just about $5,000 invested. Yes, my wife thought I was crazy and, me being 46, thought it was a mid-life crisis. But it was — and still is — fun to work on it.
When I first suited up for my wife and daughter at our home, they were blown away! Even when walking up to the event on Halloween last year to meet with the other participants, it felt like I was a Disneyland character walking around — the folks wearing other costumes couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Seems I raised the bar a little, eh?
All images contributed by Matt Walsh