So my daughter decided as long ago as last year that she wanted to incorporate her pooch into her Halloween costume for this year. It was either her as Han Solo and the pup as Chewie or her as Leia on Endor and the dog as Wicket, the Ewok. For some reason I thought it would be easier to make a Han Solo outfit and definitely easier to make a Chewie bandolier for the dog than a whole Ewok getup.
It’s never as easy as you think.
The basics were not hard. Tight blue pants, black boots, a natural colored long sleeved shirt and a dark vest. I got red fabric paint and painted on the red stripe design on the pants. But then you gotta have the holster and blaster. A replica Han Solo blaster can be had online from anywhere around $50 to $75. No thanks. There’s a toy one online for around $10 but it was white and orange. So I ordered it, sanded it and spray painted it black.
One funny moment was when I was in the hardware store looking at spray paint options (some are better with plastic than others). I asked a random dude walking by (not an employee), “Do you think Han Solo’s blaster would be flat black or glossy black?” He said any gun would probably be glossy. Thanks for the input random dude!
It looked great but it was bigger than your average toy gun. It’s bigger than your average gun in general. So it needed a custom holster. I lucked out on a yard or so of super sale priced brown vinyl at a fabric shop. I wasn’t even really looking for it. I was getting supplies to make the pooch a Chewbacca bandolier. I wasn’t even sure what I would do with the vinyl but knew it might work somehow.
The other piece of luck I had was an enthusiastic friend with a portable sewing machine. So after much Google image searching of Han’s holster my friend, wife and I came up with a design and she sewed it on the fly. Even added a brass button and a holder for her little flashlight which, if you look closely at the real Han holster is very similar to some cylindrical object he has on him as well. The actual hip slung belt of the holster is from one of my wife’s backpacks. The removeable and adjustable strap made the perfect shape and we made the holster in such a way to slide over it without damage. It turned out relatively awesome as you can see. The Chewie bandolier is a long brown ribbon. Then I cut up white iron-on patches into rectangular strips and ironed them on into an approximation of Chewbacca’s artillery. It’s sewn around a collar, wrapped around the dog’s body, then velcroed to itself. It stayed on all night and didn’t seem to restrict her movement or bother her at all. The funny thing was that when my daughter would go up to a house to trick-or-treat with a gaggle of other kids it was the dog/Chewie folks would recognize first, then realize who my daughter was dressed as.
Her buddy’s mom seemed to do just as well with her Black Widow outfit. She even had fingerless black gloves and black painted plastic bullets glued around bands that went around both wrists giving her that Black Widow wrist thingee look. The two of them made a couple of awesome badasses if I say so myself.
I like that the costumes are close but not perfect representations of the originals. They’re their own versions of those characters which makes them somehow more authentic. Plus they were fun to make and the kids loved them. Not die hard cosplaying but not store-bought generic either.
I was a bit chapped at a guy online whose daughter also decided to be a girl Han Solo and dress her dog up as Chewie. This dad also went as Princess Leia and the pictures of them went viral last month. I’m not mad or anything. I just got that feeling you get when the person who orders right before you do in the restaurant orders the same thing you want so when the waiter gets to you, you seem less original even though for all you know you decided first.
But to be fair my daughter didn’t ask me to go as Princess Leia and I think that’s the real reason you’ve probably seen those pictures. I totally would have done the Princess Leia thing and even considered it. Back in the 90s before I had a kid or was even married I went to a Star Wars themed party dressed as a funny version of Leia with actual bagels strapped to my head. But I’d done that and my daughter didn’t ask and I didn’t post pictures of her early on so there you go. And I gotta say, that dad and his daughter look delightful.
And remember how she considered going as Leia from Return of the Jedi? The one wearing the helmet, camo, and hanging with the Ewok? The children’s author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi’s daughter decided to do that this year too. He went as a Jedi and made her an incredible and wearable speeder. You can find it on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. I would have made her the outfit and the dog into an Ewok but would have never even thought to make a speeder and certainly wouldn’t have been able to pull off the amazing job he did. Check it out if you can.
Now to think of something awesome for next year…