Star Wars in the Middle-Ages

Star Wars in the Middle-Ages

Does sudden inspiration ever strike you at the strangest of times? I was in the workshop last month working on a project with one of our team members, Sarah, when two words that I had heard together for years finally clicked. They were, “Jedi Knights”.

Of course, we all know what Jedi Knights are: the light-saber-wielding warrior-monks from Star Wars. But, “Knights”! I can do Knights! That’s what we do at Fell and Fair!

Working mainly in medieval and fantasy costuming, we rarely have the chance to do any Sci-Fi stuff. But then, let’s be honest, Star Wars is not really Sci-Fi. Despite spaceships and interplanetary travel, there is actually very little science in Star Wars. Rather it is an operatic space fantasy.

I mean, a story about a monastic order of Knights who go around saving princesses, defending the weak, rescuing slaves and trying to overthrow a Dark Lord sounds a lot more like a medieval fantasy than anything else.   

So, with those thoughts clicking away in my head, and receiving massive verbal support from Sarah to whom I had poured out my idea, a plan began to form.

I wanted to do a medieval-twist on these famous characters. Some of the steps were simple. The Jedi robes can easily be done in linen. So I began researching color palettes and I selected an array of brown, tan and natural linen for the job. The choice of linen was simple. While the films often used wool, linen has a natural fall and suppleness that I wanted to achieve in my own Knight’s garb. To achieve a sense of layering and volume to the lighter, and less dense, linen, I chose to allow the edges of the garments to fray just a bit. This gave us distinct lines between the layers of the garment.

The Jedi tunic and robe patterns were available in many variations online so I picked a few and modified them a bit for our own purposes. For two of the outfits, we used heavy and middleweight Ginger with Potting Soil accents. This provided a good base-tone to add armor on top of.

I really love ginger because it complements literally everything!

We also added a Graphite cape to the female version of the Jedi robes.

We made a set out of a Natural, as well. I was afraid this was going to be too light for a while, but it ended up looking great!

For the large and impressive master’s robe, we used a whopping 9 yards of Chocolate heavyweight linen!

And, of course, the Sith are as important as the Jedi to the story! So we went to heavyweight Black to give the villains their proper tone.

The armor and weapons were a bit more tricky as we wanted to create look that reminded us of Jedi and clone armor, without looking like the     plastic-ish armor from the movies. We started working on painted steel armor (a technique used to add flair and prevent rust in the middle ages) a few months back, so I figured this was a great place to start.

We imitated a few clone-armor paint schemes as well as adding the Jedi emblem to all the shoulders.

And of course the bad guy had to have cool armor too!

How would the Jedi have lived and worked in our own middle-ages? My guess would be something like the order of the Hospitallers.

Perhaps guarding pilgrim roads, settling disputes between kingdoms, lending aid in putting down evil warlords and fending off foreign invaders.

But- who really knows? However they would have acted, we know they would have not lacked for flair and cool armor!

A special thanks to the Fell & Fair team, especially Will and Thomas who helped with the armor build and Sarah Koch for doing hair for us! Also to Fabrics-Store.com for helping make this adventure possible!

Credit to Ian Campbell and Nicolas Bruno for the photos and editing!

Have you made Star Wars or medieval outfits? Maybe both? Tell us about them!

As always, we love to hear from you so let us know what you think so we can produce more of what you want.

 

8 comments

  1. Jedi Kai-Thri Ona

    This is wonderful! That’s why I costume as a Jedi in The Rebel Legion. I’m a Peer (equivalent to Knight) in the SCA and have loads of early period garb.

    I get my linen for my Jedi garb from fabric-store.com! The writer says that in the movies they used wool but that’s not quite correct.. It was a linen like fabric called khadi.. woven specially for them in India (Yes, I’m a geek and I own the massive tome, “Dressing the Galaxy”). There IS wool in the over robes. Gives me an idea to switch out my self made but movie-accurate Jedi belt for a longer one with the “knight’s knot” as shown here.

    Link to some Jedi tutorials on my site: http://kaithriona.blogspot.com/p/jedi.html

    This is very creative!

  2. Janet Baker

    I have not made the costumes, I rather made a science fiction novel in which true Catholics set out for a hidden asteroid in which they can re-establish the wonderfully independent small-land ownership system of pre-modern times and crown a king using a coronation mass from the 10th century. Run, the middle ages future adventure, https://malapertpress.wordpress.com

  3. Valerie

    Love it! As a long-time member of the SCA, I’ve made plenty of Medieval outfits. And as a lifelong nerd, I can definitely appreciate your fusion of these two geek fandoms. Great job!

  4. Pepita

    Oh my I would love the source of your patterns please. I’m just beginning a new life at 67 after the passing of my wonderful husband. I’m going to REN Faires with my twin boys.

    1. Elizabeth Dianne Lanning

      Good for you! Burda has a pretty good medieval pattern, and The Big Three have some Renaissance patterns, especially this time of year, approaching Halloween. With the internet, the information is so much more available than it was in the 1960’s when I started trying to research costume history. If you can, get the Janet Arnold books because they are existant garments laid out and measured as patterns. Accuracy is assured. There are other books, but one will lead to another, and you’ll find ways to individualize garments within period paradigms. ONE HINT: I am 69, and I’ve worn corsets lots, not much anymore. My advice for Ren Fair is to first make a Spanish surcoat, so if you can’t face the boning in the AM, you have a comfortable option. As long as you’ve got the properly shaped hoops, and maybe a bumroll, you can enjoy the faire and breath too! All the best on your adventures!

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