What The Subtle Costume Changes Could Mean In The Last Jedi
Warning: May Contain Spoilers For The Last Jedi
I, like many other geeks out there, have been blown away by the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi. Seriously, my jaw dropped half way through the movie, and I could not pick it back up again.
As a long-time fan of the Star Wars universe, from my undying love of the original trilogy, my shameless defense of the prequels, and my almost endless consumption of the books, TV series, and spin off movies, I can say that The Last Jedi might be my new favorite.
While I was engrossed in the films, I did notice the subtle costume changes with each of the main characters (Finn, Rey, and Kylo) that resemble the original cast (Han, Luke, and Vader). More than simply a nod to the original characters, it’s a reminder of how the franchise has grown and developed since its creation. It shows the influence the original characters have, not only on the new cast, but also on the fans who have grown with them.
Finn : Han Solo
Finn as Han Solo is probably the most obvious of all the costume changes. While keeping the leather jacket that Poe Dameron gave him (because friendship goals), he has upped his wardrobe game with a similar open v-neck shirt, belt, and blaster. Finn in The Last Jedi looks like a cross between Han Solo and Indiana Jones, which is never a bad thing. Clearly Finn was deeply influenced by Han from the very brief time that he knew him, because who wouldn’t be? He’s Han Solo!
Finn is also the perfect person to fill the Solo shoes of the franchise. Like Han, Mr. “Big Deal” is not above telling a little white lie to get himself out of a situation and is very skeptical of the whole “Rebellion.” We even see his desire for the finer things in life in The Last Jedi when he visits the Canto Bight casino with Rose and is awestruck by all the money and wonder there, easily able to picture him trying his luck at one of tables. Also, three potential love interests in the series already? Classic playboy Solo.
However, unlike Han, Finn is more than just a badass foil with some great one-liners. Finn has a depth that we find lacking in Han’s character (at least in the movies). Finn lived his whole life as a stormtrooper, taught only to follow orders and not even given a real name. Then, at his first chance of freedom, he makes a daring escape and learns that he can be more than just a clone. His backstory and his struggle to find a place in this new world makes his storyline more interesting and his fight scene with Captain Phasma all the more compelling.
Rey : Luke Skywalker
After The Force Awakens came out, there was a huge fan theory that Rey was Luke’s daughter. Though that turned out not to be the case (breathe easy Reylo shippers), the similarity between Rey’s look and Luke’s are staggering: from the white outfits to the brown belt and boots and, of course, the light saber. Rey has a more updated look, taking off the bulky sleeves that admittedly would be terrible to have in a real Jedi duel and replacing them with long arm warmers.
Rey is the new Jedi in the cast, but the similarities between the two Jedi knights go deeper. Both are from “nowhereville” planets who want more out of life, both have no idea who their real parents are, and both tried to save someone from the dark side. In Rey we see just what the force is and how it can pull you from one extreme to another. Her journey with the force (and her fear of it) is a more human take than we see in the original movies and the prequels. If Rey is anything like Luke, I’m predicting that in the next movie she’ll be dressed in all black, and I cannot wait to see it.
Kylo Ren : Darth Vader
At first I hesitated to add Kylo and Darth to the list because their connection is so obvious and was already covered in The Force Awakens. We see similarities in the mask, the long flowing hair, the cape, the all black, and the fact that they both probably listen to the space version of My Chemical Romance. However, in The Last Jedi we see Kylo become even more like his grandfather. This is especially obvious after uncovering his backstory in the Jedi temple school, which is eerily similar to how Anakin went to the dark side. We also see the similar placement of their scars and the fact that legit every Skywalker has lost a hand. It’s only a matter of time before Kylo enters full robot mode, for “edginess.”
However, the viewers are still not sure if Kylo is truly evil or not. Luke and Leia have given up on him, but Rey has her doubts if he is truly gone. Anakin’s “love” drove him towards the dark side, but could Ben’s “love” for Rey drive him to the light? Or will he just screw it up like a classic Skywalker? So many questions…
As Kylo Ren put it,"Let old things die." As we take off in a galaxy far far away with our new cast of heroes, we can feel a new sense of hope, even when the odds are slim. While it may seem like the franchise is moving on, the costumes show a small wink to the audience and the nostalgia of the original films that the fans have looked up to for decades. It’s that nostalgia that keeps the fans coming back for more.
Ellen Ricks is a freelance writer, bibliophile, fashion blogger, and Hufflepuff living in Upstate New York. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from SUNY Potsdam. She has been published in a number of literary magazines, both in print and online, and runs the fashion blog Sarcasm in Heels. When not writing, Ellen enjoys consuming pumpkin spice everything, singing off key to musicals, and obsessing over fictional characters.