How ‘The Acolyte’ Costume Designer Came Up with a Fresh New Look for the Jedi

How ‘The Acolyte’ Costume Designer Came Up with a Fresh New Look for the Jedi

Despite the series' performance, one thing that is really impressive is the new Jedi looks. It is indeed no easy task to come up with an entirely fresh line of science fiction fashion for ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte,’ which was set long before the Skywalker family existed. However, costume designer Jennifer Bryan took the challenge up for Disney+’s show. 

This is the first time a period has been set decades before. Since it is set long before "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" is shown in live-action, the designers had a big challenge but were given complete flexibility to create costumes from scratch without following any previous designs.  

Bryan, who is famous for creating amazing costumes in Hollywood, took inspiration from a variety of ethnicities, historical periods, and cultures to design unique and original costumes.

In her recent exclusive interview, she said, "To this day, I don’t know how Leslye Headland heard about me. Because my specific body of work is contemporary television. I was doing the last episode of 'Better Call Saul,' and we Zoomed, and we hit it off right away. Growing up, I was just the average 'Star Wars' fan. I wasn't steeped in the legacy and the iconography of it all, and I was a little bit concerned. But Leslye said they were actually looking for someone who was not so dyed-in-the-wool about it, and it worked because this time period is basically like a prequel to everything we know about the galaxy. So I had the benefit of 150-plus years of creative freedom."

Bryan felt very lucky to start with a blank canvas for her designs, but she still had to make sure they fit perfectly within the "Star Wars" universe.

For Master Sol’s costume

She analyzed the Jedi Masters, Jedi Knights, and Padawans and decided to create something that reflected a great sense of calm and tranquility. 

"I wanted to show a sense of mastery and command. Sharp lines. I used a bit of gold trim, like what you'd see on military costumes. For the mission costumes, what I did was add textures and fabrications within the cloaks. So we ended up with the ivory, the mustard, and added my version of everybody's favorite Obi-wan Kenobi cloak.

"Master Sol's white Coruscant cloak was large and circular, and when he turns to the younglings, I just thought that sweep of fabric was beautiful. Yord's cloak was a little bit shorter, and the way it was draped on his shoulders was inspired by Roman senators' togas. And he's so fastidious about his wardrobe. I’d never seen a Jedi steam his clothes on 'Star Wars' before."

For Mae’s assassin cloak

She chose a deep purple color to symbolize royalty, which is crucial in Mae’s society. 

"I wanted to have a visual link to her childhood, because she's on a rant of a mission, because in her mind the Jedi destroyed her family and she's going after them to kill them," she added. "So she's sort of this mercenary, vagabond murderess. Her cloak is made of bits of scavenged fabric and these pieces of chain mail. She put this metal plate together with bamboo and metal, and it's kind of like building her own armor."

For the mysterious character, Osha’s looks 

Bryan decided to create a contrast between the mysterious character Osha’s costume looks. 

"The first time we see her, she's on this Neimoidian freighter," she notes. "The Neimoidians and the Wookiee were the few things that were already established in the galaxy that I had to incorporate. She's like an astronaut-meets-mechanic kind of a person, and my design inspiration was if a flight suit met an auto mechanic's coveralls. After the Jedi realize she didn’t kill Indara, you’ll see her in a brand-new look, but I don’t want to say it because it might be a spoiler.”

Stay tuned for more updates related to The Acolyte and Star Wars. 

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