Meet Masked Menoly! She only has one Star Wars cosplay but that does not matter in the slightest. Her uniform of choice? A Star Wars Shadow Trooper. Not familiar? Well here is a little background:
The Shadow Stormtrooper first appeared in the newspaper strip “Gambler’s World”. They have also appeared in Crimson Empire and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor.
She has developed her costuming skills in both Theatre and Film ranging from designing costumes for student productions to working with some of the most prestigious names in Hollywood including Tom Hanks, Ewan McGreggor, and Dayo Okeniyi.
She is continuing to advance and develop her skills by working at the Disneyland Resort in the Creative Costuming department. Her experiences include: constructing, crafting, distressing and designing.
1. What appealed to you about a somewhat obscure character such as a Shadow Stormtrooper?
Well, I always wanted to be Darth Vader, but my height is a little bit lacking (haha). I love Stormtroopers but I wanted to do something a different than the norm. To me, the Shadow Trooper is the best mix of Vader and trooper!
2. Was this a difficult costume to finish?
I would say this has probably been the hardest costume for me to date, due to the fact that I’m used to working with fabrics, not plastic. This was my first time working with power tools and epoxy paint. My kit sat in the box for 2 years before I completed it with the help and guidance of some of my 501st buddies. It’s also tough when you have pieces molded for a 5’11” male and you’re a 5’3” female. Sizing everything down was quite the challenge.
3. Have you attended any conventions in your Shadow Stormtrooper gear? Which ones?
My very first outing in my Shadow Trooper was at Star Wars celebration this past April. That’s the only convention I’ve worn it at so far.
4. What are some of the difficulties of wearing armor for any extended period of time?
I’ve learned very quickly that I have to have a storage/dressing place for this costume. The bin that houses my armor is 50 gal and takes 2 people to shove it into the back seat of my car. I can only wear the armor for up to 4 hours straight because I can’t sit while wearing it and forget using the restroom. Vision is also very limited when wearing the helmet but despite all of that, you feel so badass wearing it that you don’t notice most of the time.
5. What do you use to polish your armor?
I actually use liquid car wax. I buff it on to my armor with wax applicator pads, let it dry and then wipe it away with a microfiber cloth. It keeps it nice and shiny!
6. What are some of your hobbies? Your Deviant Art page has quite a few galleries.
I like to dabble in a lot of things, mainly crafts like mask making and millinery. Costuming is obviously a major hobby of mine; sewing is what I do best! I have been participating in charity troops with the 501st Legion when I can and I’m trying to travel more, I love to learn about other cultures.
7. What is the driving force for you in choosing a character to cosplay?
Design is always a major factor for me, I have to love the design, but I also try to find characters I like that I feel I can pull off appearance wise. It’s also a bonus when the costume presents a challenge that I can learn and grow from.
8. Care to share any cosplay wardrobe malfunctions? I have them all the time, whether it is my gun sling coming unclipped,, goggles fogging up, you name it.
I always feel like every time I wear my Trooper armor, I have some kind of problem. Mostly snaps popping off right before a troop and me desperately trying to super glue it back on. Unrelated to my Trooper, I’ve also had a pauldron pop off one of my other cosplays right before a contest and I had to stick it back on with gum…yup, some fine cosplay skills right there haha!
9. What are some of the costumes you have designed?
I actually designed a Darth Vader gown a few years ago that I have yet to bring to life, but one day I definitely will!
10. So let us talk Star Wars, what is your favorite Star Wars moment?
hmm…that is a really tough question…I always really loved the moment towards the end of Return of the Jedi where you can see Vader struggling with letting Luke die at the hands of Sidious. He’s wearing a helmet, so you can’t see any facial expressions, but that moment was executed so flawlessly! I will always HATE that the new releases added the “Nooooo” to that moment! They ruined it! Gah!
11. Who is one of your favorite characters?
Darth Vader has been my all-time FAVORITE character ever since I saw the Star Wars re-release in the 90’s when I was 10 years old. I’ve always had a soft spot for villains.
12. Are E-11 blasters prone to missing a target? (Just seeing if you are paying attention)
E-11 Blasters are standard issue from the Empire; however, they are prone to excessive recoil which could cause inaccuracy in aim when firing…from time to time 🙂
13. Do you have any plans for a Force Awakens cosplay?
I would absolutely LOVE to make Captain Phasma, but like Vader, I’m nowhere near tall enough 🙁
14. With all of the movies planned for Star Wars, do you think things will become oversaturated? Is there such a thing as *gasp* too much Star Wars?
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of new Star Wars Merchandise BUT I do think it’s a little excessive when you see Boba Fett on coffee creamer, Yoda on grapes, and Stormtroopers on a can of soup.
15. Do you have a favorite line from Star Wars?
*Moment after Yoda lifts the X-wing from the swamp*
Luke: “I don’t believe it…”
Yoda: “That is why…you fail…”
Such an epic line.
16. What Yoda-like wisdom would you care to share?
“Difficult to see. Always in motion, the future is…” So you might as well dress up like Star Wars characters!
17.Finally, If you had a jet pack like Jango or Boba Fett, just what exactly would you do with it?
I must say a flying Shadow Trooper sounds pretty awesome! I’d use it to serve the empire of course! And I’d make sure I didn’t get thrown into the Sarlacc pit
Photography by: Armored_Caska https://www.flickr.com/photos/armored_caska/
For more of Masked Menoly’s cosplay check out her work here: