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STAR WARS DARTH VADER

Being quite the science fiction geek I knew at some point I was going to delve into an underwear costume look that would be inspired by Star Wars. Given the increasing interest that Star Wars is gaining thanks to the new JJ Abrams installment coming out next year I thought it was time I did my first Star Wars underwear costume. I haven't done too many "bad guys" in my looks and I thought it would be fun to add one to my library by trying to tackle one of the most popular and well-known pop-culture villains: Darth Vader.

DARTH VADER IN FILM

Since his original appearance in the first Star Wars movie Darth Vader has inspired many a delight and fear in movie-goer's imagination for his imposing look thanks to a brilliant costume design. Interestingly Darth Vader's costume has only changed slightly over the decades with most of the original look introduced in A New Hope staying consistent throughout the original trilogy and then again when the suit appeared for a brief minute in the prequel Revenge Of The Sith. Because the suit is all-black it's sometimes easy to miss how many layers and elements make up the full movie costume from the underlying base body suit to the armour pieces and the flowing robes that convey a sense of menace.

Star Wars Darth Vader Costume
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The Star Wars Darth Vader Costume as it appears in The Empire Strikes Back and a more recent artist's rendering of the same costume.

DARTH VADER IN THE STAR WARS EXPANDED UNIVERSE

Knowing that my interpretation of the character costume would of course involve much more bare skin I wanted to figure out a look that would not be just standard skin tone appearing exposed without armour. In my research one of the few times that Darth Vader's armour was severely damaged and thus needing an artist's depiction to render visuals was in the Expanded Universe fiction where the apprentice Galen Marek battled Darth Vader to near defeat. There have been a few renditions of the damaged Darth Vader look in comic books and video games that gave me some clues as to what could work. I wanted to be careful to not push the imagery too far into a gruesome look so I struck a balance between realism and abstraction.
Battle Damaged Darth Vader
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Various depictions of a "Battle Damaged" Darth Vader

"SEXY" DARTH VADER IN ART

While looking for inspiration and examples before I execute a costume I search for what else is out there that might fit the similar theme. Not surprisingly there were plenty of "sexy" female Darth Vader depictions but as far as male versions of the costume it was nearly impossible to find any examples. Of the few examples I was able to uncover two were illustrations and one was a professional editorial photoshoot.

The first illustration was by artist Mattias Fahlberg who created his "sexy" Darth Vader at the request of his girlfriend. Mattias is an amazing illustrator and you should check out his portfolio of artwork at mattiasfahlberg.deviantart.com.
Sexy Darth Vader by Mattias Fahlberg
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"Sexy" Darth Vader Illustration by Mattias Fahlberg

A couple of other sexy Darth Vader examples I was able to unearth included an undated illustration by artist Fritz Kok who executed a series of pinup style illustrations that often included iconic pop culture male characters and/or archetypes. Unfortunately this particular illustration seems to have very few references so I'm glad I was able to track it down. A more contemporary photograph I encountered in my research was a photo of model Murilo Rezende for Junior magazine. This particular photo was one of several that were created for the editorial that were inspired by major movie villians. The other looks included the Joker and Freddy Krueger.

Sexy Darth Vader Illustration by Fritz Kok and Junior Magazine Editorial Photoshoot featuring model Murilo Rezende
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l-r: "Sexy" Darth Vader Illustration by Fritz Kok and Editorial Photo from Junior Magazine featuring model Murilo Rezende

DARTH VADER UNDERWEAR COSTUME

The base costume I used to achieve this look was from Rubie's Costume Company which produces a "Deluxe Darth Vader" costume. Of course the helmet that's included with these costumes is always a low-quality half-mask production so I augmented the look with the full face mask also provided by the same manufacturer. A separate pair of gloves, some costume boots and the light-up light saber (really a a great deal given the quality of the construction) and my look was nearly complete. Naturally I cut up a lot of the costume and re-painted several pieces to improve the finish of the surfaces.

Rubies' Costume Co. Costume Elements
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Rubie's Costume Co. Costume Elements and Light Up FX Light Saber
Given the elaborate nature of the costume I wanted to go with an underwear item that would really stand out and not be overwhelmed by all the other visual elements. I had been looking for an excuse to purchase the Slick It Up Cobra Thong designed by David Mason for a while and this seemed like the right opportunity.

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Underwear Costume: Star Wars Darth Vader


PRODUCT MARKETING PHOTOGRAPHY

Official product photos featuring this underwear item.

Original photography copyright respective designers and manufacturers. Shown here for reference purposes only.

Photographer unknown
Model unknown

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