Obi-Wan Kenobi - Episode I (built 1999)

This costume was my first one. All started in November/December 1998, when Claudia and I saw the first Trailer of Episode 1. From that moment, I had the wish to own the Jedi costume of Obi-Wan Kenobi. My planning started first with the coat, which I concerned first for the most difficult part to build. Buy? Self-made? Such concerns I shifted until may 1999, when we made a vacation trip to Tunesia. At the Bazar of Houmt Zouk, on the Island of Djerba, I looked for a suitable coat and had my first real problem:
There are two typical coats in Tunesia (or generally Northern Africa): "Burnus", a coat withsleeves but without a hood, or a "Kaftan", a coat with a hood but without sleeves. But I needed sleeves as well as a hood. What to do? At an elder Man, with whom we talked with little knowledge of French, we made a deal to buy two Kaftans in "maron", so brown. The fabric I liked at once, because it is a soft and thick camelwool. Claudia adviced to wait till we are back home in Germany, to start the cut with the help of her mom (an apprenticed tailor).Two, three days, I was reserved. Than, the impuls to start growed to big and I took a needle and a string and sewed my coat. I had the plan to make from two coats one coat, cause I needed fabric for the sleeves. But soon I recognized, that the coat was downside much longer and rich, than I thought (I pulled a train from nearly 30cm behind me). So I decided to finish both coats with sleeves, what costed me nearly the second week of our vacation. But nevertheless the trips to Matmata (Hotel Sidi Driss, the "Lars"-Farm from Episode 4) and Medinine (the granary, slavedepartements from Mos Espa from Episode 1) and innumerable nice hours at the beach and hotelpool at reading STAR WARS books were included. Home again, I started with sewing the suit. For that, my old snow-white Judo-suit has to capitulate : .
First, we coloured it with black tea (works excellent! You take a complete box of black tea and fill a bath with nice hot water. Then, put the tea-bags in, shake the water a while and pull the suit innumerable often through the tea-water-mix. Then dry, ready !) Nevertheless the Jedi have unnatural powers, the Jedi sweat, therefore, after a long event with alot of sweating,
the suit has to be washed. The colour don´t fade at once, but after the second or third wash, you should colour it again. Nevertheless, I cut the suit suitable.
The trouser a had nothing to sew. It was perfect. The Jacket, I had to shorten a lot. From the remaining fabric, I made the flap, which hangs below the belly. From parts of an old leather jacket, I made the belt. The buckle is only a dummy. The real buckle is on the right side. Additional I made some bags and the golden round food-clips on the belt. For the boots, I took real simple leather boots which
a) flat soles and
b) no unnecessary applications.
On their rear sites, the boots had rings for an easy put-on. These rings I cut away and sewed it horizontal as stripes on three levels around the boots, just it was to see like in the movie.
For our appearence at the "STAR WARS Cult-Night" at the German "VOX"-TV station, and for the E1 premiere and for the Nexus Convention I led grow my neck hairs long to get the rear pigtail. At the right site, I fixed the typical Padawan plait in which Claudia bent the typical red and yellow rings into.
Finally add the lightsaber from Kenner-Hasbro and ready was the Obi-Wan costume!

At the end I have to remark, that certainly I would have saved all the time for the work at the coat, when I would had drove to Upper Bavaria to look at a Monk-coat from the Benedictins, the Zisterziensers or the Franziskans. They have big hoods and sleeves. There I would have to spend no millimeter of string and no second of working-time. However: "The way is the Finish-line itself"
And what is more beautiful as the anticipated joy to own a self-made STAR WARS-costume.
Therefore, "after" finishing a costume is simultaneous a "before" starting a new costume to me.

© Thomas Riedel 1999