It's been 32 long years since we last saw our heroes on the big screen in Return of The Jedi. But on Dec. 18, one of the most -- if not THE most --famous franchises in movie history is returning to theaters in the much-anticipated next chapter of their story with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Over the next 20 weeks, we will celebrate the franchise by looking back and ranking the best of the best moments in Star Wars history
Beware the dark side of style: even a galaxy full of strange creatures and even stranger fashion trends has its limits. It’s a place where heroes don pajamas, government officials show up at the podium in throw rugs, and (former) queens perch upturned baskets on their heads. For the 15th of our 20 Weeks of Star Wars features, we count down every blunder, slipup and snafu, from the bad to the positively baffling.
25. Greedo’s Retro Puffer Jacket, Episode 4: A New Hope
Maybe it’s the 70s. Maybe it’s Rodian fashion. Maybe it’s because the fashion sense of any species gets left at the door of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Either way, bounty hunter Greedo had to make a day-glow nylon puffer jacket even worse by throwing a brown suede vest over it. He could have been going for a cross of après ski and Old West. Or, since the jacket is essentially the same color as his lumpy hide, maybe he just opted for neutrals that flattered his dusty teal skin tone. Not that it did much for him: Han Solo was obviously not impressed.
24. Lando Calrissian’s Curtain Cape, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back
Lando’s powder-blue cape has pretty much everything bad 70s curtains could wish for: clashing colors, floral brocade in the decade’s signature mustard yellow, and a way-too-perfect way of rippling that could only be achieved with spray starch. It could easily be hung up in someone’s dining room without anyone ever knowing it went through extraterrestrial battles. It’s also hardly the type of clothing you’d associate with an undercover Sith sympathizer. No wonder Han Solo had a hard time suspecting him of harboring Darth Vader in Cloud City.
23. Jedi in Muumuus, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
If you’re trying to blend into the sands of Tattooine while creeping up on Sith, this is one way to do it—though whether it’s the best way is debatable. In what look like matching neutral Snuggies, Qi-Gon and Obi-Wan appear more ready to hit the sofa and catch a few episodes of an alien soap opera rather than exchanging light saber blows with Darth Maul. Never mind that there is close to zero intimidation factor in two poncho-clad Jedi flying around like sand bats. At least they get some credit for succeeding at the camo part (unlike a few later mentions).
22. Watto’s Excuse for a Hat, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Being a junk dealer may have something to do with it, but there really is no excuse for Watto trying to pass off a tarnished old plate as a hat. Maybe it’s a throwback to his stint in the Ossiki Confederate army. Not that it’s exactly easy to see how an upside-down plate, teetering precariously from one side to the other, could have saved his proboscis from bullets or blasters. It’s also worth noting that Fred Sanford’s alien doppelganger wears the same ill-fitting leather vest decked out with all sorts of useless trinkets—for at least twenty years.
21. Han Solo’s Camo Trench Coat, Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi
Never mind that throwing a trench coat over what he’s already wearing makes Han Solo look half urban space cowboy, half grass-stained corporate executive. The real problem here is that this attempt at going sophisti-camo doesn’t do him any favors in trying to hide his delicious human presence from a forest infested with famished Ewoks. Whereas Leia’s attempt at hiding herself (see below) was too bright, he erred on the side of too neutral, so there isn’t nearly enough green to blend him into the background. This coat is, in other words, Ewok bait.
20. Luke Skywalker’s Junior Jedi Pajamas, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back
We get it: you swashbuckled with Sith, defeated Darth Vader and basically saved the Republic (for now). So of course, the most logical thing to do while everyone else dons ceremonial garb is kick back in your pajamas. Except that these aren’t any ordinary pajamas. These are Jedi pajamas, which are infinitely more special because they’re a cross between a bathrobe and pajama pants. There’s also nothing that says “I just seriously set back the Empire” more than the slippers—or boots that look like slippers—that come with said pajamas.
19. Chancellor Valorum’s Dazzling Disaster, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
If there’s one way to get the Senate to notice you, it’s to wear an iridescent blue floor-length coat with sleeves bigger than your head. If you want even more attention, you wear said coat over a brown velvet dressing gown that could just about swallow you whole. Don’t forget the enormous blue belt. Perhaps this is why Palpatine, in his all-business black, was able to usurp the seat of Chancellor. Such an overly luxe and shiny ensemble can’t possibly be taken seriously on a government official. Like Valorum, it gets a Vote of No Confidence.
18. Sio Bibble’s Renaissance Fail, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Anyone who’s seen even a few minutes of Episode 1, 2 or 3 should be well aware that puffy sleeves run rampant in the Republic, especially on the Senate floor. The thing that makes the Governor of Naboo even more of a walking Fashion Don’t than the rest is that he goes all Henry VIII, all the time, while the other government officials at least restrain themselves to one or two sixteenth-century elements per outfit. Even Valorum and Palpatine just keep it to the sleeves. The upside is that he’d fit right in at a Renaissance Faire any day.
17. Princess Leia’s Ewok Dress, Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi
The lesson of the day here is to never, ever let an Ewok dress you. Leia finds this out a little too late when she gets styled rather than eaten by a bunch of demonic teddy bears with a particular taste for human flesh. The boho look has been in and out for the last several decades, but Leia’s lace-up dress, probably sewn together from the skin of her captors’ last meal, would qualify as a boho nightmare even among the most hardcore hipsters. The only worse thing we can imagine than being the main event at an Ewok dinner is being the main course.
16. Shu Mai’s Cornucopia Headpiece, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Whether or not they celebrate Thanksgiving in the Republic, or ever celebrated it on her home planet of Castell, Shu Mai certainly doesn’t earn any style points as Commerce Guild Presidente by sticking what looks like a gilded cornucopia on her head. The elaborately decorated headpiece looks like it should be holding a bounty of extraterrestrial fruit rather than an extraterrestrial’s head. But maybe an ostentatious hat is all you can do when your greatest beauty bragging rights are prune-esque skin and a general absence of lips.
15. Breha Organa’s Cutout Overkill Sleeves, Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
We aren’t exactly sure when (or why) the atrocity of cold-shoulder sleeves first hit earth, but it seems to have originated on Alderaan. Breha Organa’s queenly status meant she wasn’t just going to try and pull off generic cold-shoulder sleeves, but extreme cold-shoulder puff sleeves. If there’s one thing these can do, it’s easily command the attention of the Senate, though maybe not in the way she was hoping for. The only question left is whether they are supposed to function as a fashion statement or just plain air conditioning.
14. Oola’s Not-So-Exotic Dancewear, Episode 6: Return of the Jedi
Jabba the Hutt’s seedy Tatooine palace may already be full of strange creatures in even stranger clothes, but none worse than the costume (or lack thereof) on his Twi’lek slave Oola. Far from dripping in rhinestones, this extraterrestrial exotic dancer appears to have gotten herself tangled up in fishnets and dental floss. Maybe that outfit was the real reason he ended up tossing her to his ravenous pet Rancor as a midnight snack. The only style points she gets: the purple eyeshadow she wears looks striking against her lime green complexion.
13. Padme Amidala’s Disco Sweats, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
There’s a reason everyone on Tatooine sticks to full-coverage robes in sand-friendly neutrals. Padme is obviously unaware of this, since her idea of fitting in on a strange planet involves a pale blue cutoff sweatshirt with huge disco bell sleeves and enormous matching pants that land somewhere between bell-bottoms and palazzos. She does realize at some point that her current outfit is doing her no favors in that climate. To keep the sand out, she does eventually throw a (not exactly ideal) leopard-spotted velvet cloak over the sweats.
12. Lott Dodd’s Sacrilegious Bishop Robes, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
If there’s one thing the traitorous Lott Dodd definitely isn’t, it’s a bishop. Yet that’s exactly what he looks like in his Nemoidian take on a mitre thrice the size of his head and purple senatorial (which look more like ceremonial) robes. The thing that might be most laughable about this religious regalia is the slimy Senator wearing it. There is virtually no sin, earthly or beyond, Lott Dodd is a stranger to, from manipulation to bribery and every unsavory political tactic in between. Which only makes his holy-looking garb even more ironic.
11. Rune Haako’s Indecisive Hat, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Is it a horned lampshade? A TV satellite? Some incongruous mashup of the two? Whatever it is, Nemoidian fashion strikes again with a headpiece that’s meant to be all pomp and circumstance but instead brings shame to the Senate. Maybe it has secret functions nobody knows about. Haako could very well be tuning out of politics and tuning in to stealth satellite radio, with the hornlike attachments functioning as some sort of rabbit ear antennas. But assuming this thing doesn’t receive any undercover signals, it’s a fashion fail.
10. Tion Medon’s Uber-Matchy Ensemble, Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Because what’s better than matching your skin tone and texture to your clothes? While we give Tion Meddon props for managing to complement his ribbed skin with ribbed fabric and red eyelids with allover red, the Pau’an still manages to make a spectacle of himself. The enormous gold stiletto nails he sports only add to the drama in the worst possible way. Plus, take into account the origami-esque sculpture of the entire outfit—it’s a wonder he can move.
9. Princess Leia’s Obvious Camouflage, Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi
Leia’s defective form of camo goes to show that even the best intentions in clothing can be flawed. Meant to blend into the forests of Endor, and hide the wearer from anything with several rows of teeth, all Princess Leia’s electric green tie-dye poncho actually ends up doing is make her obvious Ewok bait. It was most likely an honest mistake. Whoever dyed the thing on another planet obviously didn’t have a hi-res postcard to refer to. But in the end, the greens are a little too green, the browns a little too brown, and the Ewoks a little too hungry.
8. Denaria Kee’s Layering Travesty, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Let’s break down layering, Koorivan style: first, be sure that absolutely none of your patterns match. Throw on a turtleneck, then find a robe with the biggest, puffiest sleeves you can possibly fit through the ridiculously high-collared vest you’re going to stuff it under. Finally, make sure you find a suitable fishnet that has enough fringe to obscure half your face and holes big enough to accommodate the appendages sticking out of your head. This outfit is by no means corporate-friendly, but somehow, it’s Corporate Alliance-friendly.
7. Tikkes’ Evil Santa Claus Ensemble, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
The thought of Santa generally conjures visions of a grandfatherly man in a red suit, rather than a cuttlefish-faced alien in a red suit. Yet it seems that’s exactly the look Tikkes is going for in his blood-red, floor-length Father Christmas robes with a menacing black collar and cuffs in place of the fluffy white fur we were all so familiar with when we believed. It’s kind of like Cthulhu meets Santa Claus. Just like earthlings have their jolly old elf, maybe this is what all those tiny, tentacled Quarren spawn have to look forward to during the holidays.
6. Padme Amidala’s Straw Basket Headpiece, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
We have so many questions regarding the use of Padme’s straw-weave headgear that we don’t even know where to begin. Does it come in handy for carrying things on your head? Can it hold water? Does it have a dual function as a planter? Was it just a random basket lying around that Senator Amidala snatched up to cover a bad hair day? Even more baffling is the elaborate purple velvet dress and robe she pairs this thing with—for an appearance at the Senate. Then again, the people of Naboo are not exactly known for their stellar fashion sense.
5. Queen Jamillia’s Ultra-Reflective Crown, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
We could definitely see this regal headpiece coming in handy for a bike ride in the dark when reflective clothes (or at least stickers) are a must. Outside of that, the only function it serves besides making the wearer really, really visible at night is potentially blinding the entire planet of Naboo. Maybe that explains the heavy black eyeliner Jamillia is wearing; it’s really meant to deflect the glare from all those abalone shells. At least this queen will have no trouble commanding attention, though public speeches may now require sunglasses.
4. Jar-Jar’s Space Captain Hippie Pharaoh Look, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Not that Jar-Jar Binks isn’t a faux pas in himself, but jumping from dusty Naboo to affluent Coruscant warps his already questionable fashion sense. Somehow Jar-Jar manages to effortlessly channel some bizarre galactic hybrid of trust fund hippie, naval captain and King Tut. Enormous beaded epaulets? Check. Pharaoh medallion? Check. Woven carpet with arm holes meant to pass as a ceremonial robe? Check and check. The Gungan gets some credit for his departure from the monotonous neutrals of Naboo, but even “Misa sorry” can’t fix this.
3. Padme Amidala’s Throw Rug Poncho, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Ponchos have always been one of those either-you-love-it-or-you-hate-it pieces, and perhaps no single one exemplifies this more than the one Padme wears on Tatooine. While it certainly aces the undying boho trend, this wearable throw rug would have been better off covering the floor than a queen-turned-senator. The crinkled tie-dye maxi dress she wears underneath doesn’t do much to improve the look, either. It’s easy to see why Anakin’s frustration in that scene might not have entirely been with the machine he was agonizing over.
2. Sly Moore’s Shadowcloak, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
For the sake of being politically correct when addressing humanoids, we do need to acknowledge that Umbaran people like Sly wear these things because of their ultraviolet vision. Meaning, the pale blue color turns to rainbows in the UV spectrum—and is invisible to other Umbarans outside of it. Stealth powers aside, to human eyes, a shadowcloak basically transforms the wearer into a Yeti. Somehow Sly manages to make this high-necked shag rug look sophisticated, but it’s doubtful any other species could pull it off with such panache.
1. Jar Jar’s Senatorial Bathrobe, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Nothing says “Misa senator!” like topping off an already overkill ensemble with a floor-length crimson duster that can’t decide whether it’s a bathrobe or a nineteenth-century smoking jacket. It’s clear that Jar Jar was at least making an effort to appear like a halfway politician, but he just couldn’t pull it off. Which makes us wonder why there were so many traitors in the Senate to begin with. Why would anyone have ever have wanted to stay allied with the Republic when even its interim leaders take the podium looking like failed hipsters?
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