Disney’s big-budget film ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ certainly could have afforded a number of costume changes for Daisy Ridley’s character Rey but the film’s costume designer Michael Kaplan revealed Rey’s monochrome functional attire was largely based on the character’s backstory and environment.
“My job is to delineate characters based on information in the script,” Kaplan told Clothes on Film. “I took all the clues of her character (she is poor, she works as a scavenger, her work requires agility, climbing, she lives in a hot and bright desert climate, where the nights are probably cool, there are possibly sand storms, she rides a speeder). I took this information and from it I created elements of wardrobe appropriate to her character.”
While Star Wars fans may or may not have realized it, every piece of Rey’s clothing has a specific functionality. “It was important to me that everything on her body was there for a reason and not adornment.” Kaplan explained, “Her arms are wrapped for protection whilst climbing in wreckages, the long gauze crosspiece she wears can be used for climbing or wrapped around her face during dust storms, her head wrap is actually a jumper with long sleeves wrapped around her head; it keeps the sand out of her hair and is useful on chilly desert nights. The light colors are appropriate for the desert heat. The homemade goggles (made from old, scavenged Stormtrooper ‘eyes’) protect her eyes from dust, sand and sunlight on her speeder rides.”
As for specific fabric details, Kaplan revealed, “I created two definite color palate and fabric-type divisions which I think clearly clarifies. The New Order colors are cold; black, shades of grey, teal blue and of course, white. The fabrics are polished wools, nylon and synthetics. The silhouettes are extremely heroic and hard-edged; think 1980s Theirry Mugler. The Rebel color palate is earth tones; olive drab, rust, tan, ochre and shades of brown. The fabrics are natural; cotton, boiled wool, linen. The uniforms are rumpled and broken down.”
The J.J. Abrams directed Oscar nominated film, which is nearing two billion dollars in worldwide earnings, takes place thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire in ‘Return of the Jedi.” A new threat arises when the First Order attempt to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, with the help of the Resistance. The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Lupita Nyong’o.