Costume designer Tricia Biggar’s work on the prequels was genius. Of course, a lot of the attention and praise go to her work on Padmé Amidala’s magnificent costumes. She is still the best-dressed character in the film series.
But what about the costumes other characters got to wear? Narrowing it down to just 10 was HARD. Some handmaiden costumes are “disqualified” since Padme wore the same costume in some scenes, especially in TPM. Some, like Bail Organa’s groovy turtleneck senatorial outfit, just missed the cut because the bad guys put in a pretty good show. Here goes:
10. Darth Sidious’s wine colored robe (ROTS)
The velvet, embroidered robe is a little bit of a departure for Palpatine the politician as well as for Darth Sidious the Sith Lord. Sidious usually prefers basic black while Palpatine the politician hadn’t used such a rich fabric until this scene. I really like it. You’re the Emperor of style as well as the galaxy!
9. Count Dooku AOTC and ROTS
Dooku rates as the most dapper villain in Star Wars to date. His outfit is simple yet impeccably tailored, projecting an image of barely contained evil power and elegance at the same time. The cape is the icing on the Sithly cake.
8. Motée ROTS
They weren’t as noticeable in this movie as in the others but if you pay attention to the handmaidens, they get to wear some beautiful dresses, one of the perks of working for Padmé. I wonder if they raided her closet when she died in ROTS. “Well, she won’t be needing that gown anymore. Say, it just happens to be my size!”
7. Dormé AOTC
Dormé was the most prominent handmaiden in AOTC and as such she got to wear this demure but pretty outfit.
6. Sand People AOTC
Who would ever pick the Sand People who tortured and killed poor Shmi and got it at the end of Anakin’s lightsaber? The male Sand People are holdovers from ANH, but for the first time we got to see the women and children, and those outfits were amazing, not just for their primitive beauty but also for creating that sense of otherness, of a rough culture apart from the “civilized” galaxy.
5. Anakin AOTC
Anakin’s padawan Jedi outfit in AOTC demonstrated a young man already rebelling against the norms of the order. Instead of the more subdued tan and beige robes of his compatriots, Anakin went for darker colors and leather tabards. They are hinting at Anakin’s future as Darth Vader without making him look evil or scary. Plus, he looks really good in it.
4. Queen Apailana ROTS
Seen briefly during Padmé’s funeral, Queen Apailana’s elaborate Asian-inspired gown and headdress rivaled anything her predecessor wore in life.
3. Obi-Wan TPM-AOTC-ROTS
Obi-Wan’s hairstyles and facial hair changed from film to film but his Jedi outfit is more or less the same. Demonstrating a loyalty to tradition and norms, his lighter togs somehow are still very manly on him. Plus, those boots!
2. Queen Amidala’s black dress TPM
Now wait a minute, we’re not counting Padmé’s costumes! Ah but you forget, Padmé never actually wears that black dress with the elaborate feather headdress. Sure, Natalie did some publicity shots in the costume–like in the picture–but in the film, Sabé (Keira Knightley) is the only one who wears it. I’ve always loved this dress. I’m drawn to black anyway and the web-like embroidery is beautiful. It’s rare that you can find any kind of costume that’s as forgiving to all body types as this one. Interestingly enough I once saw on the internet a goth who did her own riff on the outfit.
1. Anakin ROTS
This one is slightly different from the AOTC version and it gives a young adult Anakin a combination of dashing and dangerous. That glove, those boots…so chic.