Monday, October 31, 2016

Matt the Radar Technician Cosplay at Halloween

Matt the Radar Technician Cosplay
Despite being a massive geek, I was never really a Star Wars fan. Not that my mom and sister didn't try to influence my disinterest over the years by watching the films and going to the conventions, as I grew up with the first era of early 2000s installments. But the Disney and J.J. Abrams's reboot changed my enthusiasm. And I guess you could say Saturday Night Live played a big role too.

When Adam Driver hosted the weekly sketch-comedy show, there was one clip I was totally obsessed with: Undercover Boss. The skit has Darth Vader's grandson Kylo Ren posing undercover at Starkiller Base as Matt the Radar Technician. Certain lines like "Kylo Ren is a punk-bitch", as much as I thought it was creative and funny. The entire skit became a fandom of mine ever since it aired.

Immediately, the video inspired me to make this my Halloween costume. I'm not sure there's ever been another costume I was so determined to complete as much as possible.

Some of the items were pretty easy - Grey Overalls from Dickies, personalized name tag from Etsy, and Kylo Ren's Lightsaber from Wal-Mart.

By far, the glasses were my favorite part. I found sunglasses at WalMart, and removed the lenses to make them "clear" by applying a hairdryer to the frames until they loosened enough to pop out. No lie - I wear these around my house sometimes for no particular reason! *I'm crazy*

Some of the other parts were trickier. The wig is supposed to look a little cheap but I still wanted it to have a nice quality. After searching all kinds of wigs for men, general cosplay, even Marilyn Monroe, I found a match: a Donald Trump wig. Go figure! It turned out to be pretty darn perfect.

The vest was the trickiest piece. Matt wears a ‘South African Style Rhodesian Tactical Orange Vest' and it was sadly impossible to find. I kept checking back with a few different places but they were always sold out or closed up shop. My next shot was to try tactical or hunting vests, but most are available only in camouflage. I ended up going for a worker's vest that was at least orange but had grey lines. This one worked great, and didn't hinder from the costume, but I still want to get the right one sometime.

To top it all off, my adventure was carried out at the happiest place on Earth - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Kylo Ren undercover at Disney World - not sure if there's a better combination! I was pretty much in character the entire day....
"Matt" was surprised about the Florida weather. The humidity was certainly the biggest gamble. I didn't know what to expect, and was a little iffy because I didn't bring alternative robes.  The day turned out to be pretty sunny, but not too hot and not too cold. I was content not to overheat in the coveralls.

My first order of business was ensuring no funny business went on at the stores and that rides performed at full functionality. However, I was surprised by the lack of stormtroopers willing to do my bidding. Nothing was as easy I presumed.

I concealed my identity throughout the evening. Many civilians didn't know who I was, while others were respectful of my legacy. The Force seemed to be in my favor for most of the mission.
Some people were 99% sure I was Kylo Ren. Before I even got into the park, and was on the parking lot platform, one civilian went absolutely ballistic; he couldn't believe what my costume was. He was absolutely stoked to take a picture with me. That's never happened to me before!

Some castmates easily recognized me. A photographer screamed for Matt. One of the pirates in the Halloween parade danced towards to where I was sitting. Without missing a single beat, he said, "Sorry about your dad." I appreciated the condolences, but I'm not entirely sure if he was aware that I was the one who killed him....

Starbucks was one of my favorite visits. It was radically different than the Starkiller Base commissary. I was having some real talk with some real folks about how I got Kylo's lightsaber, and of course, "his" abs cause they're shredded. Some folks and castmates who I couldn't make conversation with ended up shouting, "I haven't had my muffin yet, Matt" and pressured me to fix the calcinator - which stressed me out a little. However, I felt like the overall experience affected me and people are going to love the new me! ;D

So, this was my costume this year.  It's definitely going to get some more use in the future at conventions, etc. It was exciting to come out of the rock I usually hide under to play this character.  A huge thanks to my mom and sister for their support, all of the cast members and other park guests who recognized and appreciated what I was going for. I truly had a blast! Happy Halloween!

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