Star Wars and the Power of Costume

If you ask a Star Wars fan to name the most iconic costume within the entirety of the galaxy far, far away, I can guarantee that there will not be a single answer that every fan will agree upon. Personally, Princess Leia’s white robes from A New Hope will always be my favorite, but Darth Vader’s helmet had endured long after his passing, heralding a new generation of battles in outer space. A group of my friends and I kicked off a nerdy 2018 together, visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, so we could take in everything that Star Wars and the Power of Costume, a visiting exhibit from the Smithsonian!

img_2636.jpgFeeling those royal Naboo vibes down in St. Pete!


Included in the cost of admission ($10) is an self-guided audio tour, with an option for a family-friendly option for younglings. The exhibit spans two floors with the majority of the most costumes and iconic characters covering multiple rooms on the first floor and the Padmé Collection in a smaller gallery on the second floor with close to sixty costumes in total! From Episode I: The Phantom Menace all the way through Episode 6: Return of the Jedi, you get to experience a moment with nearly every notable hero or villain in the Star Wars Saga.

Forty Years Worth of Costumes

The first floor opens with Sir Alec Guinness’ original Obi-wan Kenobi robes and the Natalie Portman’s first formal dress as Queen Amidala. As soon as you turn the corner, you find Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia first dress in Episode IV: A New Hope (unfortunately without a dual bun wig). A complete listing of all costumes in the Smithsonian collection is available! I want to save some excitement for your personal experience!

The droids everyone keeps looking for!

Costume groupings on the first floor include:

  • Jedi versus Sith
  • Royalty and Beyond
  • Military
  • Outlaws and Outsiders
  • The Galactic Senate
  • Darth Vader
  • Protocol and Astromech Droids

The intergalactically infamous “Slave Leia” costume from Return of the Jedi (VI)

While they are not listed on the formal traveling inventory, Rey and Finn from Episode VII: The Force Awakens make an appearance! For those curious about the potential costumes you can experience at The Power of Costume, head over to the Smithsonian’s for all the preview details!


The Padmé Collection

On the second floor, your adventure continues a smaller room centered around the woman that would drive Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Side. This section of the exhibit is title: After the Throne: Padme’s Journey because it displays many of the significant costumes from Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Accompanying the gorgeous costumes were notes from the Padmé Costume Bible indicating critical Costumer’s notes on how the costumes must be worn for production.

img_2654A secret wedding on Naboo Attack of the Clones (II)

I was a little sad that her Naboo Victory Parade Celebration dress from Episode I was omitted from the exhibit. It was my absolute favorite from the first film. Additionally, her final outfit from Revenge of the Sith was also noticeably absent, but I am curious to know why. Also, I wished they would have had more of the wigs used, especially for Padme and Leia because they were integral to the looks of their costumes.

img_2665.jpgOne of Queen Amidala’s potential designs?!

The walls were covered with stunning costume concept art, many of which were either incorporated into Star Wars, but there were many other beautiful ones which will only live on archival paper. Several of Padmé‘s Episode I: The Phantom Menace costumes are included in the first floor gallery, as well as one of her formal Senate dresses.

MFASP put together a great Know Before You Go guide for those intending on visiting the exceptionally popular exhibit. Star Wars and the Power of Costume runs until April 1, 2018 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg, FL. I am tempted to make another day trip before it jumps into hyperspace.


Let’s Nerd Out

  1. In your mind, what is the most iconic costume from Star Wars?
  2. Is this costume your favorite, or do you prefer something else?
  3. Which side of The Force are you aligned?
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2 thoughts on “Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Add yours

  1. Padme definitely has the most beautiful costumes, but I agree with you, I think Leia’s white dress is the most iconic. I also love Ahsoka’s costumes, I could totally picture myself wearing everything I see her in.

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