One of my favorite surprises from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the introduction a quirky, little alien named Maz Kanata. Her inquisitive nature, force sensitivity and bold fashion choices made her a stand out character for me. This was definitely a character I could relate to. I am also a short, quirky gal, filled with endless curiosity and a distinct style.
I’m not sure the exact moment I decided to cosplay as her, but I remember thinking it would be the perfect nonconventional choice to match my nonconventional personality. I debuted the costume at Phoenix Comicon in June. Then in July I brought the majority of the costume with me to London at Star Wars Celebration Europe. It’s been a lot of fun wearing it and it’s been almost universally recognized as Maz.
All in all, it was a pretty easy costume to procure. I knew right away it wouldn’t be an exact replica. I wasn’t willing to do prosthetics, I’m a tad bit taller than Maz Kanata and I wasn’t willing to invest in screen accurate clothing and/or accessories. But I could come up with something that would convey the character. With some orange face paint, similarly colored clothing, and some well placed accessories including Maz’s iconic goggles I would be good to go!
I knew the orange color for my face and arms would be key to getting Maz Kanata cosplay right. I had never attempted a cosplay that required me to paint my entire face before so this took a bit of experimenting. In the end, I ended up using the second paint I tried. A lovely brand called Paradise that actually smells like coconut! Application was fairly straight forward, after a basic primer I just needed to activate the paint with water and apply with a sponge. The orange color of Star Wars lipstick I had gotten earlier this year also came in very handy! Orange nail polish also came in handy for this costume. Other than that, no other makeup was used.
The wardrobe was pretty easy to emulate. I was able to find a teal colored top, maroon pants and a black sweater vest at a thrift store and ended up spending less than $10 on clothes. Exact matches to her wardrobe were not necessary, I was basically looking for something that jus had a similar feel. If I had looked harder I might had been able to find a better option for boots, but in the end I just ended up using a basic pair of black boots I already had (and just a pair of black shoes for SWCE.)
Other accessories included Maz’s eclectic jewelry mix, a belt, a hat and of course the goggles. For the jewelry I actually didn’t even need to buy anything new. It was a mix of my collection of bracelets and rings as well as a few I had gotten from my grandma. The belt was a leather pouch I ordered on Amazon, which, I might add is a very useful accessory for ANY con! The hat is a simple black knit hat I ordered online. It did, however get a bit hot to wear in the Summer in Phoenix and London. I also had a replica of Luke’s lightsaber that made for some really fun interactions, especially with Reys I saw along the way.
The craftiest thing I did for this was recreate Maz’s silver belt buckle. First I handcrafted this piece with some air drying clay. Then I painted it with some silver acrylic paint. It turned out looking pretty good, but I ended up not using it because I couldn’t find a way to attach it to the belt. Hopefully I can figure something out before the next time I wear the costume!
Ma Kanata has some really cool goggles in the movie and I knew that this would probably be the most important part of the costume. I would have loved to have some sort of wrap-around goggles like she has in the movie, but I’m not clever enough or willing to spend a huge amount of cash to get them custom-made. So I did the next best thing and searched online. I found steampunkgoggles.com and found an awesome pair. They turned out great, the only issue was they kept fogging up!
I haven’t done a lot of cosplay, but this was definitely the most fun I’ve had doing it. It provided a lot of amazing photo ops and a general camaraderie, especially among Star Wars fans. I still have lots of orange paint left, so I’m sure I’ll be reprising the role again at some point! So, next time you’re at a con be on the look out for Maz Katenata!