Maz Katenata – Bringing Maz Kanata to Life with Cosplay

Image from starwars.com
Image from starwars.com

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.

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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!

Makeup

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imageI 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.

Wardrobe

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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

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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.

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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!

The Goggles

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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!

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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!

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Kate Dubinko aka BB-K8 aka "Queen of Droids" has been loyally serving the illustrious Blabba since September of 2015. She brings her unique perspective and contagious fan-girl spirit to every realm of the Blabbaverse.

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