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Star Wars Steampunk Episode II: Attack of the Fett

Star Wars Steampunk Episode II: Attack of the Fett

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John Strangeway — Steampunk Boba Fett — an impressive interpretation of the revered bounty hunter

Welcome back, Star Wars Steampunk enthusiasts extraordinaire!

This month’s indulgence in finery is an exciting one, indeed! Read on for an interview with Steampunk Boba Fett (John Strangeway); a simple man, trying to make his way in the Steampunk Universe. Not only is he a connoisseur of cosplay, but a fellow podcaster, and producer of fan films as well!

If you missed last month’s Steampunk spectacle, Christopher Canole, a.k.a. Dude Vader, was gracious enough to grant me an interview. If you missed it, click here.

Since then, the Star Wars Steampunk Universe has been very busy. Just a short time ago, at San Diego Comic-Con International 2015, members of the group received several prestigious honors and mentions, including:

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Above: Costume Design Guild 892 Hall of Fame award for Best Cosplay group

Even The Wall Street Journal got in on the action, immortalizing Nathan “Solo” Seekerman in ink (not carbonite for Mr. Solo this time)!

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Congratulations to these fans! It’s obvious that their passion for Star Wars, Steampunk and cosplay has paid off, not only on a personal level, but to help propel those facets of each genre, respectively.

For a full recap of exciting SDCC events, visit the Star Wars Steampunk Universe on Facebook.

John Strangeway is definitely another prime example of someone who has taken these same passions to the next level. As Steampunk Boba Fett, not only does he display an artful and intriguing interpretation of the revered bounty hunter, he is taking steps into the genre of film-making as well.

Jay Krebs: Describe yourself for the readers. What should they know about you?

Steampunk Boba Fett: 1) Star Wars fanboy, 2) Friendly, 3) Total sweetheart

JK: What is your personal definition of Steampunk?

SBF: It’s a chance to let your imagination run wild, within certain guidelines (late 1800s). But its Sci-Fi, so there’s no one model you need to follow. You can do whatever you want. Plus, there’s all kinds of creative outlets: you can write, draw comics, make cool costumes, etc.

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Not exactly Slave I, but this version of transportation works just fine for Steampunk Boba Fett

JK: How did you get involved in the steampunk genre?

SBF: The short answer is I’m a Star Wars geek that fell into Steampunk…

My first exposure was DragonCon 2008. I saw some amazingly creative costumes, and was mesmerized. After some Googling, I realized I had always been a fan of this kind of sci-fi (retro-futuristic).

For the following DragonCon I wanted a really sweet Boba Fett costume, but I wanted it to be unique. Luckily, I met Penny Dreadful Productions at a one-day Steampunk event and loved their look. Their style was very rough, gritty, beaten up; and that appealed to me. I approached Matt Silva about making a Steampunk Boba Fett. Even though he expected me to be put off by the commission price, they made the costume in time for DragonCon and it was fantastic.

As the years went on it became a collaborative effort between Matt and myself, as we added accessories and weapons, changed minor things; most of it for the fans and their reactions.

SBF double (1)

JK: What is your favorite thing about being Steampunk Boba Fett? What has been the most difficult aspect(s) or challenge(s)?

SBF: Being instantly recognized and able to make friends because it’s a great conversation starter. I have made friends around the world and I get to be a kind of spokesperson for both Steampunk and Star Wars. The hardest part is trying to please everyone. I feel bad if I can’t come to a convention to see people. And now as I’m trying to retire the Boba Fett costume, it makes me a bit sad when people are disappointed that I’m not wearing it. I never take it well when I disappoint people.

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Dapper AND deadly…quite the combination!

JK: Talk about your Fan Film Trial of the Mask. How did that project come about? I also noticed a lot of other tools, weapons and gadgets featured in the film. Can you describe a bit about those, and how they were created?

SBF: My friend Cory (who’s a photographer) was talking with buddy Bill (3D rendering) and decided to combine their magic and make a fan film with me. I know enough weirdos in costumes to fill in all the parts we needed…and, BOOM!

We settled on doing a Steampunk Star Wars film. We would film one scene a month over a period of 6 months and they would edit in-between shoots. Most of the props were either made by friends or gathered from collections we already had. After final editing it came to about 12 minutes.

Currently, I am working on a sequel to Trial of the Mask. Working title: Mask of Vengeance. Look for it next year. Most of the cast is returning, and some new faces, too. Some surprises and plot twists, as well!

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Teaser image for “Mask of Vengeance”

(For more info about the upcoming project, and how you can help be part of the production, click here!)

JK: How many conventions would you say you’ve been to? Do you have any specific convention that stands out in your mind?

SBF: In the past five years I’ve been to about 150 conventions. I’d have to say at World Steam Expo 3, receiving the ice sculpture version of my helmet is one moment that definitely stands out as one great memory.

Also, when I went to Star Wars Celebration IV, during the opening ceremonies, there was a guy in a Boba Fett costume that had an actual working jet pack that shot up 60 feet and landed at the entrance to the convention center. The true hardcore fanboy came out of me witnessing that spectacle!

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Anyone else remember this day? Celebration IV, May, 2007

JK: Do you ever participate in any other events besides attending conventions and/or costume competitions? If so, what kinds of events?

SBF: In addition to attending conventions I also work some of them, biggest being DragonCon. People have reached out to me to officiate weddings, MC costume contests, been the runway model for fashion shows, as well as moderated panels for other guests at the conventions. I co-host a podcast as well called The Ratchet Retrocast.

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Artistic version of the iconic bounty hunter-turned Steampunk

JK: What advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved with making their own costumes, Steampunk or otherwise?

SBF: Start with something you know and love really well. You can build off of it and make it your own. RESEARCH! If you come across a similar idea, be inspired by other people’s interpretations of ideas, but always be sure to add your own twist and let your personality come through.

I want to thank Christopher and John once again for the opportunity to interview them, and for helping me broaden my Steampunk knowledge in the process! It just makes me love Steampunk — and our AWESOME Star Wars community — that much more.

For more Steampunk Boba Fett, check out the following:

Official Facebook Page

Instagram

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Comic Relief

You can even buy a Steampunk Boba Fett T-shirt!

Thanks so much for going on this amazing Steampunk adventure with me! I hope to continue my own journey of Star Wars Steampunk cosplay as well!

Remember…

This IS The Podcast You’re Looking For!

 Wall Street Journal images via the Star Wars – Steampunk Universe Facebook page.

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5 Comments

  1. Pam Bruchwalski
    July 18, 2015 at 23:17 Reply

    This steampunk genre is truly fascinating to me…so original. It’s clear that people pour their hearts and souls into it, as I witnessed firsthand with your steampunk Threepio, Jay! Really interesting stuff. Thank you for taking the time to delve into this fascinating and creative form of expression and sharing it with everyone!

  2. Jay Krebs
    July 19, 2015 at 08:21 Reply

    It fascinates me, too (well, I gues that’s obvious lol)!

    There are some aspects of the genre that don’t appeal to me — some of the fashion is a bit “out there”, but you are going to see that in ANY facet of artistic expression. That’s what I love about Steampunk, though: you can make it anything you want within those Victorian-fantasy-sci-fi parameters! My interviewees have echoed that sentiment as well.

    I truly did have a blast as Steampunk Threepio at Celebration Anahem! I “spoke with” a couple of members of SWSU, and they invited me to BE their Threepio! What an honor! I would absolutely LOVE to be able to join them on their adventures, but alas, living in Ohio doesn’t exactly place me in the “hotbed” of cons!! Perhaps we’ll meet up at some point — if the Steampunk Force is with us, it’ll happen 🙂

    I actually do have a few “tweaks” I’d like to make to the costume. We’ll see…!

    Thanks for your comments!! 🙂

  3. Erica
    July 19, 2015 at 11:38 Reply

    Very fun entry, Jay! I love being introduced to the Steampunk universe. Also, it’s so fun that he saw the same Boba Fett with the actual Jetpack that we did at C4! So cool!

  4. Trial of the Mask (2013 on YouTube) | Adventures With Mala
    July 30, 2015 at 12:27 Reply

    […] links and info: Click here is an interview with Steampunk Boba Fett were he talks about the second installment to this tale. Or […]

  5. Melinda
    August 22, 2015 at 16:59 Reply

    Absolutely awesome, Jay! 🙂 Before reading your two blogs (about Star Wars and Steampunk), I was oblivious to this genre. Now, I want to know more — and even try my hand at creating a costume! Dare I say I get a little intimidated by having to be spot on when it comes to Star Wars costuming? Steampunk — as you’ve so astutely pointed out — allows one to inject more creativity into Star Wars (keeping with that late 1800s “feel”). It just might be right up my alley! 🙂

    I watched the video. For the most part, it was very good. It’s obvious a lot of time, effort — and love — was put into the production. 🙂 Was it entered in the Fan Film Competition? I hope so! 🙂

    Thank you so much for opening a brand new world to me, Jay. 🙂 Loved this two-parter! 🙂

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