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:
- Costume Design Guild 892 Hall of Fame award for Best Cosplay group.
- Named one of the Best cosplays at Comic-Con International by Game Revolution.
- CNET, Entertainment Weekly, Dodge City’s Daily Globe, and Access Hollywood, Best Cosplay nods.
- Mentions and coverage on “NBC 7 San Diego,” Rotten Tomatoes, HITFIX, “Fox Five News San Diego.”
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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!
(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!
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.
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:
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!
This IS The Podcast You’re Looking For!
Wall Street Journal images via the Star Wars – Steampunk Universe Facebook page.