Even the heroes of a galaxy far, far away dress in disguise!
Halloween is the time when many folks on this planet put on different costumes to disguise who they are and let the world see them pretending to be someone or something else. In the galaxy far, far away, it seems that our favorite characters wear disguises at some point or another. While it’s usually not for reasons as fun as trick-or-treating, Star Wars has a long history of having its heroes dressing up to hide their identities. In honor of Halloween, here’s a list 10 great Star Wars disguises.
1. Anakin Skywalker as Lars Quell
When a colony of Togruta goes missing, Anakin poses as the rakish warrior Lars Quell when infiltrating the Zygerrian slaver world in “Slaves of the Republic,” from Season Four of The Clone Wars. Wearing the clothes of a Zygerrian trader, he claims to have gotten rid of one of Queen Miraj’s enemies, one Bruno Denturri, and has brought one of Bruno’s slaves, a disguised Ahsoka Tano, as a gift for the queen. While Queen Miraj eventually trusts Lars after he saves her life from a Twi’lek slave attempting assassination, Anakin is forced to abandon his cover when ordered to whip a captured Obi-Wan Kenobi at a slave auction.
2. Sabine Wren as Ria Talla
Sabine’s past history as a former Imperial cadet comes in handy when she goes undercover as a TIE pilot cadet in “The Antilles Extraction,” from earlier this season on Star Wars Rebels. Dyeing her hair and trading her colorful armor for the black flightsuit of a TIE pilot, Sabine becomes Ria Talla, recently transferred to Skystrike Academy. As SS-36 in a simulation, she encounters SS-25, who asks her to call him Wedge. After Wedge expresses disenchantment with his orders in the simulated mission, Ria reveals herself as a rebel sent to extract him and other likeminded pilots. Unfortunately, their first attempt at trying to escape ends in a trap set by Governor Pryce, and Sabine has to give up her identity in order to save Wedge Antilles.
3. Lando Calrissian as Tamtel Skreej
After being forced to betray his friend Han Solo, Lando Calrissian joins the effort to rescue Han from being a permanent wall decoration in Jabba the Hutt’s audience chamber in Return of the Jedi. In order to gather intel for the rescue operation, he becomes an inside man, working his way into a role as one of the guards in Jabba’s palace on Tatooine. While Leia, Luke, Chewbacca, and the droids all eventually find different ways into the palace -- some of them losing their cover in the process -- Lando maintains his disguise and stays close to his friends, keeping by Leia’s side as Luke faces the rancor, and then joining the skiff crew on their trip to the Pit of Carkoon. Only when Luke signals for the gang to jump into action does Lando reveal himself as an extra ally to help rescue his friends.
4. Commando droids as clone troopers
Who says the bad guys don’t get to dress up? After Separatist commando droids take over a Republic tracking station on Rishi in “Rookies” from the first season of The Clone Wars, the wily droids are contacted by Rex and Cody, coming to inspect the base. One of the droids dons a clone trooper helmet and mimics a clone’s voice to answer the call, but the two veterans aren’t completely convinced. As they land, another commando droid in clone armor tries to intercept them on the landing platform, but isn’t as good as an actor, and the clone soldiers attack. Later, the clones, accompanied by the rookie clone survivors, reverse the deception on the Separatists by pretending to be a commando droid when asking for the door to be opened.
5. Queen Amidala as handmaiden Padmé Naberrie
While some disguises are just for a particular mission and are retired after that job is over, other disguises might be used for a long time. Such is the case of Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace. After becoming monarch of the Naboo, the queen and her security chief Captain Panaka devised a plan to use her royal handmaidens as decoys, able to play the role of queen while reading signals from the real queen, disguised as one of the handmaidens. In the role of one of Queen Amidala’s loyal servants and using her birth name, Padmé Naberrie was able to go places a member of royalty couldn’t go undetected, accompanying Qui-Gon Jinn, Jar Jar Binks, and R2-D2 into Mos Espa to find replacement hyperdrive parts. Whether it was to keep an eye on the Jedi or simply because she was curious about Tatooine, Padmé kept the role of being the queen’s representative on the mission. After returning to Naboo and seeking the aid of Boss Nass, Padmé revealed her true identity (and the identity of Sabé as her decoy) to the Gungans and her allies alike, as a measure of trust, and to take over the diplomatic mission personally.
6. Clone troopers as Jedi
While ultimately not used in the final version of Revenge of the Sith, a production photo of Temuera Morrison (the actor who played all clones) wearing Jedi robes and wielding a blaster -- part of the Order 66 trap at the Jedi Temple -- was released.
7. Jar Jar Binks as a Jedi
In “Bombad Jedi” from the first season of The Clone Wars, Jar Jar Binks rushes to the aid of Senator Amidala, captured in a trap on Rodia, but first he needs a disguise. How about that Jedi robe hanging in the closet of her yacht? Mistaken for a Jedi, Jar Jar is pursued by Viceroy Nute Gunray’s battle droids, but ultimately turns the tables on them, with the help of his new friend, the Kwazel Maw, a giant swamp slug that lives in the waters beneath the city. After arresting the Viceroy, Rodian Senator Onaconda Farr thanks “Master Bombad” for his heroic actions.
8. Obi-Wan Kenobi as Rako Hardeen
The marksman Rako Hardeen wants to be counted among the best of the galaxy’s bounty hunters -- only when he achieves that, it isn’t the real Rako Hardeen. In a four-episode The Clone Wars arc starting with the Season Four episode “Deception,” Obi-Wan impersonates the bounty hunter Rako Hardeen. In order to infiltrate the criminal underworld, the Jedi hire the real Rako to assassinate Obi-Wan Kenobi, but it is all a ruse that not even Anakin knows about. Rako is captured, and Obi-Wan transforms his appearance with nanotechnology, using a vocal emulator to impersonate Rako, now known as a Jedi killer. Going undercover, “Rako” helps Moralo Eval and Cad Bane escape from prison on Corsucant. Reaching Serenno, the Jedi survives Eval’s cunning tests in the Box and is recruited by Eval into Dooku’s plot to kidnap Palpatine on Naboo. While the plan nearly succeeds, Kenobi saves the Chancellor and is revealed by Mace Windu; Cad Bane vows revenge, and no one knows what happened to the real Rako Hardeen.
9. Princess Leia as Boushh
Impersonating a bounty hunter is not just for the Jedi! As part of the Rebels’ plan to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, Leia Organa disguises herself as the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh to gain access to Jabba’s palace. Bringing in Chewbacca as a captive for the reward bounty (Poor Chewie, the only “disguise” he can pull off seems to be as a prisoner!), Leia successfully earns a place among Jabba’s retinue. Unfortunately for her, Jabba is a little wiser than he seems at first, and is waiting when Boushh thaws out Captain Solo and reveals herself to her love. Something tells me that she didn’t get to keep the reward money for the Wookiee either.
10. Troopers with Prisoners
And the prize for best group costume in Star Wars is a tie for the two groups that go for the classic infiltration disguise: Imperial troopers escorting prisoners! Han Solo and Luke Skywalker as TK-421 and his partner, bringing Chewbacca as what else -- a prisoner. And in “Hera’s Heroes” this season on Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger dresses up as a biker scout bringing in Hera as a captured Twi’lek resistance member. In both cases, the disguises are hastily improvised from what’s available -- troopers that somehow end up aboard their ships! While the disguises only last so long before they get found out, they do at least get our heroes in the door. Though if Luke is short for a stormtrooper, Ezra has to look a little short as a scout trooper. Things work out pretty well for Luke, Han, and Chewie, as they manage to overpower their way past the detention block control room staff. Not so much for Ezra and Hera, as their opponent, Grand Admiral Thrawn, catches onto their deception and manages to stun Ezra before he can save Hera. But there is a third member of Hera’s team in disguise: Chopper, in his guise as an Imperial droid. When will the Empire learn to suspect the droids in their midst?
So that’s it -- my list of favorite costumes/disguises in Star Wars. Did I miss one of yours? Does the public face of Darth Sidious count as a disguise? Let me know in the comments. So don’t just dress up in Star Wars costumes for Halloween, dress up as one of your favorite Star Wars characters wearing one of their disguises! Happy Halloween and embrace the dark side of the chocolate!
James Floyd is a writer, photographer, and organizer of puzzle adventures. He’s a bit tall for a Jawa. His current project is Wear Star Wars Every Day, a fundraising effort for a refugee aid organization. You can follow him on Twitter at @jamesjawa or check out his articles on Club Jade and Big Shiny Robot.