Most Impressive Fans is a feature highlighting the amazing creativity of Star Wars devotees, from cosplay to props. If there’s a fearless and inventive fan out there, we’ll highlight them here.
The trouble with creating a screen-accurate costume before the character it’s fashioned after debuts on screen is that crafting the smallest details can be left up to educated guess.
Earlier this year, cosplayers Maryon Ban and Geoffrey Masson were so taken by the look of Enfys Nest, the mysterious leader of the Cloud-Rider gang in Solo: A Star Wars Story, that they recreated the costume from scratch in their home in the south of France ahead of the film’s premiere.
Working with just a handful of images and quick glimpses from official teasers, clips, and trailers, they managed to capture the feel of the warrior. But no amount of research could solve the puzzle of what was written on her skull-like helmet.
After trying to decode the rows of ancient Aurebesh themselves, and even asking costume designer Glyn Dillon for help, they settled on their own inside joke, which roughly translated says – “We couldn’t read the text so we wrote that. Created by Zam and Jek.” In case you’re wondering, the real costume’s inscription reads “Until we reach the last edge, the last opening, the last star, and can go no higher.”
The look of Enfys
Known among fans as Zam and Jek Creations, the 27-year-old couple has been making costumes together for the past two years, including a rebel pilot flight suit, and a full Zam Wesell cosplay. When Maryon saw Enfys Nest appear in the Solo trailer, “I screamed,” she says. “The design and the attitude of the character looked so awesome.”
She immediately set to work researching more about the character and, after discovering a spoiler that said beneath the mask Enfys was a female warrior, how to build her own. “She was for me!”
Of course, with only three reference photos to work from and three weeks before the film’s release, getting there in time for the theatrical debut was tricky.
Maryon worked on the suit, a mix of faux leather and linen topped with a cape of wool and sheep’s skin, and other accent pieces, sculpting the teeth decorations from epoxy clay and working with real leather for the shoes and gauntlets.
An adventure in helmet crafting
Meanwhile, Geoffrey concentrated his skill on modeling and 3D printing the helmet and chest box, complete with text and tiny greeblies. “The helmet has been a great adventure,” Geoffrey says. With limited reference resources, he had no idea what the back of the real costume piece even looked like. The printed base was covered in plaster to give it a bone-like finish.
They also fashioned the raider’s electroripper staff using wood, PVC, and 3D printing other assorted parts. A reused painting grid was subbed in for the metal end of her frightful melee weapon.
Then it was time to meet the character on screen. “When we saw the film for the first time I was really expecting a lot from the character and I wasn’t disappointed,” Maryon says. “She’s really fabulous!”
Seeing Enfys in action gave her a better sense of how to adjust her own cosplay, photographed professionally by Guillaume Huyn Quan Suu, following body language and other personal style cues. It also meant the couple had to go back to the shop to adjust the costume, with more detailed views and greater insight into the overall ensemble.
But we think what they accomplished with limited time and resources is most impressive just the same!
The Most Impressive Fans Q&A
Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
Maryon (Zam): It’s so difficult to pick one, but in the most recent films I will say Rose and Chirrut because they believe in their ideas and fight for them.
Geoffrey (Jek): Han Solo, because he did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs and it’s soooo cool!
Which Star Wars film ranks highest on your list?
Maryon (Zam): The Empire Strikes Back because I love tauntauns so much!
Geoffrey (Jek): The Empire Strikes Back, too, because it’s the first movie where we feel the spirituality of Star Wars.
What’s your first Star Wars memory?
Maryon (Zam): I was 3 or 4 years old, and my father and brother were watching the trilogy again and again. I was fascinated by the lightsabers, but ewoks inspired me to enter the Star Wars universe for good.
Geoffrey (Jek): I was 5 years old when my parents brought me to Disneyland Paris and Star Tours was absolutely fantastic for a child like me. The next year, the special editions of the original trilogy were released and I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Maryon (Zam): When I was a child, Jabba’s Palace was my favorite scene. All the creatures and alien species were fantastic. And Leia was wonderful.
Geoffrey (Jek): Luke observing the suns on Tatooine with the fantastic music of John Williams. The beginning of the adventure!
If you had to choose: join the rebels or live the Imperial life?
Maryon (Zam): No side. Marauders for life! (Enfys Nest, Boushh, Zam Wesell…)
Geoffrey (Jek): Rebels. Even when I wear my sandtrooper armor, I’m a rebel spy.
Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives on Digital and Movies Anywhere on September 14 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On-Demand on September 25.
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!