On September 24 Leia Organa will headline a new book, Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells. This weekend Fictional State of Mind kicked off the Razor’s Edge blog tour for the book with an interview with the author. Stay tuned to the Star Wars Books Facebook page for more stops in the tour. Tosche Station’s reviewer Bria cosplayed the cover image of the upcoming book at Dragon*Con over the Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. I reached out to Bria to ask her about what inspired her to bring the cover image to life.
What inspired you to create this costume?
From the minute I saw the cover for Razor’s Edge, I knew that I wanted to do the costume. I’ve said to my friends in the past that so many of the book covers with Leia bore me because they almost all show her in her film costumes. This was absolutely not something she wore in the films but it works so well for not only her character but also for the role she’s filling within the book as a leader of the Rebel Alliance on a vital mission. She gets to wear an outfit that shouts ‘this is meant for action!’ without automatically having to wear a catsuit. I had an idea for how I wanted to make the costume and one day, I challenged myself to complete the costume in 12 hours because I loved the look of it that much.
Do you prefer costumes that are easily recognizable? Did people recognize this one?
Sadly no one at the convention, outside of those who knew I was doing the costume, recognized me. I actually had someone in the Star Wars panel room ask if I was doing a Mara Jade costume. (That one really confused me.) For costuming in general, I tend to straddle that line between recognizable and obscure. While I’ve certainly done more mainstream characters, I tend to try and do either B-list or C-list characters or else one of their costumes that you don’t often see. What’s most important to me here, though, is to do a costume for a character because I really like her (or in gender swapped cases, him) or the costume and not because I’ll get attention. That said, this Leia costume might end up being one of my favorites that I’ve done because it’s incredibly comfortable and I can easily carry all my things in it.
How did you get your start in cosplaying?
I grew up knowing how to sew and sort of just fell into cosplaying completely by accident. The very first costume I made was Barriss Offee for Halloween when I was 15. My very first convention though was Dragon*Con 2008. I’d put together a Captain Hammer Groupie #1 costume and once I saw how much fun both my friends and all the other costumers at the convention were having, I decided that I wanted to do that too. Fast forward to five years later and I’ve put together almost 40 costumes and can’t seem to stop.
You are an active member of the Star Wars community, including writing and podcasting for Tosche Station, running White Hot Room, and also as a member of the Lady Rogues. What makes you such a passionate fan and what does each of those groups bring to the Star Wars fandom?
Star Wars is just something that has always been there and that has always meant a lot to me, and it just feels right to take an active part in it. I can’t really pin down what exactly makes me a passionate fan except that I really love it. It’s a galaxy that just makes me incredibly happy. Writing for Tosche Station helps me keep abreast of all the current news and it’s also a wonderful platform from which I can share my thoughts and opinions about essentially anything in the fandom. Without that platform, I would’ve been unable to get as much traction as I did with my piece about Diversity in Star Wars a few months ago. With White Hot Room, I can express my love for my fandoms in a more artistic manner. We post fashionable outfits and collections of high fashion looks inspired by different Star Wars characters and I’ve even started posting hair tutorials. It’s our way of trying to express our fandom in everyday life. With the Lady Rogues, we are a group of friends who costume and just try to make as much of a positive impact on the geek community as we can. I think that’s what it all boils down to for me – the Star Wars fandom is an incredibly diverse group with just as diverse interests. Each of these outlets is another way that I can contribute to and help share my love for Star Wars.
Where can we find you around the web?
I am a writer for Tosche Station, which is a Star Wars blog. I also co-run White Hot Room with a very good friend of mine, which is a geek fashion and cosplay site. I’m also on Twitter with the handle @chaosbria.
Photo credits to Brian Larsen. Logo created by Scott Biel.
Tricia Barr writes about Star Wars, genre storytelling and fandom at FANgirl Blog and Star Wars Insider. She has just completed her first novel Wynde. Fans can connect with her on Twitter at @fangirlcantina or Fangirl Zone on Facebook.