“We’re not huddled in one place—we span the galaxy. We’re more than just people or an army. We’re a culture. We are the Disney Fetts!” Proclaimed Arden as she introduced her Disney Fetts Army to the world.
Amber Arden turned the cosplay world upside down when she debuted her mashup, Snowbafett. A cross between Snow White and bounty hunter Boba Fett. As she started to concept the idea, she never imagined what one design would create. But in just a year, Arden has developed an army that continues to grow in numbers on a daily basis.
Just in time for the new Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Arden and her fellow cosplayers have stormed the internet, flooding it with pictures we never knew we needed. Not only do they look amazing, BUT they worked together to craft their masterpieces. Each character has spent countless hours conceptualizing, molding, painting, and sewing.
Creating a Mandalorian army is not easy, but it sure is a lot less daunting when you have Arden leading the way.
She explains,”well making Mandalorian armor is very difficult and tedious! Not to mention telling the members what it takes to make armor can be a bit intimidating. So I showed them what I do to create armor! With Sintra board and heat guns! After going to a few Manda’galaar https://www.facebook.com/mandagalaarclan/ meetings (armor parties) basically Boba Fett armor making meetings in relation to the http://mandalorianmercs.org I helped the members with templates and suggestions! Then they created their own character design! I learned so much from the year I wore Snowbafett. Through upgrading and working my own, I was able to help them, offering tips and tricks to make their armor even more awesome!”
And boy were they thankful. After talking to a handful of them, each one praised the help of their fearless leader.
The Hipster Mermaid herself, Traci Hines, expressed ” I usually design princess gowns or mermaid costumes for myself, so switching gears and doing something with armor was such a new experience for me. I was so excited about it but had no clue where to even start to create the look, and the only reason my costume even happened was because of Amber and her fiancee Eric. They helped me every step of the way, and they’re the reason my dream Ariel Fett armor design was brought to life!’
While Arden has been called “Mamma Fett” by a few, she wasn’t the only one lending a helping hand. Besides the meetings in Arden’s back yard, they had some extra help from some incredibly talented people.
Hines continued, “Also, couldn’t have done it without our friend Jamison Toy’s (LToyCreations) amazing 3D printing & the gorgeous custom molded Sabine style Mandalorian helmet that Ryan Trent outfitted me with”
Just look at that detail! And that goes for every character. It is clear as you look at these pictures, that everyone poured all they had into this mashup.
“It’s amazing each member of the Disney Fetts adore the character they chose and already cosplay as the character! I know! Meant to be,” said Arden.
Cosplayer Shel (Life of Shel), well known for her Anna cosplays, continues the passion with her mashup of Anna Fett.
“Anna is my spirit animal. I love her to death, and it helps that I kinda look (and act) like that goofball. It did help that I’ve had a little practice creating Disney crossovers (Debuted Anna-Solo at WonderCon 2015) and my Anna inspiration came to me rather quickly. There’s not a straight formula to create these crossovers, it really just comes from a love and respect for the characters you’re representing.”
Another member of the Disney Fett Army, is none other then the wickedly talented cosplayer PandaCat. She debuted her Aurora Fett, which is a dazzling pink AND blue.
“The first thing that came to mind when planning out the style choice for Aurora was her color scheme.One of my favorite nuances from The Sleeping Beauty, was the idea that her dress was created by magic and changed colors during the film. Keeping that in mind, I decided to pay homage to that aspect of her iconic dress by painting the armor as though it were caught in transition between calls of ‘Make it Pink!’ and ‘Make it Blue!’.”
PandaCat wasn’t the only one who took the time to add extra detail that brought some of their favorite characters to life.
Hines dove in breaking down the details she had to have, “when I was planning out my design, I knew I had to integrate scales into my armor. I wanted them to be 3D and to be organically placed so they looked very mermaidy and even a bit creature-like. I also knew I wanted to have Seashell armor! The shells are so iconic to Ariel, so I knew I wanted to work them in!”
Cosplayer Maid of Might is no beginner when it comes to mashing up one of her favorite princesses. During last Con season, Maid of Might debuted Slave Rapunzel; and continues the Disney/Star Wars streak with her new Rapunzel Fett. She thought of everything, even a Wanted Poster for Flynn Rider.
“They are my two biggest fandoms and as soon as I heard they were merging I couldn’t resist combing my two favorite characters. I started with Rapunzel and Leia, then couldn’t help but continue it from there!”
And we are so glad she did. Rapunzel Fett was not an easy task, but Maid of Might found the challenge to be the best part.
“My favorite thing about the project was how challenging and fun it was!! I spent countless hours mastering techniques that I have never used before. The work I put into it has definitely been rewarding since our group is full of such wonderful people!!”
It is always something magical when something is done to the degree of perfection the whole Disney Fett Army has brought. Each cosplayer brings not only their own style, but personality and strengths. Take for example, youngest cosplayer in the group, Miley TinyThunder. The seven year old, who has taken the realm of Children cosplay to a whole new level, rocked her Tinkerbell Fett. So much, that when I ran into her last week, she was already looking for more reasons to wear it again.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters now and with it brings a tide of new possibilities. In 2015 we saw some amazing mashups from Maid of Might, Rian Synnth, Elizabeth Rage, and so many more. It is safe to say that this trend has only seen the tip of the ice-burg. But what is it exactly about Star Wars and Disney that make for a perfect mashup?
Hines summed it up perfectly, “I think that it’s fun for fans of both genres (which are now pretty much the same genre!) to combine their passions and come up with something creative that’s a little out of the box. For some cosplayers, cosplay is all about creating a costume that is their favorite character come to life, and spot on to the artwork they love in every detail. For others, it’s about creating their own interpretation of a character and making changes according to their own personal taste, often coming up with completely new designs and ideas! I think both versions of cosplay are awesome and at the end of the day, cosplay is a hobby that is all about showing your love for a fandom. I think that mashup costumes in general are an extra-creative way to show your love for multiple genres in one costume!”
York In A Box added, “personally I thought the mashup was awesome and took two very iconic brands, Star Wars and Disney, and the team created something both very amazing and original! This sort of mashup hasn’t been done before, especially not at this scale.”
York, who is a rising photographer in the cosplay community, not only had a blast from being involved, but felt honored to have been asked. He teamed up with friend, Fat Man Photography to bring us these fabulous photos.
He teased with a few details behind the scenes during the photo-shoot and expressed that shoots are always a little hectic. Somehow, Hines pants which fit perfectly before had ended up to big. Armor was falling off as they waddled from location to location. And let’s not forget the video on York’s Instagram of Shel making friends with a Peacock. But the best behind the scenes story was recapped by PandaCat.
“My favorite instance was when we happened across a lovely young bride and groom taking their wedding photos. I was worried that they would be concerned about us walking through their shot as we passed through, but in a twist of expectation, the wedding photographer asked us to pose with the newlyweds! So now, in addition to the blow up the Mandalorian Madness has caused online, we will forever be in that nice couple’s wedding album.”
Need more? Don’t worry, because Arden’s army has grown to about 30 people and half of them haven’t even been debuted. You will be able to catch the new, expanded Disney Fett Army on Saturday March 26 at Wondercon. Trust me when I say, you do not want to miss this. Another way to keep updated on all the amazing stuff to come out of the Disney Fett Army is to follow all of them involved. More photos are coming out daily and they only keep getting better.