Autism Society of MN Flash Dash

Costumers for a Cause Crew! Photo Credit: Lisa Hayes.

On March 1st, I attended the Autism Society of Minnesota‘s Steps for Autism Flash Dash as part of the Minnesota Force and Costumers for a Cause. I had a really great time! This was my first time wearing my Kylo Ren costume with my new upgrades (new boots, new wig, brown contacts) and I think they improved my costume a lot.

Screenshot from the FOX9 News segment about the event.

Power of the Dark Side! Photo Credit: Lisa Hayes.

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The Rise of Skywalker Premiere

Group shot from Thursday!

Continuing with “Star Wars Week,” I did three Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiere events in a row. The first was on December 19th at Alamo Drafthouse. I dressed as General Hux, and some friends made a “FREE HUGS” sign and we had a little too much fun taking photos of people hugging Hux against his best wishes.

My thoughts about the movie? I liked it, but I do have a few complaints, but nothing major. I won’t bore anyone with my opinions!

Hux doesn’t want this. At all.

The second event was on December 20th at the Alamo Drafthouse again. More shenanigans of Hux being hugged. I will never tire of this joke.

DO. NOT. WANT. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis/Silverfoxviz.

What is this disgusting creature? Take it away immediately.

The third event was on December 21st at Plymouth Grand 15. It was a longer troop, so I wore two costumes: Admiral Ackbar and Kylo Ren. I had so much fun at all of the events during “Star Wars Week,” even though I was super busy.

Our group! Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Admiral Snackbar. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Would you care for some Swedish Fish from Admiral Snackbar? Photo Credit: Nick Hickman,

Holdo + Ackbar 4 eva! Photo Credit: Sara Rae.

Fighting Rey, like usual. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Full disclosure: I’m back-dating this post, but it’s taken me two years to get around to finally posting about Star Wars Celebration Chicago. As soon as I got back, things were crazy and didn’t stop being crazy. So, my memory is kind of foggy on a lot of details, but I’ll try my best!

Star Wars Celebration Chicago was my first Celebration. Because it was in Chicago, that made it much more affordable to attend (we could drive there, as opposed to having to fly).

Wednesday – April 10th

Wednesday was our travel day. We left early in the morning and arrived in Chicago in the early afternoon. We had a room at the host hotel, which was awesome and made things so much easier. We loaded in (which took a while) and while doing so, we ran into Warwick Davis in the elevator. I kept my cool, although inside I was fangirling. He was actually staying on our floor just a few doors down from us, which I thought was pretty amusing. This was the start of many “Warwick Encounters” my friends had throughout the convention.

Thursday – April 11th

Day one of the convention! I wore my “Girl Gang” General Hux. We wandered around the convention hall and took everything in, mostly. Later in the afternoon, we had a Minnesota Force meetup and took photos of our “Girl Gang” costumes, and then had a “Girl Gang” dinner afterward. It was a pretty good start to the convention since it was pretty low-key.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Friday – April 12th

Friday was a lot busier. I wore my General Hux costume the entire time, and went to several photo meet-ups.

General Hux and First Order Officers.

I was so excited to meet fellow General Hux costumers! Several are friends I’ve only ever met online, so it was so awesome to meet them in person.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

I also got to meet a few of my Kylo Ren costumer friends in person!

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2nd Annual Minnesota Force Costumed Bowling

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

January 26th was the 2nd Annual Minnesota Force Costumed Bowling event! This time we invaded Park Tavern. We had such a huge turnout! I think everyone had fun. I didn’t bowl, but I had a blast watching everyone else bowl.

Dad and his son, twice. Both of whom want to kill him again. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Punk bitch, party of two.

 

Star Wars in Concert

Photo Credit: Madeline Anderson.

On January 3-6, the Minnesota Orchestra performed the music of Star Wars: A New Hope live along with a showing of the film for five shows. I volunteered at four of the five shows, and had an absolute blast! There were so many people excited to get photos with us, and it was fun to wear a variety of costumes over the three-day period. I wore Kylo on Thursday, Admiral Ackbar on Friday, and General Hux on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Madeline Anderson.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Photo Credit: Madeline Anderson.

Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Hard day at Starkiller Base. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

This “Christmas Cheer” is disgusting. Take this atrocity down immediately. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Probably the most epic photo ever taken of us. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Shirtless Kylo Ren (“Ben Swolo”) – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This epic photo taken by Alex Hall.

Ever since I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi, “Randomly Shirtless Kylo Ren” has been my favorite thing from the movie (after Porgs, of course). I was living for the #kylorenchallenge on Instagram, and the “Ben Swolo” memes that took over the internet for about a week. So, when a friend found a ridiculous shirtless men’s chest piece and asked if I wanted him to pick it up for me, I said, “YES!”

Chest Piece: I don’t remember the brand, but it’s just a plastic chest piece from a costume store that cost $8.

Bodysuit: I bought this nude leotard to wear underneath the chest piece.

Wig, Leggings, Boots, Lightsaber & Makeup: All borrowed from my Kylo Ren costume.

A Force for Karen Blood Drive

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

This fall, the Minnesota Force lost one of our beloved members, Karen Madsen, to an 18-year battle with blood cancer. In her honor, we started a group called A Force for Karen. Our first event was a blood drive on November 17th. She relied on blood transfusions, and often spoke to the importance of donating blood. Our goal was 22 pints, and we surpassed our goal!

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Halloween 2018

Even way before I got into costuming as my major hobby, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. I still love it, even now that I’m in costume almost more than I’m not. The past couple of years my costumes have been just ridiculous (last year I was Business Cat – just me in business attire wearing a giant cat head) and this year was no exception.

A friend found these ridiculous plastic men’s chestpieces in a shop and showed me a photo, and I asked him to pick one up for me. I had Big Plans for it.

BenSwolo

Oh, hello.

For anyone who has seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you may remember the odd scene in which Kylo Ren “Force Skypes” with Rey and he’s just…standing there, oiled-up and shirtless?! It was such an odd moment in the film, and it launched the #benswolochallenge on Instagram where people hiked up their black pants to their ribcage, took off their shirts, and looked like a Space Pinup Bad Boy. My plan was to take this and run with it and strive for ridiculousness.

I bought a nude-colored leotard to wear as a base, and then basically my entire Kylo Ren costume (minus the tunic, vest, and cape) with the stupid fake chest attached to my front, and then hiked up my leggings so far up that I’m pretty sure my pants could have doubled as a bra. The result?

‘Sup, Rey?

Kylo, no. Costumers: Kris Heding and Jordan West.

I SAID, ‘SUP, REY.

The most majestic photo ever taken of me, thank you to Alex Hall.

And then we made a fun video because my sense of humor is odd. (Costumers: Kris Heding, Madeline Anderson, and Jordan West.)

Halloween 2018

It was a pretty epic Halloween.

Crypticon 2018

Costumers: Paul Haga & Kris Heding.

On October 26-28, I went to Crypticon for the first time. I was contacted by the organizers of the convention to have a “Star Wars in Minnesota” table in one of the conference rooms (along with our friends from the Saber Legion). It was an opportunity for us to try out having an info table at a different con.

On Friday, I debuted my Clan Techie costume (from Dredd 2012) and followed my friend Paul around in his Dredd costume. I’m pretty sure nobody knew who I was supposed to be, and that’s fine – I didn’t expect anyone to care about a side-character that most people probably don’t remember. But, it was a really fun costume to put together, and now I have two costumes of Domhnall Gleeson’s characters, so I guess I have A Thing, now? (I’ve been told I should make a Bill Weasley costume. I may.)

Anyway, we took some fun photos around the con (even on the roof, which was not supposed to be unlocked, so…oops.)

Eep! Costumers: Kris Heding & Paul Haga.

pleasedon’tshootmepleasedon’tshootme Costumers: Paul Haga & Kris Heding.

Did I mention it was cold and rainy? It was cold and rainy. Costumers: Paul Haga & Kris Heding.

HE IS THE LAW. And I’m…a nervous wreck. Costumers: Kris Heding & Paul Haga.

Hacking the system, or just checking e-mails? Costumers: Kris Heding & Paul Haga.

Saturday morning I did the Anoka Halloween Parade as Admiral Ackbar, and then came back to the hotel to take a quick nap before continuing with my Crypticon adventures. I switched into Catwoman, and we took some fun photos out in the cold again. This time, no roof.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Choking Harley with a whip – like one does. Costumers: Nicole Petry & Kris Heding. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Ah, lovely footstool. Oh, hey Harley. Costumers: Kris Heding & Nicole Petry. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Sunday morning we loaded out our luggage and costumes and then I donned my Fem!Kylo while working at the Star Wars tables for a while.

Costumers: Mike Giralico, Heather Nicole, and Kris Heding. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Costumers: Mike Giralico, Heather Nicole, and Kris Heding. Photo Credit: Alex Hall.