The Jedi uniform

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth_Nub, Sep 2, 2010.

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  1. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
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    The issue of just what the Jedi Knights of the Republic wore as 'uniforms' prior to their extermination has been brought up a couple of times recently, mainly in relation to the newly revealed deleted scene from ROTJ. It's been covered in TSHOSW, but I still think there's a few loose ends to discuss.

    The PT established that, for all intents & purposes, the Jedi got about in clothing that was basically what we saw Obi-Wan Kenobi wearing in ANH:

    [image=http://www.ratewall.com/cpics/obi-wan_kenobi.jpg]

    [image=http://www.wastrelsanonymous.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/obi-wan-kenobi-poster-card-c10227307.jpeg] [image=http://sw.wbs.cz/QuiGonJinnV3Wallpaper.jpg] [image=http://cgi.rumormillnews.com/pix0/YODA.jpg] [image=http://www.piedeliek.nl/Mace%20Windu.jpg] [image=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/b/ba/Jedi_masters1.jpg]

    This was reinforced by what we saw of the ghost of Anakin Skywalker wearing at the end of ROTJ, side by side with the only other two Republic-era Jedi we've ever seen, wearing much the same stuff:

    [image=http://urbanvox.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/swghosts.jpg]

    Fine. Very monastic, very simple. No battle armour, no medals, no jetpacks or helmets, they're Jedi, their only ally is the Force, blah blah blah. I guess that's what they wore at their height.

    Except...

    [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20051105230535/starwars/images/thumb/e/ec/Wioslea.jpg/250px-Wioslea.jpg] [image=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/6/60/Fixer1.JPG] [image=http://members.shaw.ca/mkuppe/c3/philbrownauto2.jpg] [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20061103125606/starwars/images/a/ab/Lirin-carn.jpg] [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060313191706/starwars/images/e/ef/Merc-sunlet.jpg]

    Tatooine seems to be crawling with either fugitive Jedi, or idiots wearing Jedi outfits in an act of defiance, much as Sid Vicious liked to wear the swastika. Even the local savages seemed to be into it to a certain extent:

    [image=http://helenafrithpowell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/sand_people.jpg]

    So Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight & General of the Galactic Republic, was clearly just wearing the appropriate garb one might wear on a desert planet like Tatooine.

    However, in ANH, there's one other character still wearing something similar to Obi-Wan, & it's not for economical reasons, or being comfortable in the desert:

    [image=http://www.starwarspropaganda.com/posted_images/characters/anh%20vader/anhvader_final_1.JPG]

    He's in a life support suit, yet among jack-booted fascist Imperials in strict military gear he still feels the need to wear cosmetic floor-length robes (apart from the cape) resembling those of desert rats - which serve no purpose at all. Why?

    I'm going to leave this here for the time being. Discuss.
  2. oierem Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    Most probably, Lucas had Obi-Wan wear this kind of desert robes just because he was living in Tatooine, so he is dressed up like everyone else on that planet. But at the same time, the character of Obi-Wan (played by Alec Guinness) ended up being some sort of Force-monk, so the robes were appropriate. Robes and cloaks fit well with the medieval/classic adventure feeling of the movie.

    So during the making of the OT, that kind of robes became associated with the Jedi, and Lucas, perhaps naturally, had Yoda and Anakin wear the same type of clothes. I'm not sure about when did the robes become the official Jedi uniform. It's true that Lucas' original conception of the Jedi was more military than monastic, and Luke was dressed in black for Return of the Jedi. However, the robes probably felt "right" for the old, wise Jedi, and that's how they ended up being the "official uniform" of the Jedi in the PT.

    So the question is, when did the robes become part of the Jedi uniform? Was it during the making of the PT, or did it actually happen during the making of the OT?
  3. EECHUUTA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2007
    star 4
    I think the Tattoine clothes look like that because it is meant to keep the wearer cool, and to prevent too much sun exposure. They are also probably lighter in weight and loose fitting then regular offworlder clothing, which helps if your in a hot desert. ;)
  4. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

    Manager
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    star 6
    It certainly would seem as if the decision had been made during ROTJ (thanks to the ghost shot). But The Art of Episode I says that the concept designers were told to work up multiple designs, some of which are relatively similar to what Luke wore (they are described as similar to the look of Madmartigan from Willow).
  5. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    It's also worth considering that in the early drafts of ANH, at least, both Jedi and Sith wore samurai robes. That is, regardless of what ended up on film, Force-users were envisioned as basically wearing Japanese kimonos. It seems, further, that the Jedi elders wore white robes, and the Sith always wore black.

    There also survives a handwritten note by Ralph McQuarrie, based on the ANH third draft script, describing what each character should be wearing for his production paintings. It includes the notation: "Ben - Japanese kimono".

    This would explain why Vader is wearing black robes: it's simply the Sith uniform.

    It also suggests that Lucas's original intent, when writing ANH at least, was to have both Jedi and Sith wear kimono-like robes. The robes would be color-coded according to their allegiance; Sith would wear black, and Jedi elders like the Starkiller would wear white. In the final film, however, little trace of this idea remains; instead, the inhabitants of Tatooine (including, but by no means limited to, Obi-Wan) wear cream-colored desert robes.

    The Jedi dress code was further changed in ROTJ, at which point Lucas tentatively decided that Jedi basically wore spartan black jumpsuits. He later toyed with reusing this concept for TPM, but ended up going back to his original concept of having Jedi wear kimono-like robes. Though, unlike in the early drafts, the Jedi elders of the prequels don't wear pure white.

  6. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I've always been partial to this particular design.
  7. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9

    From what I understand, Luke wore black as a symbolism of the darkness inside him from his father, and because he had to come to terms with it.


    As for the robes, yeah on Tattoine you would need to wear lose fitting garments to beat the heat. Remaber that once we saw other characters later in the trilogy, both main and background, they don't wear robes. They are dressed to thier conditions.
  8. Gundark31 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2010
    star 1
    I would have liked it better if they had used the black jumpsuit design.

    The big heavy robes just aren't right for a group of characters that are known for fantastical feats of gymnastics.
  9. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    I agree with that design. It has a little more of a warrior look to it.

    However, given Lucas' description that the PT is the height of the Jedi, but that they had stagnated and had not changed, the use of robes gives a little more of an archaic feel, given what other characters wear. Luke may represent the change in the Jedi order, since he is the last Jedi.

  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I can just see that guy saying:

    "What business does an Elf, Man, and a Dwarf have in the Riddermark?"
  11. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    OK, so although what Obi-Wan wears in ANH is partly influenced by living on Tatooine, the costume also has its roots in the early drafts - Samurai-style robes were the uniform of the Jedi (& Sith). It could also be argued that his robes are somewhat more elaborate than those we see worn by other Tatooine inhabitants.
    So the PT Jedi designs do have a certain legitimacy being based on Obi-Wan's garb in ANH.

    However, if that's what the Jedi wore, then where does this outfit come from?

    [image=http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/6279/672232-424px_lukejedi_super.jpg] [image=http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/6279/672220-440px_lukecloak_super.jpg] [image=http://www.cosplayisland.com/files/costumes/753/18684/epvi.jpg]

    Although there's a very slight similarity in the cut, this isn't just a black version of Obi-Wan's robes. It's been said on these boards & in TSHOSW that Luke's outfit in ROTJ was intended to be the actual Jedi uniform that was used during the days of the Republic, but I'm not sure where this information comes from. The only quote I'm aware of regarding the origin of the costume is this:

    MARK HAMILL: You haven't seen my new costume yet. It's all black. I told George it's very Vaderish, but he said, "It's supposed to be".

    - Bantha Tracks #18, November 1982

    If anything, the implication is almost that Luke is wearing Dark Side apparel, not Jedi clothing. The similarity between Luke & Palpatine is unmistakeable in the shots from the new ROTJ deleted scene:

    [image=http://images.blippitt.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/return-of-the-jedi-deleted-scene.gif] [image=http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/13242/2010/08/340x_screen_shot_2010-08-14_at_4.12.35_pm.jpg]

    Obviously, the primary reason for this similarity is to emphasise the risk to Luke of falling to the Dark Side, but where does this leave the issue of what a 'Jedi uniform' looks like?

    Just to complicate matters, there was one authorised rendition of a Republic-era Jedi back during the days of the OT, Obi-Wan Kenobi himself in Marvel's Star Wars #24, 'Silent Drifting'(1979):

    [image=http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/a/a3/Obiwan_silent_drifting.jpg] [image=http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/thumb/c/ce/Tryll-Kenobi.JPG/800px-Tryll-Kenobi.JPG]

    Not exactly the same, but not unlike Luke in ROTJ.
  12. Gundark31 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2010
    star 1
    It's in the Art of The Phantom Menace book if I remember correctly, it's been about 10 years since I read it.

    It shows designs for Obi Wan's costume that look like the black suit Luke wore.

    There are other places that talk about it that I can't remember though.
  13. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Yes, the black Jedi uniform is in a lot of the concept sketches for Jedi in TPM (including most of the Obi-Wan designs).
  14. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I think you're talking about these designs:

    [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/8/84/Obi-Wan_Kenobi_Episode_1_Concept_Art.jpg]

    [image=http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/5154/obiwan1.jpg]

    Samurai-like, no question, but completely different to either Obi-Wan's & Anakin's (end of ROTJ) robes, & quite different to Luke's ROTJ costume. More similar to the Marvel outfit, if anything, & that's a strange little loose end that may or may not have any connection to the big picture.

    I'll try to track down the TPM quotes about Luke's ROTJ outfit, but unfortunately I'm inclined to treat PT-era information like that with far more than a mere grain of salt, based on just how much is either mis-remembered or flat out misinformation.

    This is what I'm interested in, & it's not just about something as superficial as costume design. When GL imagined the Jedi Knights, how did he picture them back in the days of the OT? Shaolin monks or galactic police? Why was the ghost of Anakin Skywalker in robes identical to Obi-Wan's - were they Jedi robes, or is it proof that both were conceived as originally having been Tatooine farmers right through to ROTJ?
  15. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    Well it might be important to notice that Yoda does not wear the same Tatooine-style robes in the OT. He seems to have on clothing similar to Luke's Bespin fatigues (but darker), with a robe/cloak on top. Perhaps this is evidence for a proposed uniform look to the old-timey Jedi?
  16. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Interestingly, all of the "black Jedi jumpsuit/robes" costume designs from Episode I appear to date from around the first draft. In that early script, Obi-Wan is a solitary Jedi Knight for most of the film, i.e., during the adventures on Naboo (then called Utapau) and Tatooine; Qui-Gon only comes into the movie once Obi-Wan reaches Coruscant.

    There are numerous production paintings and costume drawings of Obi-Wan, as a solitary Jedi, wearing the black robes. (Examples: Besides the painting posted above, there's also a painting of him waiting alone, garbed in black, in the Trade Federation orbital station ambassadors' lounge. Also, the various drawings for his possible costumes and hairstyles all show him wearing black.) However, there seem to be very few drawings of Qui-Gon in black, which suggests that his elevation to greater prominence in the script may have happened around the same time as the initial all-black concept for Jedi garb was abandoned.

    (For instance, in a production painting showing Queen Amidala's visit to Boss Nass' refuge in the swamp, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are both visible, but they're wearing two-tone robes of white and light gray. Also, Qui-Gon has a mane of long white hair, as per the shooting script--but that's a minor detail.)
  17. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    I would not mind seeing those pictures. I like the idea of the black Jedi uniform, though you do not have the symbolism coming through like I think Lucas wanted.

    Maybe something like the black jumpsuit except in a lighter color, like Luke's Bespin fatigues.

    A combination of the black outfit and the tan outfit.[face_thinking]
  18. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I remember reading somewhere that the initial plan for TPM was to garb the Jedi in black and the Sith in white.

    As it stands now, though, I don't see a Jedi uniform - I see Jedi wearing simple robes as a testament to their rule of no possession.





    The Jedi are rich
    /LM
  19. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Yes, that sounds right: there's at least one colored costume-design sketch of Darth Maul wearing white, for instance. There's also a Doug Chiang painting, again based on the first draft, that shows Obi-Wan fighting Maul on Tatooine. Obi-Wan is wearing black and holding a green lightsaber, while Maul is garbed in white and wields a red saber.
  20. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Here's a few more concepts for TPM:

    Obi-Wan Kenobi
    [image=http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/obiwan2.jpg] [image=http://www.dayofthejedi.com/articles/2008/09/images/prequelconcept/prod-obi.jpg] [image=http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7637/dougchiangthephantommen.jpg]

    The 'white' Darth Maul
    [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090612044017/starwars/images/4/46/Darth_Maul_Concept_Art.jpg]

    Original concept for Mace Windu
    [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090612043604/starwars/images/a/ab/UnknownDarkSiderAdept.JPG]

    Qui-Gon Jinn
    [image=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090612045124/starwars/images/6/6a/Qui-Gon_Jinn_Concept_Art.jpg]
  21. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    And to illustrate my earlier posts, here are even more concepts for TPM and the black robes.

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm3.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm4.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm5.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm6.png]
    Several costume concepts, by Doug Chiang, for Obi-Wan in black robes. Darth_Nub has posted another drawing from this series.

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm21.jpg] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm22.jpg] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm20.jpg]
    Production paintings by Doug Chiang showing Obi-Wan, as a solitary Jedi, wearing black. (Two of these were already posted earlier, but at lower resolutions.)

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm1.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm2.png]
    Hairstyle concepts for an older Obi-Wan, wearing black robes. These were done right after Lucas decided to have Qui-Gon be present in the movie from its beginning. He initially wanted Obi-Wan to be the older of the two Jedi, but quickly rejected the idea; however, that initial thought gave rise to these images of Obi-Wan with white hair.

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm7.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm8.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm11.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm12.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm13.png]
    Concepts for various alien Jedi wearing black robes. In the second screenshot, especially interesting is the drawing of Yoda in black.

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm9.png] [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm10.png]
    Two opposing concepts for Darth Maul's clothing: one black, one white.

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm23.jpg]
    Obi-Wan, wearing black, faces off against Darth Maul, wearing white. Notice the lightsaber colors: Obi-Wan's is green and Maul's is red.

    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/tpm24.jpg]
    A later production painting of Queen Amidala and her retinue meeting Boss Nass in the Gungan swamp. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are both wearing light-colored outfits here. (Also note Qui-Gon's white hair.)
  22. firesaber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 3
    Haven't been to the boards in some time but thought I'd jump in on this one for fun. While many different concepts, ideas and sketches have floated about for the "Jedi Uniform", based on all of the above I think the only real uniform we can glean from all of the sources is that of robes. The color of the robe is probably much less important. It has been much documented that Lucas wanted or at least settled upon a warrior monk. With that, if you look at period pictures of Asian Culture and compared them to the clothes worn by say, samurai, other than the sword and some basic armor add ons they are in essence the same clothing. I am currently stationed in Saudi Arabia, and the average garment worn here, whether by Holy Men or Royalty is all essentially along the same base line with the exception of certain accessories based upon station in life.

    That being said, I think if you take the base line Jedi Robe but look more at the cut of the robe as opposed to the cut and quality of the robe of some of the tatooine dwellers you may note a difference. If you take the PT versions of the jedi the differences are evident in the cut and style and the belt worn by the jedi and of course the requisite saber. Remove these things (belt/saber) and they fall into a general clothing description. For example the fact that Qui-Gonn sauntered through Mos Espa without a dozen people going "ooh, a Jedi". And I think thats the point. The clothing or uniform didn't distinguish them as much as thier abilities and actions. And, while yes, flowing robes may not be the best garb for the physical feats that they could perform, they did lend a bit of bad assness to them, don't they? When you watch the movies and you see a jedi toss the robe, you knew something was about to go down.

    And, much like the lightsabers, theres nothing saying that the robes couldn't be allowed a little personalization. Dooku for example, prior to his fall. If you look ahead to the EU, the robes still feature prominently but there are instances of customized "battle" type ensembles as well.
  23. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    I would agree with this point. When I was a little younger and playing around with the action figures I had, I would group like clothing figures together, like creating different planet environments, such as Tatooine, and the Jedi robed figures would match up easily with Luke's desert outfit. The simple robes, while seemingly out of place on Coruscant, blend in well with less industrial, more earthy (for lack of a better word) worlds.

    Thanks, Darth_Nub and ATMMachine, for posting all those production pictures. It definitely gives an interesting insight into the process of making the PT. Did anyone else notice the fact that the droid army design was pretty well established in those drawings, vs. the Jedi robe ideas? I think the early concept of the Jedi robes is a very interesting design, especially given the bracers, and other more armor like elements. Even if the design was redone in what was eventually the movie Jedi robe color scheme, I still think it would work well.

    The other interesting part is that the design of Obi-Wan's outfit ended up in the movies anyway, in Bail Organa's outfit:

    [image=http://www.padawansguide.com/others/3_bail1.jpg]
  24. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    I like the one of Yoda wearing black.
  25. Daramin_of_The_Way Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2004
    star 4
    Oops, the link didn't work. Here is one:
    http://www.padawansguide.com/others/3_bail1.jpg
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