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Fem Kylo Ren

The first photo from my shoot with Trevor Toma, of my new cosplay that I’m incredibly excited and proud to share - fem Kylo Ren!
Soft parts are by me and Seraphim City Couture, gloves by John Fuqua, everything else made and/or fabricated by me.

This will be a bit long, but I want to talk a little bit about why I wanted to cosplay this character, and what it means to me.

I was actually quite nervous to tackle this cosplay - not only is it incredibly detailed and tailored, it’s the first character I’ve cosplayed that was brand new AND very popular, but I had to do it. Once the bug had bitten me, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t get the vision of a female Kylo out of my head, with long black hair holding her helmet and lightsaber, the same tortured look in her eye.

Since I was little, the original Star Wars trilogy have been my all-time favorite films. While I loved the epic lightsaber battles, the rad costuming, and the general atmosphere of “space fantasy” - what appealed to me most was the characters, and the emotional impact their stories had on me. Darth Vader was always my favorite, but Luke was a close second. To this day, the story of Vader’s redemption through the love of his son(and how that compassion for his father is what makes Luke truly a hero)literally moves me to tears.

Obviously I was beyond excited to see the Force Awakens - and I was not disappointed. I cried at LEAST once every single time I saw the film(four times in the theatre) - the movie had the same excitement and emotional impact I felt watching the original trilogy. But once again, what appealed to me were the characters.

I absolutely loved Rey, and seeing her in the role of “the hero” was incredibly moving - as a female fanatic of this franchise, it meant SO MUCH. She is absolutely the most important character of this new franchise(ladies, it’s our turn!).

HOWEVER, while I loved the good guys, I can’t lie: I am a sucker for villains - especially unique ones.

I left the theatre completely captivated with Kylo Ren’s character. Never in a Star Wars film had I seen a villain so unhinged, not even with Anakin in the prequels(in my opinion). His wardrobe was so artfully crafted by the costumers - it’s easy to make an all-black outfit just look like a blob, but they chose so many unique textures and layers! The result was perfect.

But more so than his outfit, I was completely hyped by the characterization. Instead of the usual “bad guy”, who is just stoic and “badass”(which Kylo totally was), we saw him show uncertainty in his purpose. We saw him throw tantrums, and destroy things in his anger! We also saw him tear up and show great anguish in his scene with Han. Adam Driver did such an amazing job, both with the mask on and off(it really takes a lot of skill for an actor to show strong characterization while wearing a helmet for most of the movie). I could go on and on.

It is very rare for a male character, especially a villain, to show a broad range of emotions beyond rage. Men are human beings and have emotions, and it doesn’t make them any “less of a man”. I was really excited to see that in this character.

HOWEVER(once again), I couldn’t help but think about the character if everything was the same, the only difference being that Kylo was a woman. I could see her wearing the mask for the same reason he did in the movie - wanting to intimidate, not wanting to be judged for their youth and/or facial features. Instead wanting to invoke the same fear and respect as their grandfather, Darth Vader. 
I remembered when the first teaser/trailer was released for Force Awakens, they showed(what we now know to be) Kylo Ren walking through the snow and activating that completely awesome lightsaber - I remembered hoping so hard that that villain would end up being a woman.

So, while I’m thankful for the characterization we were given with Kylo Ren - I knew I had to tackle this character and cosplay as a woman. What would that have looked like? How would her emotional turmoil differ from the male counterpart? How would it be the same?

I hope you enjoy my take on this complex character! Thank you for reading, and May the Force be with you.

My cosplay fb page

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© 2016 - 2021 beckyalbright
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Honestly they should have hired you instead of the actor they chose. You actually LOOK threatening. I wish they'd have made Kylo female for the film-he's just not dark materiel.
Sadly for many of us, the new films are SJW-agenda wagons with SW being tainted by social/gender politics. If the new films weren't Star Wars and just sci-fi films I'd say yes, Adam was great, but they ain't:)
Adam wasn't bad ass at all sadly ( was ANY of the male characters??), he didn't look it and certainly didn't carry through on it vs Rey.

They would honestly have done themselves a service and just hired you^^
JackGarnier's avatar
truly most beautiful Fem Kylo ren ever
imhilien's avatar
beckyalbright's avatar
WulWhite's avatar
beckyalbright's avatar
InvaderSpotteh's avatar
this is fantastic oh my
beckyalbright's avatar
Thank you so much!! :D
msbrit90's avatar
Shadowhunter625's avatar
I like how you just made it a woman in Kylo's outfit. Plain and simple.

( The one thing I hate is when the female cosplays of male characters are super-sexualized and totally impractical in terms of what the character does in their world. )
beckyalbright's avatar
Thank you! To each their own, and I respect anyone's creative choices. For me, it made more sense to keep the outfit the same. Plus it was so brilliantly crafted by the Star Wars costumers, I just didn't see anything that should change! :)
Shadowhunter625's avatar
Ohh I agree! The outfit is perfect! You did good with keeping it just the way it is. How it's supposed to be.
verauko's avatar
Classy! <3 <3 <3
RensKnight's avatar
I forgot to mention on the other photo so I'll say it here--I like that you didn't "sex up" the costume in a way that would be tactically stupid or that diminishes the threat his outfit presents.  I don't see enough tasteful, elegant, and powerful cosplays like this for women who aren't crossplaying.  Even though I am borderline going to crossplay this time, and will likely fully do so as I continue to work on my look, I really have a lot of respect for stuff like this. :)
beckyalbright's avatar
Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment! For me, his costume was so sleek and artfully crafted that I saw no reason to change it(except perhaps a bit more fitted in the torso)! I think his outfit works no matter the gender, and I was truly in awe at how well the costumers made the different pieces stand out by using unique textures and fabrication, etc. As for skin showing, obviously I respect everyone's creative choices but to me, it would be a bit impractical to have a lot of bare skin, especially on Starkiller Base! (brrrrr)
RensKnight's avatar
You are very welcome.  This is an excellent cosplay. :)

Hahaha, I am a cold-natured creature, and the cons I attend are in the cooler months, so being warm is very much on my mind too.  I admit I'm also not comfortable showing skin...the sexiest cosplay I have simply consists of a tight turtleneck and tight leggings, but not bared skin.  (It's a Lady Cumberkhan cosplay, and I feel that the character as a female WOULD display her sexuality at least a little, given she sees herself as a perfect specimen of humanity, but at the same time would be very forbidding and "HANDS OFF" towards the "unworthy.")

I agree that the outfit needs little to no change for a female wearer other than some slight tailoring for one's figure.  In my case my chest is so small that I suspect that if I don't wear a bra (and yay, I can actually get away with that because of so much heavy material!), I might even stand a chance of passing as male while masked.  No need to bind or do anything! :D
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