North York Central Library's Wookiee

October 1, 2018 | Jane

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Daniel comes to North York Central Library's Creation Loft several times a week to work on sewing projects. He might mention that he's working on a costume, but it's a piece here, a piece there. So when he offered to bring one of his costumes in the following week, we were altogether unprepared for the massive contractor's box he rolled in, with an assistant in tow!

Some elaborate dressing processes later, Star Wars' favourite Wookiee emerges . . . down to all but the forgotten Chewbacca hands (paws?). Daniel starts with his buckets-with-braces stilts that take him to just over 7 feet tall. Motorcycle padding comes next. It is the full-body wig and mask that had their origins in the Creation Loft that truly Wookify him, however. Attention to detail takes the costume from very fine to true cosplay excellence, such that Daniel estimated he'd need another 150 hours of work transform it to cosplay standard. As it was, Chewie's ammo belt took special machining of the boxes attached, and then a very particular coating to make them catch the light just so. Daniel honed his Shyriiwook too, to be truly convincing. 

Photo credit: Joseph Milligan, used with permission

Why, you ask? The story gets better. Daniel belongs to a Star Wars "good guy" cosplay organization called Rebel Legion whose watch-words are "Costuming, Charity, Community." The Rebel Legion shows up in their beautiful, meticulously-crafted costumes at charity events - Sick Kids and Make a Wish among them - and spread joy.

One turn around Central's newly renovated second floor demonstrated the love-sharing phenomenon, with both adults and kids clambering for a photo op. Cheers, Chewie!