Letter To The People - Rökktober 2008

Publisher's Commentary
by Rökker

Darth Bane - Path Of Destruction

Darth Bane - Path Of Destruction

Darth Bane lived about 1000 years before Star Wars: Episode I. It was by his design that the Sith go into hiding and live by the Rule of Two; A master to wield the power and an apprentice to crave it, no more, no less.

This philosophy is what lured the Jedi to their complacency in thinking that they alone were the peacekeepers of that galaxy so far, far away.

After tricking the Brotherhood of Darkness (a collection of all the Sith Lords from the old Republic era) into their own destruction along with General Hoth and half of his Army of Light (the Jedi army), Bane and his new apprentice went into hiding. The Jedi, believing their Sith adversaries were extinct, saw no reason to keep their army intact and disbanded, creating the Jedi Council that would answer to the Republic Senate or The New Republic (the Star Wars politico you are probably most familiar with).

Although carried out by Palpatine a.k.a. Darth Sidious, the “revenge” in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge Of The Sith is Darth Bane’s revenge. He is the true Shadow Warrior. You’ll find a few references to Bane and the Rule Of Two in the movies, but to truly understand the Dark Side, you’ll need to read a book, or two. The first is Darth Bane: Path Of Destruction and it’s sequel Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn.

This year for Halloween, I decided to embody the Darth Bane character. It wouldn’t be an easy task as there is no commercial costume made to rent or buy and only a few book covers, comic books and figurines to go by. But in a classic Halloween town like Madison, there were plenty of shops to browse for costume accessories.

No Sith can hide their identity without a good cloak so my first call was to Raven over at Ravenworks in the West Gate mall on Whitney Way in Madison. Raven’s specialty is handmade Renaissance era capes and cloaks, so with books in hand we went to JT Whitneys for a Star Wars debriefing over lunch and beer.

Intrigued by the story of Darth Bane, Raven requested my copy of Darth Bane: Path Of Destruction so she could get a good feel for the character she was about to create. She also crammed all six movies to study the other characters as well. I knew I’d come to the right place as I was looking to be authentic as possible.

It was a matter of days after my initial measurements that I was back at Ravenworks to try on the cloak she had in progress and to analyze and flesh out some of the other accessories. Raven’s attention to detail was fueled by her knowledge of world cultures and how Star Wars costumes contained elements from Buddhist to Samurai to Renaissance among others.

Raven loves to get people trying on clothing and in no time I was in the back room donning some black undergarments before putting on some leather shoulder armor that would make the cloak pleat and flow correctly. I felt like I was about to huddle up for some bad-ass game of Sith football, it definitely made me feel powerful!

Next came the hood of the cloak and that’s where the handmade cloak pays off. Using double material and some tricky sewing gave substance and depth to the cowl. It is important to note that Bane’s cloak has a subtle serpentine pattern which Raven nailed exactly. It is as authentic a cloak for Bane as I could ever imagine.

But she wasn’t done yet, a leather tabard very similar to a young Annakin Skywaker in Episode II was also called for. Like a double breasted vest, the tabard hangs like Samurai body armor and is held in place with an oversized belt called an “Obie”. The tabard and obie were also custom made by hand and fit perfectly under my cloak.

Finally she through in some black leather gauntlets, a latex bald head and make up to give Bane’s pasty white complexion and “Alice Cooper” like facial markings.

My Training was almost complete but I still needed some good boots. For those, my journey took me to the new Amsterdam location on Willy Street and a meeting with it’s owner Leslie Peterson. After looking at a bunch of insane goth boots that could have made me 3 inches taller, I decided on a pair of leather boots with a pirates cowl to match my gauntlets.

And the last remaining piece to the puzzle would be a lightsaber. Sure, there are a bunch out there from the plastic cone ones to the flashy Force FX models, but they are all modeled after the lightsabers sported by Obi Wan, Annakin, Vader and Yoda. None of these would do for an old Republic Dark Lord of the Sith! My journey took an interesting turn online as Danchez from Axiom sent me a link to www.parksaber.com.

Jeff Parks makes his own custom lightsabers and isn’t affiliated with the whole Lucas Films merchandising machine. Located just outside of Dallas, he’s a small mom n’ pop business and the quality of his “art” is bar none. It notes on his website that your Saber could take 8-10 weeks to be made as he does need to sleep a little.

Nikko and Elizabeth ready for Trick or TreatingBut I called him up to see if he had anything in stock. After hearing that I would be going as Darth Bane, he told me that he had some new prototypes of blades that were modeled with the “old Republic” in mind and that I would need one that was more “aggressive” for a Sith Lord. He offered up the new “Ego” hilt and packaged it with a Sith-red blade.

Come down to the Maximum Ink Halloween Spooktakular at the Regent Street Retreat/Annex to see Darth Bane battle with the other Jedi scum in a lightsaber battle that promises to be entertaining at the least.

Raven has also made costumes for Danchez (Obi Wan) and Jakob (Anakin) of Axiom and MaxInk’s advertising director Alice (Padme in the arena) among others.

For more info on Ravenworks go to www.ravenworksip.com and don’t forget that Raven will be holding a winter Renaissance Festival on December 13-14, check the website for details.

Adventures with Nikolai and Elizabeth: Nikko and Lizzie went to Clownin’ Around on University Ave. to try on costumes. After all of the Star Wars mania Nikko decided to be Batman, go figure. But at least he chose the old school “Adam West” Batman!! Elizabeth is the Pink Lady, a Grease themed costume. Happy Halloween.

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