Michael Kaplan, the man who designed the costumes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens, is set to return to the galaxy far, far away for Episode IX. Although The Last Jedi has only just been released in theaters, it appears that Lucasfilm is already turning their attention towards the next installment in the trilogy, with director J.J. Abrams reportedly pitching a script, a working title established and production set to begin in June in the United Kingdom. Reaction to The Last Jedi has been drastically varied but one common area of praise thus far has been the visual elements.
A significant part of any movie's visual style is, of course, the costumes. Although costume design may be one of the Academy Awards' least-celebrated categories, the outfits characters wear play a huge part in creating a movie's fictional world and this is especially true within the genre of science-fiction. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Michael Kaplan's designs helped to convey the opulent wealth of the punters in Canto Bight, showed Poe's patched-up jacket in the aftermath of The Force Awakens and provided some visual clues as to the role of Luke Skywalker in the movie.
Happily, it appears that Kaplan will be lending his talents to the Star Wars universe once again in the forthcoming Episode IX. As reported by Omega Underground, Abrams and Lucasfilm are currently in the process of putting together a crack crew of behind-the-scenes talents to work on 2019's finale to the current Star Wars trilogy. Having worked on the previous two movies, it seems only natural that Kaplan would be one of the first names on that list.
Despite its relative newness, Kaplan's work on the Star Wars franchise has already become somewhat iconic. The costumes worn by the First Order and the Resistance do a remarkable job of referencing the original Star Wars trilogy in a way that seems contemporary, rather than dated. Meanwhile, the outfits for new characters such as Rey, Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma have already become instantly recognizable to even the most casual movie fan.
Not only is it positive news that Kaplan will be returning, it's also reassuring that a degree of continuity will be maintained, at least within the costume department. A significant amount of the criticism aimed towards Star Wars: The Last Jedi is based on director Rian Johnson changing direction from that of J. J. Abrams in The Force Awakens. This suggests that bringing in new faces behind the camera risks creating a disjointed narrative and therefore, the more key crew members Episode IX can retain from the previous two installments, the better.
Source: Omega Underground
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017