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Replica C3PO Costume for Jimmy Kimmel Live

This is the droid you’re looking for! A custom replica C3PO costume for the Halloween episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC.

We were contacted the folks at Jimmy Kimmel Live, who were looking for a replica C3PO costume for their Halloween episode, which would be a tribute to Star Wars. Being huge fans of both Star Wars and Jimmy Kimmel we were thrilled to help them out. The one catch, Cleto Escobedo III who wearing the costume was the band leader and saxophone player and would need to be able to play while wearing the suit!  Normally, a See Threepio costume limits the wearer’s motion substantially, contributing to the famous droid-like movements, so this would take some doing!  We turned to our resident C3PO expert, Gordon Tarpley, to take the lead on this project.

Using some existing molds and fabricating other elements from scratch, Gordon created a very unique replica C3PO costume. The first layer of the costume was a gold lamé body suit which was comfortable for the musician as well as a good base for the costume.  In areas where we needed to trim away rigid fiberglass or resin to allow for additional movement, the flexible gold body suit would show through.  Instead of the Cleto being completely encased in the suit, which is very difficult to move in we modified several of the pieces to attach with straps almost like body armor. We also modified the helmet so that the face could be flipped up or down so he could converse with the host when not playing.

To give Cleto even more mobility, Gordon built the arm pieces, and shoes completely from scratch, out of a flexible EVA foam material. When coated with the same reflective gold process, they very nicely matched the rest of the costume.  The episode was a lot of fun, and featured some wonderful cosplay costumes by other amazing artists as well.

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