Restoring one of our favorite alien costumes from Star Wars, Muftak the Talz! Our dear friends Bob and Kathy Burns have owned this particular costume since it was gifted to them by Rick Baker, whose crew created the Star Wars Muftak costume for use in the cantina scene of Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope. Nearly 40 years later, and time had taken a toll on the creature suit.
Originally fabricated by Laine Liska, based on legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie’s sketch, the Star Wars Muftak costume is made from a mix of faux fur, latex and polyurethane foam. The internal foam structure was in dire shape on arrival. The inside was crumbling and many of the foam pieces were separating from the fur skin. The skin itself was also in need of repair, with large gaps and tears showing. The latex hands also showed signs of their age, exhibiting cracks throughout.
Our conservation took place over several weeks, and involved extensive repair of the insides of the Star Wars costume, re-bonding detached foam pieces and sealing the foam surfaces to help protect them over time.
His exterior also underwent some dramatic treatment. His fur had endured nearly four decades of dust and handling. We used a specially fitted vacuum to remove surface dust, then cleaned by hand with water and lastly, we shampooed his fur… twice! The difference was amazing!
We also repaired numerous tears in the fur and reinforced his rear seam, using small mesh patches with sewn-on hooks to take pressure off the aging velcro. Finally, Muftak the Talz’s original costume was mounted on a custom made mannequin form to support it for many years to come!
Special thanks to our friends at Propstore of London’s LA office, who helped Bob and Kathy to ship the piece to New York for the conservation work the prop so desperately needed!
Do you have an original movie or television prop that is in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!