Costume thumbnail 1
Costume thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Theatre & Performance, Room 105

This object consists of 22 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Costume

Costume
1977-1980 (Designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Stormtrooper is one of the most recognisable characters in film history. The white body armour was conceived by graphic artist Ralph McQuarrie, who helped writer and director George Lucas visualise the Star Wars universe in the early 1970s, when Lucas was attempting to raise funds for the project.

When John Mollo was appointed the costume designer to Star Wars, he developed the design of the uniform further, allowing for necessary breaks in the armour so not to impede the actor’s movement. At the 1978 Academy Awards, Mollo won an Oscar for his work, the first Science Fiction film to receive the award for Best Costume Design.

The design of the Stormtrooper uniform develops as new Star Wars films are created, but this original costume continues to inspire a new generation of designers. The helmet was recreated from an original mould by Simon Windus and Rob McCormick, RS Propmasters.

The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 22 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Costume
  • Front Torso
  • Costume
  • Front Torso
  • Costume
  • Rear Torso
  • Costume
  • Rear Torso
  • Costume
  • Back Piece
  • Costume
  • Right Upper Thigh
  • Costume
  • Left Upper Thigh
  • Costume
  • Right Lower Leg
  • Costume
  • Left Lower Leg
  • Costume
  • Right Upper Arm/Shoulder
  • Costume
  • Left Upper Arm/Shoulder
  • Costume
  • Right Lower Arm
  • Costume
  • Left Lower Arm
  • Costume
  • Right Hand Piece
  • Costume
  • Left Hand Piece
  • Costume
  • Glove
  • Costume
  • Glove
  • Costume
  • Boots
  • Costume
  • Boots
  • Costume
  • Balaclava
  • Costume
  • Gun
  • Costume
  • Holster
Brief Description
Stormtrooper costume and blaster gun worn in the original Star Wars trilogy (1977 - 1983)
Credit line
Given by the British Film Institute
Object history
The Stormtrooper costume was sold by Christie's, South Kensington Thursday 28 November 1996, lot 215. It was acquired by the British Film Institute before it was transfered to the V&A.



The helmet was recreated from an original 1976 mould by RS Propmasters. This process was filmed as part of the BBC series Secrets of the Museum, episode 4 (2020).
Summary
The Stormtrooper is one of the most recognisable characters in film history. The white body armour was conceived by graphic artist Ralph McQuarrie, who helped writer and director George Lucas visualise the Star Wars universe in the early 1970s, when Lucas was attempting to raise funds for the project.



When John Mollo was appointed the costume designer to Star Wars, he developed the design of the uniform further, allowing for necessary breaks in the armour so not to impede the actor’s movement. At the 1978 Academy Awards, Mollo won an Oscar for his work, the first Science Fiction film to receive the award for Best Costume Design.



The design of the Stormtrooper uniform develops as new Star Wars films are created, but this original costume continues to inspire a new generation of designers. The helmet was recreated from an original mould by Simon Windus and Rob McCormick, RS Propmasters.



The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.



Collection
Accession Number
S.35-2018

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record createdDecember 19, 2018
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