Star Wars costume designer who created Darth Vader & stormtrooper outfits dies

Loss of a Legend

The Oscar-winning British costume designer who created Darth Vader’s iconic black outfit in Star Wars has died.

London-born John Mollo, who has passed away at the age of 86, began working in movies as a military history expert.

After working with revered filmmaker Stanley Kubrick on his lavish 1975 period drama Barry Lyndon, Mollo progressed to costume design and met with George Lucas to discuss his next feature titled Star Wars.


(Original stormtrooper helmet at an 2005 auction)

The Brit admitted he had never watched a science fiction movie before working on the 1977 iconic space opera which would break box-office records.

Speaking with The Times, he said: “Since I had just finished the work for Kubrick I thought I’d investigate and met George Lucas at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.”

Using Ralph McQuarrie’s sketches, Mollo designed the outfits for space pirate Han Solo, Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi.


(Mollo also designed the costume for Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi played by the legendary British actor Alec Guinness)

He was also responsible for the iconic costume worn by villain Darth Vader and the stormtroopers’ eye-catching white armoured outfits.

After winning his first Academy Award for his work on Lucas’ film, Mollo’s next project was Ridley Scott’s legendary 1979 sci-fi horror Alien.

Mollo would win his second Oscar for Best Costume Design for his work on Richard Attenborough’s 1982 historical biopic Gandhi.



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