• Thomas Loftin

Fan Made Friday: Steamy Leia

Honor The Force got a chance to speak with Star Wars Steampunk Universe Cosplayer, Steamy Leia. Leia is quickly becoming one of the most popular Cosplayers on the convention circuit along with her Steampunk colleagues. After have a few moments to interact with her, it is easy to see why. This dedicated young woman's beauty is only overshadowed by her passion to inspire. By continuing to portray one of Star Wars' most beloved characters at countless charity events, Steamy Leia truly does Honor the Force.

Honor The Force: How were you first introduced to Star Wars?

Steamy Leia: I was actually introduced to Star Wars by my boyfriend, Baron Von Maul, early last year. Growing up, my mom and dad watched Star Trek the original series with my siblings and myself, as well as the Star Trek movies. However, with the resurgence of Star Wars since the Prequels (the Clone Wars Series, Star Wars Rebels, and the new movies right around the corner), my boyfriend felt that it was the prefect time to introduce me to the galaxy far, far away that has shaped so much of popculture. I can honestly say that I very much enjoy it! My favorite characters being Assajj Ventress and Ahsoka Tano.

Honor The Force: What inspired you to become a Cosplayer?

Steamy Leia: I have always loved sewing, costumes, and dressing up. In fact, in high school I was the costume master for the theater department. As I was growing up, Halloween was always the best holiday in my family, and I had always wished it could come twice a year. Around 2010, I had started hearing about local comic conventions that were miniature versions of San Diego Comic Con. So in 2011, I decided to attend my first convention, Anime Expo, in costume. I absolutely loved being able to build my costume and have the chance to be someone else for a day. Since then, I have made quite a few cosplays. I've cosplayed with friends and family, and I have met many wonderful celebrities and fellow cosplayers.

Honor The Force: You are currently a member of the Star Wars Steam Punk Universe, explain how this is unique from typical Star Wars cosplayers?

Steamy Leia: The Star Wars Steampunk Universe crew is actually a group that was created earlier this year (2015) when one of our members (Dude Vader) was asked to prepare promotional photos for a Steampunk-Star Wars panel that would be held at Wondercon in Anaheim, and then again two weeks later at Star Wars Celebration. So, Dude Vader called up his buddy, Captain Solo Seekerman, who gathered a small group of steampunk enthusiasts and our fabulous photographer, Kansas Johnson, to meetup for a photoshoot. We had a great time posing for the shots and we all left that day thinking that nothing more would come of us as a group. As weeks passed, Lucasfilm Ltd. took a an interest in us and licensed our group as well as our characters, and we started gaining popularity in the cosplay community.

Honor The Force: I understand that you have been very active attending conventions and charity events. Can you tell us about some of your recent experiences interacting with fans?

Steamy Leia: Since March, we have attended many events including: Iron Horse Steampunk Family Carnival, Wondercon, Star Wars Celebration, Anime Expo, San Diego Comic Con International, Nerd Con, Long Beach Comic Con, and Gaslight Gathering San Diego. However, among all of these fun comic conventions, the Star Wars Steampunk Universe crew has been working more and more towards establishing ourselves as charity cosplayers. We have started to make our mark by participating in “Red Nose Day” which benefited the Save the Children organization. We have also supported Hearts for ALS and the Get-well Gamers foundation at Storm Stadium's Star Wars night. We have volunteered at “Alex's Lemonade Stand” a foundation for Childhood Cancer, the Salvation Army, the Make a Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics, and just last Saturday (Sept. 26) we volunteered for Deaf Unity Day which benefited the Deaf Community Services of San Diego. This past Sunday we volunteered at the 8th Annual Justice Jog, which benefited the CASA organization which helps the foster children in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Honor The Force: With so many positive moments that you have had a chance to create what has been your fondest experience as a Leia Cosplayer?

Steamy Leia: My fondest expreience as Steamy Leia, is actually everytime a little girl looks up at me says “Hello, Princess Leia." Her eyes light up when I say, “Hello, sweetheart! What's your name?”. There is just something magical about a child's smile when they think you are the character you portray, and you sit down and chat with them about Star Wars. Nothing else compares to that feeling. How many 20 year olds can say they are called “Princess” on a regular basis? One could say that I am, technically a steampunk “Disney Princess." So, I'm living most little girls' dreams!

Honor The Force: If you could give some advice to a new or novice Cosplayer, what would it be?

Steamy Leia: I would give 3 bits of advice: 1. Whoever/whatever you'd like to cosplay: Do it! Don't let anything stop you, not your height, physical shape, gender, ethnicity, or any other silly thing someone might say. If it's a character you love, you have every right to become that character. 2. Cosplaying doesn't have to be expensive. I hand make my costumes out of discount fabric, stuff I find at the dollar store, hot glue, and I'm a big fan of using cardboard, craft foam and spraypaint whenever I can. If you need help getting started, message me on my Steamy Leia Facebook page, I'd love to help you in any way I can. 3. TEST DRIVE YOUR COSPLAY! Wear your costume ahead of time, maybe a week before the event. Walk around in it, do your laundry, eat in it, try going to the bathroom. That way, you can tell if a part of the costume is hurting you, if a piece is uncomfortable, you can get insoles for your shoes where they rub, and/or add a zipper/button to make bathroom runs easier. Trust me, a test run is ALWAYS a good idea.

Steamy Leia is truly an asset to the fans. This classy lady helps making magical moments for all those she interacts with. We thank you, Steamy Leia, for helping us Honor The Force!

Want to contact Steamy Leia? Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteamyLeiaCosplay?ref=hl

Instagram & Twitter: @eiraina ‪#‎steamyleia‬

Email (Event/charity booking & inquiries only, please): steamyleia@yahoo.com

How to find Steam Wars Steampunk Universe: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarWarsSteampunkUniverse?ref=hl

Instagram: @StarWarsSteampunkUniverse ‪#‎swsu‬ ‪#‎starwasrsteampunk‬

Twitter: @swsu_cosplay

Email (event/charity booking & inquiries only, please): ccanole@ucsd.edu