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Is That Just a Motorcycle Helmet on the Bad Guy in Star Wars: The Acolyte?

Quick: Ask me what's the Star Wars equivalent of a Suzuki Hayabusa.
Star Wars The Acolyte Sith helmet

One of the many things that has made the original Star Wars trilogy age so well is its use of practical effects. You can do anything with CGI (or so-called “AI”) today, but that devalues the result; it’s got nothing on a real set or prop. The only downside is when it’s a little too obvious what you’ve made your costumes from, as it is with the antagonist’s helmet in the new Star Wars spinoff, The Acolyte.

Like many important Sith in official and Legends canon, the villain of this new series gets their own unique helmet. Darth Vader had his samurai- and gas mask-inspired helm, Kylo Ren had his own knockoff, and so on. While these were custom-made for the movies, plenty of Star Wars props have been cobbled together from whatever was around. That certainly looks to be the case with our friend the Sith Acolyte, as previews of the show have suggested.

I won’t pretend to have spotted this myself; I credit Matthew Phillips on Twitter for the observation. I haven’t been able to unsee it, as the underlying shape closely resembles that of a motorcycle or racing helmet, with its visor made opaque to obscure the wearer’s identity. The rear has been flared out as an homage to Darth Vader, and there’s a bulbous top to change the helmet’s proportions. Its front also features what looks like a row of teeth, which I see as a tribute to Ridley Scott’s Xenomorphs. The prop department seems to have either carved out part of the chin protector or cut back the visor to fit these choppers, though the resemblance is still that of a bike helmet. Perhaps we’ll get another good speeder bike chase.

This isn’t to say the likeness is that strong, as I might not have picked up on it without someone else’s help. It’s also still a great example of costumery like Star Wars has always had—and far better than anything I could fashion. I just take some twisted pleasure in messing with your immersion, just like the GMT800 Chevy Tahoe cameo did for mine with the Halo TV series. Or like riding in a box truck does at a $2,500-a-night hotel.

As for the show itself, it looks solid, and I’m sure it’ll be a pleasant watch when it drops on June 4. It’s too bad for Disney that I’m never signing up for its streaming service. (Release it on DVD for my local library to stock, then we’ll talk.)

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