Katsucon returned to National Harbor, MD once again this year for the weekend of February 13-15. It was my second year at Katsu, and also the anniversary of my Star Wars cosplay debut. Last year I cosplayed from Star Wars for the first time as Jaina Solo, with my cosplay partner Xadus as Jagged Fel. Naturally, we had to bring Star Wars back again this year. We are working on gaining Rebel Legion acceptance as Sabine and Kanan from Star Wars Rebels, and decided that Katsucon was a good convention premiere.
I loved the costume-making process of Sabine, and the parts of Kanan I made were enjoyable as well. However, I was slightly nervous about wearing them to a convention. Over the past year I’ve attended several conventions cosplaying as both Jaina Solo and Mara Jade (both EU/Legends characters), and other convention attendees took it as an opportunity to complain and rant about the Disney acquisition of the Star Wars franchise. I respect everyone’s right to an opinion on the matter, but if cosplaying from the Legends canon resulted in fanboy rants, what would cosplaying from the canon they “hate” bring? I was concerned that I would be dealing with a lot of angry Legends-only fans who would be in my face about why they hate the new canon. Fortunately, the Legends-purists either kept to themselves or weren’t in attendance because I didn’t have a single bad reaction or interaction when in Sabine.
Katsucon is centered around Japanese media, so I wasn’t expecting a huge fanbase presence for a new, American tv series. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. We wore Rebels both Friday night and Saturday and had a fair amount of positive support. My fears of negativity were alleviated and replaced with utter positivity. Many Rebels fans took our costumes as an opportunity to talk about how much they love the new show, and how great Sabine and Kanan are. A handful of times we were asked what our favorite episodes are, and were told what other fans’ favorite episodes are. For those wondering- “Rise of the Old Masters” and “Gathering Forces” were the two most popular episodes.
Outside the Rebels fanbase, Sabine and Kanan were popular with Star Wars fans in general. Kanan’s lightsaber and Sabine’s Mandalorian armor are telltale signs that we’re from the franchise, and some fans wanted pictures just because it’s Star Wars. However, we did encourage everyone who hadn’t yet seen the show to check it out, and they all seemed open to it.
My time as Sabine at Katsucon also helped solidify a running epitaph I’ve been experiencing with her since I got interested in Rebels. Several children and adult fans have referred to Sabine as “girl Boba Fett” simply because they don’t know the character. Personally, I find this to be a rather charming way of referring to Sabine if you don’t know who she is. A few Star Wars fans at Katsucon asked me if I was “girl Boba Fett”, and when I responded with “No, I’m Sabine from Star Wars Rebels” that didn’t change their desire for a picture. Some people just think the armor (of both Sabine and Kanan) is cool enough to warrant a photo.
So, clearly I had a great time as Sabine. But the most exciting part about wearing her at Katsucon? I had a twin! We were told a couple of times on Saturday that there was another Sabine and Kanan running around, but I didn’t see them until the public Star Wars shoot late that afternoon. Sisters Liz and Vic were the only two other Star Wars Rebels cosplayers at Katsucon. I wasn’t expecting there to be any, so I was (once again) pleasantly surprised. We spent a few minutes fanboy/girling over one another, and enjoyed talking about the show.
Overall, I had a positive experience as Sabine at Katsucon, and I look forward to wearing her at future conventions to get more people onto the Star Wars Rebels bandwagon. Interested in cosplaying from Rebels yourself? Expect full write-ups of our Sabine and Kanan cosplays in the coming months!