Okay, so I thought I had a great idea, so I proudly announced it to my daughter and husband one day.

"How about we go as Star Wars characters for Halloween this year?"

They thought it was great. Heather said she wanted to go as Princess Leia, so we got her the white robe and "buns" wig. It was a good costume, we thought. Her snowsuit would fit under it, and the wig would keep her head warm (a must on cold Canadian Halloween nights). I got out the sewing machine and added a hood to her robe too. White boots and gloves finished her suit off nicely. Easy!

Hubby would be perfect as Vader. He was the tallest of us, and we had the black capes already. We then picked up a rubber Vader mask at the local Walmart. Then I just HAD to buy the Vader lightsaber (of course, it would be added to our collection after Halloween...). The breast plate was already in our collection, and we put the whole thing together with the addition of his own black turtleneck, sweater, pants, gloves and boots. Viola! All done!

Now, how about me? I made the mistake of buying (really cheap, I must admit) an original 1977 Don Post Stormtrooper helmet at a local antique shop 2 weeks before Halloween. It was a mistake, because it took every night of those two weeks to put the REST of the costume together! I really didn't know where to start, until I remembered my good friend at "Stormtrooper Information Central". He listed a couple of sites on "How to make a Stormtrooper Costume". So I went there, got some great tips and ideas, and went to work. Oh, yes, and I just HAD to also buy a Trooper blaster to carry too. (Again, another addition to our collection).

There was no way I could afford (in money or in time) to vacuuform a real Trooper suit of armour. So I went the cheapie way, and began with white posterboard covered with white sheet plastic (another good buy at Walmart). After looking at dozens of pics of Troopers, I set about making each piece, carefully sizing and detailing them (with white weatherstripping and plastic pieces in shapes appropriate for the knees, belt, etc.). Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (I think I'll cringe if I see another Trooper close-up for some time...) it was done. I used my own black clothes underneath (black turtleneck, pants, socks, gloves) and white runners (with the ties tucked in) for the basic suit, and then climbed into each piece of armour. Velcro held some together, and I needed help getting everything on.

I really had a hard time with the darn helmet though. We had the big idea of putting sunglass lenses in the eyes. Oh, yeah, it looks great sitting on my shelf, but I could hardly see! (Gee, Luke WAS right, he did say he could hardly see it that thing too...). Needless to say, I had to get the helmet on BEFORE I got the arm armour on, so it was quite a production to get us all ready!

Okay, the big night was here. We rushed home, ate and then prepared for "Boo at the Zoo", a yearly celebration for kids (of all ages) at our local Zoo. Heather was hopping around, wanting to get ready, but it took me so long to get into the armour, she would have melted in her snowsuit by the time I was ready! So, I got into the suit first, but wasn't much help to the others. They got ready, and we were off ...two hours later!

We arrived at the Zoo, totally unaware and unprepared for what happened next. We had just passed through the gates, and were stopped to check the large map of where to go for the festivities. We turned around, only to find we were surrounded by kids and families MOBBING us! I guess they thought we worked at the Zoo, because we couldn't move! Poor Heather had to carefully guide hubby and I away, as she was the only one who could see! Both of our helmets were really dark, and Leia had to lead us around. We were often stopped for pictures, or to pose with their kids for photos! Needless to say, we were overwhelmed! I had many requests for the name of the store where I got my trooper outfit from. They were pretty surprised when I told them I had made it!

I think one of the funniest things that happened was when Heather wanted to dance at "Drac's Disco". It was a place in the Zoo where music was blasting, and you could dance. Dracula himself welcomed you at the door. Well, they had the big idea to place the 'disco' up some stairs. Heather was up in a shot, so I followed. I had no trouble going UP the stairs. The trouble began when I realized we were leaving and was all of a sudden going DOWN stairs! Before I went completely head over heels, I just sped up and ran down! Vader was right after me, informing me later that all he saw ahead of him was a white flash! dropping quickly, so he ran too. I'm surprised we didn't kill ourselves! We were there a few hours, and we all were completely drained. We all got "goody bags" too, when we left because they said we had the best costumes that night!

Okay, so maybe next year we'll go as something less popular....