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  • Writer's pictureKL Forslund

Soldier Cosplay

Comicpalooza announced guests from the Stargate series this week. Which gave me the idea to dress up as a SG team. I hope actors get a kick out of fans dressing up from their shows, rather than the usual jeans and t-shirt autograph hound. Stargate is a fun show, with plenty of morality play episodes and a cast that seems to be good people.Even the mighty Jason Momoa starred in Stargate Atlantis. So what’s the hold up?

I’d rather cosplay as my own made-up character so I lean toward settings that accommodate that. Like steampunk. While other folks might, I don’t feel comfortable trying to cosplay Captain America. I am older and pudgy enough to not meet my vision of the character. Shows like Star Trek are perfect for me. I can put on a uniform, hold some props, and be instantly recognizable as a crewmember they haven’t met yet.

Stargate works the same way. There’a any number of SG teams that go through the gate and do stuff. There’s even an SG team of lawyers. I favor picking costumes that’ll be recognizable to what show it’s from. So in Stargate, that’s a Jaffa outfit or a SG team member. The latter being sourceable through Army surplus or online.

Here’s where the topic gets deep. Once you put on the BDUs and tactical vest. Hang a P90 rifle in front of you and a pistol on the side, the only thing differentiating you from the insurrectionists of January 6th are some shoulder patches ordered online. People dressed up as wannabe soldiers have been terrorizing America for several years now. From showing up with guns to protest doing what needs to be done during a crisis, to intimidating folks who just want their human rights respected. Folks dressing up like soldiers are the bad guys in today’s society. People showing up with rifles to events are the threat.

Cosplay has a long tradition of being weapons focussed. Probably 80% of all costumes at a convention include a weapon of some sort. It’s the most common, obvious prop. There are some folks who object to that, but I’m not one of them. Though I do respect the idea of trying to not default to needing a weapon to make a costume. It’s a worthy effort as there is something unsettling about the fixation on weapons and fighting that define a character. As a writer, the answer is obvious. Conflict makes the story, and physical conflict is the easiest, most obvious, and most visual kind of conflict to have.

So where does that leave me? I could source the patches, clothes, and tactical vest. Swap out a Kleenex box holster for a pistol. Make a nerdy, joke character from an unheard of SG team. But until somebody gets close to see the patches, they won’t recognize it. Not like seeing a fully armed SG team member across the hall stands out. Which believe me, really does pop out as “Ooh! Star Gate Guys!” The weapons, make the character. Deviating, too far from that gets you unnoticed. I say this as the guy who once wore a suit and carried a SHIELD badge in his pocket. Nobody realized I was an Agent of SHIELD. Subtle doesn’t get the photo requests.

Going in armed with realistic weapon props also gets you extra scrutiny by security. Guns need to be obvious fakes, with orange tips, etc. it might make someone uncomfortable, which for a fun event that I’m intending to be the good guy, defeats my purpose. There’s enough mass murders these days that this can hit close to home seeing someone dressed like that. I’m not one for policing what I wear, good golly I’ve worn my cosplays to the grocery store. But, I want to take care if something is more likely to worry somebody innocent.

Come the big day next month, I’ll be fine dressing up as Star Trek Guy, Jedi Guy, or whatever I come up with for the third day. I expect I’ll see somebody in an SG cosplay, and that’ll be cool to see. It just won’t be me.

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