These are the droids you’re looking for: ‘Star Wars’ hobbyists enjoy showing off custom-made creations

IVINS — “Star Wars” fans Eric and Bambi Sevy don’t just collect memorabilia related to the popular film series, they create it.

Eric Sevy’s custom-made “Star Wars” droids R2-D2, BB-8, D-O and F3-TT, Ivins, Utah, July 30, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Using a 3D printer, Ivins resident Eric Sevy has painstakingly created full-size replicas of well-known droids R2-D2 and BB-8. An earlier version of R2-D2 fell and broke, so he later reworked it into a custom droid he calls “F3-TT,” a reference to bounty hunter Boba Fett. 

Eric Sevy’s newest creation came about after he watched the trailer for the ninth and final film in the main Star Wars saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” due for release Dec. 20.

Appearing in just a few seconds of footage, the new droid, known as D-O, is apparently BB-8’s sidekick, Eric Sevy said, adding that he used a screenshot from the trailer to measure D-O’s size and design it from scratch. He then made it over the course of several weeks.

That’s in contrast to the R2-D2 droid, which Eric Sevy says took 1,700 hours just to 3D-print the parts, plus another 500 hours to assemble and paint it. He’s currently in the process of giving R2-D2 a dome upgrade, which will include multiple moving components.

Bambi Sevy helps her husband Eric Sevy put on his custom-made Boba Fett costume, Ivins, Utah, July 30, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Eric and Bambi Sevy said they first met each other online, when she was living in the St. George area and he was in Panguitch.

On one of their first dates, Eric Sevy recalls that Bambi told him she’d never seen any of the Star Wars films. 

“She fell asleep while we were watching it,” he recalled with a laugh. “I said, ‘This is never going to last.’”

The couple were wed in 2003. Their four children (two each from previous marriages) are now grown, with two young grandsons recently being added to the clan. 

Eric Sevy, who works as a baker, says his profession gives him the opportunity to exercise his creative skills while figuring out how to manipulate ingredients, measurements, temperatures and other factors to achieve the best results.

“I really like the science of baking,” he said, adding that he applies similar skills to his Star Wars hobby.

Both Sevys enjoy dressing up as Star Wars characters and interacting with other like-minded “cosplay” fans.

Eric Sevy wearing his Darth Vader costume in “reveal” mode, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Eric Sevy, St. George News

Eric Sevy said it all started with a desire to build an elaborate Darth Vader costume for Halloween.

He received a considerable amount of help and support from friends and family in creating the costume. An electrician helped with the lights and sounds. A saddlemaker created the codpiece. His own mother sewed together much of the black fabric comprising the interior framework.

Topping it all off was a custom-made helmet, the first one crafted in a limited edition of 1,000 made to commemorate “Episode III,” after which the manufacturers broke the mold. 

Eric Sevy noted that the top of the helmet can be removed for appearances in places where masks are not allowed; he applies makeup scars to the top of his head to complete the “Vader reveal” effect. 

Since the Darth Vader costume, the Sevys have created several additional costumes, including Boba Fett, Kylo Ren, Rey and a female stormtrooper they jokingly call the “Femtrooper.”

“You can’t just go buy a jetpack at a store,” said Bambi Sevy, who built Boba Fett’s pack using paper mache.

“Costuming is taking whatever everyday objects you can find and turning them into a fantasy,” she added.

Eric Sevy said he was one of several stormtroopers invited to accompany creator George Lucas onstage during a special presentation at the 2008 Spike TV Scream Awards. 

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas is flanked by stormtroopers onstage at the 2008 Spike TV Scream Awards, Los Angeles, Oct. 18, 2008 | Photo courtesy of Eric Sevy, St. George News

The Sevys’ creative works and activities are approved by Lucasfilm, as long as they don’t charge money for their appearances, Eric Sevy said, adding that they are allowed to raise money for charitable causes, which they often do.

The Sevys enjoy making appearances throughout the region. They recently attracted crowds at the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally. They’ve also been seen at the Cedar Storybook Parade, the Las Vegas St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Tour of Utah bicycle race, baseball games and movie premieres. They also routinely make visits to young hospital patients. 

“We really do this to make people smile,” Bambi Sevy said. 

“We turn 8-year-olds into Jedi masters, and we turn adults into 8-year-olds,” Eric Sevy said, adding there appears to be no age limit for Star Wars fans; a 102-year-old woman recently came up and wanted her picture taken with him dressed as Darth Vader.

20190801-JMR-Star Wars Courtesy of Eric Sevy
Eric Sevy’s custom-made R2-D2 at the premiere for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” St. George, Utah, May 10, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Eric Sevy, St. George News

The F3-TT droid in particular is unique, as it does not appear in any of the Star Wars movies, being a figment of Eric Sevy’s own imagination. 

“It’s the droid Boba Fett would have, if he had one,” he said, calling F3-TT a “show-stopper” at most events, due to its one-of-a-kind status.

Above all, the Sevys emphasize the idea of continuing to work on refining their creations, whether they be costumes or droids.

“You’re never finished,” Bambi Sevy said. “You’re always tweaking it to make it better.”

Eric Sevy says he enjoys letting people interact with the droids and costumes, even if it means that something breaks on occasion. During appearances, Bambi Sevy is usually close by in her “Droid Security” shirt to help encourage overeager fans to be gentle and respectful.

Eric Sevy said he is often asked how much their collection of toys and memorabilia are worth.

“My kids and grandkids play with them,” he said. “That’s what they’re worth.”

See the Sevy’s droids in action in the video player at the top of this report.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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