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Monday, November 13, 2017

Kelvin Universe Prop Store Auction: Romulans

In my last post, I highlighted the few Vulcan costumes in the upcoming Star Trek auction from Prop Store. Today, I'll highlight the many Romulan costumes up for auction. I don't really understand where the designers were going with these costumes. The Romulans we see in Star Trek (2009) are meant to be miners. It seems to me that long, bulky coats would be fairly unsuitable for mining work. Possibly, the Romulans shed their mining gear in favour of these costumes after the destruction of Romulus. 





What I like best about these Romulan costumes is this detail of a silkscreened Romulan insignia. This was never seen on screen but it's a great detail and it seems to be on all of these pieces.


Something else of interest is the size of these costumes. The smallest of them is US size large and they seem to go up to XXXL. The actors they cast as Romulans were quite massive compared to the Vulcans and our Starfleet heroes. This is somewhat visible in the drill sequence when Kirk and Sulu are fighting Romulans in the sky above Vulcan.







All the scenes shot on the Narada are so dark and murky it's impossible to see any detail. I've brightened these screencaps which lets you see a little more but it's clear from these auction photos that there is a great deal of detail that never made it to the screen.



The cloven boots that we get some detailed shots of in this auction photography are visible briefly on screen in the aforementioned drill rig sequence. These boots were created by two companies: Ayyawear and Verillas. They still have similar items for sale.








This sleeveless costume, or one very similar, is visible on screen.













We know that there is a deleted sequence from this film in which the crew of the Narada are taken prisoner by the Klingons. At least some of these costumes were intended to be seen more on screen. It's possible that we would have seen more detail in this deleted sequence.






In Mark Cotta Vaz's book, Star Trek: The Art of the Film, costume designer Michael Kaplan is quoted as saying the following about the Romulan designs: "I wanted the Romulans to look more like workers than cerebral Vulcans, to have a feeling of being pirates and barbarians. Their costumes were patchworks of different fabrics, like they've been stitched and repaired."







For a time, after the release of Star Trek (2009), a company called RomWear was selling replicas of these costumes. Their website is no longer active but it used to say: "ROMWEAR is brought to you by the same designers who were contracted in 2007 by Paramount Pictures to create over 300 original costume pieces for the Romulans in the Star Trek movie (2009), directed by J.J. Abrams."











It's clear when you look at this auction photography that the costumers must have spent hundreds of hours creating these pieces. I think if I had worked on these I would have been disappointed that you couldn't see the detail on screen. At least we are seeing some of it now.

Remember, if you're interested in bidding on these, register with Prop Store before December 2nd!

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