As soon as I saw Cad Bane in live-action in The Book of Boba Fett I knew I wanted to sculpt a Cad Bane silicone mask and do the costume. This is the joy of being a mask maker and a cosplayer! Every now and again you see an unusual character who you absolutely fall in love with. Cad Bane, the Duros bounty hunter and Clone Wars hired gun with a specialism in fighting Jedi, is just that character for me. He drips attitude and preserves the spaghetti Western aesthetic of Clint Eastwood films as he is based on the character Angel Eyes played by Lee Van Cleef.
I'll be updating this blog post regularly as my costume build for this bad guy develops. Dive in and hear about the journey so far:
History of Cad Bane on screen
George Lucas, Dave Filoni and Henry Gilroy conjured up some Star Wars magic when they created the animated version of Cad Bane back in 2008. We first see him with his Wild West cowboy swagger on screen in The Clone Wars - "Hostage Crisis" in 2009. We see him again in the 2021 animated series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch".
Most exciting for me was seeing Cad Bane arrive in live-action portrayed by Dorian Kingi, in The Book of Boba Fett, Chapter 7 - "In the Name of Honour" in 2022. Inevitably with the shift from animation (photo left below) to live-action (photo right below) we see some changes to Cad Bane's facial features and breathing apparatus:
Photo credit: Disney
How to sculpt a Cad Bane mask
In the Book of Boba Fett, Kingi wears a prosthetic appliance which gives him the most range of movement you can expect from a character make-up. The challenge for me was how to sculpt a wearable, emotable silicone mask that is as screen accurate as possible (as a member of the 501st this is critical for me!) when what you actually see on screen is a prosthetic.
In the beginning, there is the excitement and 'here we go again' sensation that every cosplayer will recognise when they decide to embark on a new costume. Next, it's time to get practical, and the first stage is always gathering as many screenshots as possible. The fun with Cad Bane is he is constantly sneering so for this project I also had to decide which particular screenshot - or resting badass face - to base his expression on.
I know too well from costuming as Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper at comic cons over many years that seeing clearly, and not crashing into people or tripping over things, can be a real problem. Costuming with the UK Garrison of the 501st is great as we have spotters to help us navigate around safely but it's always nice to have a costume where you have good visibility yourself.
I also didn't want anyone to be able to see my eyes because, for me, that would take away part of the magic of this character. To achieve this I have used mirrored, coloured lenses for the eyes and so the visibility is great.
The breathing tubes are screen accurate and I have had them 3D printed, which I have moulded, cast, and attached to the mask with magnets. This means they can be removed and adjusted as needed.
Cad Bane mask movement video
I'm really happy with how the finished mask came out. The mask provides more movement than I could have imagined, so I can achieve plenty of sneering and snarling. Here's a short movement video - and I SO wish I had the rest of the costume right now!
How to speak like Cad Bane
The brilliant Corey Burton voices Cad Bane in The Book of Boba Fett. He has a deep, gravelly voice and elongates certain of his vowels when delivering his lines to give Bane something quite unique.
This is going to take a lot of practice as I don't have a deep voice and I don't want to damage my vocal cords. Here are a few top tips based on my experience of learning voices for the different characters I've built costumes for over the years:
Pick out one or two key phrases and focus on getting those spot-on first, like "I'll take on any job... for the right price".
Before trying to copy the voice, spend some time listening to the key phrases you've chosen:
Listen out for how they pronounce vowels - are they open or closed?
Can you hear any accent or inflections for certain words or phrases?
Are certain consonants emphasized, missed, or pronounced in a particular way?
Record the first phrase you want to work on. Play it, then say it back and keep repeating this until you feel like you're getting close to accurate (warning: you will drive anyone you live with mad with this!)
At intervals, depending on how often you practice, record the phrase you have been working on. Now play it back, and alternate between the clip you are copying and your own so that you can spot which particular words, vowels, or consonant sounds need refining.
"Once you figure out one, the rest are easy"