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In Star Wars, Clone Troopers and their Jedi commanders wear "kama", or battle-skirts. In the lore, these are ostensibly to shield the waist and legs, not just from blaster fire, but also jet-pack fire.

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After doing some googling, it wasn't clear to me if the kama are original to Star Wars, or if they are based on something in the real-world.

Japanese samurai armor include haidate, or thigh guards, but these don't fully cover the waist and upper legs. Considering how Darth Vader's armor was largely influenced by samurai armor, I wonder, were these the inspiration for kama?

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2 Answers 2

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Armored skirts were used in medieval armor

A (divided) front skirt was knows as "faulds", while a rear skirt was known as "culet". The faulds were often extended with "tassets" protecting the thighs. Scale armor skirts were also used in the Crusades.

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  • Is there evidence that this is what served as the inspiration for clone troopers' kama?
    – user151841
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 21:57
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The answer can be found within the question itself; the very same Samurai armour that inspired Vader's costume design often featured Haidate (or "Cuisse" in European nomenclature). The length appears to have been exaggerated in the interests of presenting a more dramatic silhouette, while the material softened to allow for more dynamic animation. Indeed,

As a side note; the use of this feature for the clone armour originated in the 2D Clone Wars micro-series produced more or less concurrently with 'Revenge of the Sith'. Lucas liked the idea so much he adopted it for the movie (as was occasionally his want--see also: Aayla Secura). Later it was inherited by the 3D series, and beyond, most recently in live action where it appears to just be cloth. This is significant since Genndy Tartakovsky signature style is defined by razor shape streamlined designs, hyper-kinetic animation, and a romanticised cinematic flair. This is largely why when translated back into other media, the piece seems like such a departure from it's inspiration, which is decidedly heavier, shorter, more functional and less decorative.

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  • Do you have a source for Lucas' liking of Tartakovsky's choices?
    – user151841
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 21:58
  • @user151841 You mean besides the obvious fact that he used them in his movie? It's been mentioned in a few places over the years. Most likely source to check would be the Rinzler 'Making of' book for RotS. Might also be buried somewhere in a trivia slide on the official site, or one one of the old DVD featurettes. But like I said, it's pretty academic since Lucas wouldn't use it if he didn't like it. He's funny about that sort of thing.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 18:20
  • well I am looking for evidence rather than just say-so
    – user151841
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 0:37
  • @user151841 Like I said, he used the design in his movie. That's your evidence.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 17:24
  • I can't accept an answer on anybody's say-so. We don't know, for example, that, say, Lucasfilm didn't design the kama first in storyboard for the upcoming film, and shared them with Tartakovsky so that the productions were in sync. I have no reason to believe your story over anybody else's.
    – user151841
    Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 1:14

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