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Star Wars Fiend, Disney Dude
If you’re into Star Wars, Disney, or cosplay, chances are pretty good that you’ve seen Leo Camacho in one of your feeds. Self described as “Disney dude. Internet person. Host. Actor. Star Wars fiend. Super duper nerdy guy. 1st gen Cuban,” Leo often collaborates with his girlfriend Sarah Sterling and can be frequently seen on the Con circuit (or your local cantina). MSW tracked him down to chat about Star Wars, cosplay, and community…
What is your earliest memory of Star Wars? What do you think drew you to the Saga?
I remember being a little kid running in and out of the house to play outside. As I was passing through the living room, my aunt was watching ROTJ as it played on cable. I think it was on USA Network. Funny what your brain chooses to hang on to. I remember seeing the scene where Luke fights the rancor and stopping dead in my tracks to ask about it. She told me I would probably love these movies and that she had the biggest crush on Mark Hamill. However, it wasn’t until a year or two later that I finally saw the full versions because a friend lent me the VHS tapes. It was magical and real and vast, and there was so much to learn. I wanted to be part of that universe, and as far as I was concerned, I was.
— Leo Camacho (@LeoZombie) May 4, 2017
In what ways did Star Wars open up your imagination?
Everything about Star Wars told me that the universe was full of mystery and opportunity. That everyone has an adventure and that adventure is so much bigger than we could ever hope to be. It taught me — not only to be creative and to find creative solutions to every obstacle life threw at me — but it also taught me that I could be whoever I wanted. I didn’t have to be a nerd of a jock or whatever. I could be anything, and I could control my own path.
What makes Star Wars so “cosplayable?”
Well, the obvious answer is the legendary costume design on screen is among the most iconic ever created. It lends itself well towards recreation, ESPECIALLY because those costumes were often made from everyday objects. I’m looking at you Willrow Hood, AKA “Ice Cream Maker Guy”! It felt real and looked cool. What morecould you want?
Do you create/design your own costumes?
Sometimes. But sometimes I commission them. Sometimes I piecemeal part of it, craft others and modify some. I don’t have a set process, and I like that. I’m much more of what I like to call a “utility cosplayer” in that I do what I can with what I’ve got. I love supporting this community though, and the talented individuals who make it happen.
Has Star Wars made your family/friends closer? Have you garnered friends through your work?
Definitely. I bonded with my best friend growing up over Star Wars. We were neighbors forever but never spoke until one day we sat on the lawn and discussed what a Star Wars theme park would be like and how cool the rides would be. We’ve been friends since we were 8-years-old. Funny how now, that’s becoming a reality. Now that I’m on YouTube and specialize in Disney content, Star Wars is more relevant in my life than ever, and I make tons of new friends all the time because of it. Hell, I’m considering applying to the Rebel Legion.
Are there any negatives to cosplay?
The majority of the community is wonderful and supportive and fun. But like everything, there can be a proclivity towards drama. Social media builds followings and followings build ego. Unfortunately that can lead towards a perceived hierarchy; SOMETIMES. But for the most part, it’s amazing and one of the best subcultures I’ve ever found myself lucky to be a part of… I’d say the public’s perception of cosplay can be misinformed too, and that could be considered a negative, but I’m too busy having fun to care.
What is your next SW cosplay?
Man, I don’t know. I think it’s probably Cassian Andor, as it’s a bit of an easier lift in terms of effort compare to, say, a Mandalorian. Gotta support my Latino actors!
You are also a “Disney” person: Are you excited for Galaxy’s Edge?
I’m pretty excited about the prospect of a “Star Wars Land” for sure. I’ve dreamt of this since I was a kid and their plans look fantastic, especially the “choose your own adventure element.” However, what I’m not looking forward to is the massive amounts of people who will flock to experience it. It might be a good long time before I can take it in the way that I want, but either way I’m extremely optimistic about it all.
— Leo Camacho (@LeoZombie) June 1, 2017
Your favorite character? Why?
Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan. The best thing to come out of the prequels. Charisma and Wisdom. I love it.
— Leo Camacho (@LeoZombie) August 17, 2017
Your favorite Star Wars character to cosplay?
Your favorite SW property (film, show, book)? Why?
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Kyle Katarn is such a fun character and that multiplayer, with Lightsabers only, was a very special time in gaming for me.
Did Han shoot first?
Is there even another option? C’mon.
Clone Wars or Rebels?
Clone Wars for me. Still need to watch Rebels. I know I know…
Finish these sentences: The Star Wars prequels (not including Rogue One) are…
Rey’s parents are…
Not who we think…