A huge Star Wars fan from a very young age, 18-year-old Nicholas Vella Magri Demajo is very much looking forward to the next instalment of the saga – ‘The Last Jedi’, not only because he is curious to see what happens next, but because he can’t wait to see uber-baddie Kylo Ren’s new helmet.
You see, Nicholas – who goes by the moniker ‘The Sith Crafter’ – is not your run-of-the-mill aficionado who collects memorabilia; he actually creates it himself as he has also been making masks and helmets taken from the franchise since he was 14-years-old.
Nicholas has just completed a two-year course in Pure Mathematics and Physics A level and is going to go into University and pursue the architecture course. His father Adrian is a dentist at Mater Die and his mother Elaine is a teacher at a secondary school. His 10-year-old brother Adam, who shares the same interest in Star Wars as he does, is still a student at San Andrea School.
When he is not fishing, camping, hiking, playing billiards, playing poker with friends (just for fun, he hastens to add), he is usually to be found working on one of his creations.
“Star Wars has always fascinated me and hasn’t stopped till this very day,” Nicholas says, “It was my dad who introduced me to the world of science fiction and I have been interested in Star Wars since I was a toddler; in fact I watched my first Star Wars film ‘A New Hope’ when I was only four-years-old.
He was hooked… and inspired.
“Years later, with some research, experimentation and prototypes I managed to start off my dream hobby. So far I have made six helmets and two masks. One mask and one helmet are still in progress. My favourite one to make is the clone commander Appo helmet as it turned out to be very ‘movie-accurate’ and I got it signed by the creator of R2-D2 himself at Malta Comicon 2015,” he reminisces.
On the other hand, he says that the hardest one to create was Clone Commander Cody’s. He says that that was a tough one and it took him two and a half months to pull off, as the helmet has many accessories.
Although Nicholas likes the ‘classic’ trilogy best as, he says, they are the natural roots of the whole Star Wars films, his favourite movie is ‘Revenge of the Sith’, mainly because his favourite clone trooper helmet is found in it – the Clone Trooper Phase 2 helmet.
On average, Nicholas says, a helmet takes about two months to create, while a mask takes between two and three weeks.
“All the problems I have ever encountered were always overcome, so nothing has ever stopped me from what I want to do,” he states, “There were times my helmets cracked during production as I put far too much pressure with my body weight on the helmet during sanding it for a mirror finish. I also had problems with resin, hardener and fibre glass ratios. However I did my studies and fixed what went wrong.”
Nicholas has also had injuries during his work – once getting fibre glass stuck in his fingers; however he just sought medical assistance and moved on. From that day on, he always wore two layers of gloves and not just one.
“I love this hobby of mine as I put plenty of time, effort and investment into it. It reflects the work I wish to do in the future with regards to designing,” he says.
Currently, Nicholas is concentrating on perfecting his craft. However, he will soon be making casts of masks and helmets using silicone moulds so he can offer his products for sale to the public, as he has received numerous requests form people wishing to purchase his wares.
More information on Nicholas’s creations may be found by searching ‘The Sith Crafter’ on Facebook.