On the cold, inhospitable planet of Hoth, the Rebel Alliance still had to get around, so they took airspeeders and modified them for the frozen conditions. Those snowspeeders became valiant steeds in the battle against the dark side. Now a young Jedi named Jeremy pilots his very own snowspeeder.
Jeremy’s usual mode of conveyance is a wheelchair. He has spina bifida, a condition in which the spinal cord doesn’t develop properly. He goes by the nickname “Tenacious J” because he doesn’t let spina bifida slow him down. The 8-year-old plays basketball and rugby, and this Halloween, is a key member of the Rebel Alliance during the Battle of Hoth.
Jeremy’s dad Ryan Scott Miller built a highly detailed snowspeeder that fits over Jeremy’s wheelchair.
Jeremy Miller at the helm of his homemade snowspeeder.
Ryan Scott Miller
Miller designed the costume himself based on a toy and photos of models found on the Internet. It’s made from foam board, PVC pipe, spray paint, bicycle brakes and duct tape. The working foam weaponry comes courtesy of the integration of three Nerf guns. Glow sticks turn the foam darts into glowing energy blasts.
Miller has plenty of experience when it comes to creative costumes for Jeremy’s wheelchair. Previous creations include a Batmobile, TIE fighter, pirate ship, glowing Electrical Parade float and Captain America’s motorcycle.
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Jeremy got a front-row seat to the creation of his costume. “He saw it throughout the build process and every night he would have this open-mouthed look of shock. He couldn’t wait to get in it,” Miller told CNET’s Crave blog. It took two weeks full of late nights and weekend work to complete the project.
The snowspeeder sits proudly alongside a series of wonderful Halloween costumes built by intrepid and talented makers over the years. We’ve seen a DIY Dune sandworm, a child-size “Back to the Future” DeLorean and a dog dressed as a Tatooine-roaming Bantha.
Jeremy’s snowspeeder will sweep through Halloween in impressive style. It’s also a meaningful connection to Miller’s own childhood.
“I was a huge Star Wars fan as a kid and I would have loved to have something like this, so it makes me giddy-happy to see my son so happy and excited in it,” said Miller, a fan-kid who grew up to be an especially awesome fan-dad.