The world of sci-fi offers nearly limitless opportunities for great costumes. The greatest resource is doubtlessly the thousands of sci-fi movies and TV shows that inform the general consciousness of society. For the bulk of sci-fi costume parties it is probably best to stick with those aspects of the genre with which most people are more familiar. That does not mean you have to go with the cliche choice, however.
The "Star Trek" universe represents a very deep resource for sci-fi costumes. From the sexy uniforms of the female characters on the original 1960s show to the outrageous aliens of "Deep Space Nine." Dressing up as characters from Kirk to Quark is always fun, but why not think out of the box. Or, rather, think inside the box and go as a Borg cube. Or a human-sized communicator from the original series. Or as the android Data that someone has surreptitiously fitted with a chip that makes him stupid or evil.
"Dr. Who" is another sci-fi classic that offers examples both traditional and creative. The cool thing about Dr. Who is that there have been multiple doctors over the years who have each had their own particular fashion sense and personality. Appearing as one of these doctors is the easy way. A more creative way to exploit the Dr. Who universe would be to go as the robot dog from the 1970s incarnation, K-9. For a costume that would knock Dr. Who fans dead, consider going as the telephone callbox that acts as the facade for his time-traveling TARDIS. One of the creepiest and most popular Dr. Who villains of all time is the Weeping Angel, which, for a party or event populated by Dr. Who fans, would give them a heart attack if you crept up behind them looking like one of these evil creatures. Leela's skimpy costume is a good bet for the more exhibitionist-minded females.
The fact is that "Star Wars" costumes have been overdone. The key is breathing new life into them. One cool way to do this is to consider the actor who plays the character and then do a little mash-up. For instance, arrive dressed as young Obi-Wan Kenobi, but act like Ewan McGregor's heroin addict from "Trainspotting." Most of the costumes that Han Solo wore are easy enough to make at home, but how cool it would be if Han was convinced he was the Fugitive. Another idea would to mess with the image of the characters. Even the supreme deluxe Darth Vader costume is going to be a lot less imposing if Darth talks like Jerry Lewis.
Timothy Sexton's more than 10,000 articles have been published on sites ranging from USA Today to CareerAddict, from PopEater to TakeLessons.com. His writing has been referenced in books ranging from "The Reckless Life...of Marlon Brando" to "Brand New China: Advertising, Media and Commercial and from Scarface Nation to Incentive!"