Norzainuri Albakri and his wife Caroline Walsh dressed as Tusken Raiders from the film Star Wars at their home in Dunmanway, Co. Cork. - Picture: David Creedon

When Nuri Albakri featured in a Star Wars Magazine and his interview was reported upon in the Southern Star…….. the idea for The Feel the Force Festival was formed in the mind of Catherine Crowley, festival co-ordinator who together with the chamber of commerce and sponsors sought to transport Dunmanway to a galaxy ….. not so far, far, away!

With the expert eyes of Nuri and Caroline, this intergalactic extravaganza has taken shape.  Who is Nuri Albakri?

Nuri Albakri is a Malaysian Head Chef with 30 years experience living and working in West Cork with a passion for food and creating recipes by day.

By night he is Newry Bakry, a cosplayer, creator and customiser. His You Tube channel has 1.4K subscribers, with 375K views. His TikTok has 15K followers with 394K views. He has 2.1K followers on Facebook and Instagram.

Nuri has always been creative – even as a boy, he made his own toys using wood & scraps that he found around him.

He met his wife Caroline in 2014 and they bonded over all things Sci-Fi, Star Wars especially. In 2016 Caroline wanted a Stormtrooper figure for her desk and that cheap five inch figure fuelled their massive collection of figures and all things Star Wars.

At the end of 2016 he bought himself a storm trooper armour, he customised it and weathered it himself to be a sand trooper. Comic Con in Dublin in 2017 was his first-time cosplaying. He got such amazing feedback from people who saw him there, one of which as an Irish indie film producer, who contacted him and asked if he would be in his next movie. In 2018 he changed that armour from Sandtrooper to incinerator trooper. He even built his own phlasma canon SE-14 as his side arm. In this armour he improved it by including a fan to keep him cool and added audio com for authenticity. It created an even more amazing reaction at Comic Con 2018. People were totally amazed at what he had created.

During Covid 19, he wasn’t working due to lockdown and was at home for nearly 18 months. His time off was put to good use. He got many commissions to do toy customisations. During this time off he challenged himself by building his own version of an Ewok village diorama from scratch. It took him three months to complete. Finally, in February 2022, he filmed a short movie scene as an incinerator trooper. It was a dream come true. He is proud to have been given the opportunity and for his work to be seen on film.

Book of Bobba Fett…Tusken Raiders in black…The first episode blew him away.  After episode 2 he decided to build his next cosplay himself.  He found a guy in the UK who built the helmet for him. He modified the fabric using monk cloth. He made the trousers, robe and boots himself. A good friend helped him build his beautiful cycler rifle buttstock- the wood crafting was exceptional and he finished the detailing himself. The next weapon was the gaffi stick. He got it as a 3D print and he improved it himself by putting wood in the middle and carved a tribal pattern into it. May the Forth festival 2022 in Ireland was the first time he wore it. It got an amazing reaction. Nobody there had ever seen a Tusken Warrior cosplayed. At Dublin Comic Con in August 2022, a journalist writing for Star Wars Insider Magazine saw his pictures as a Tusken Warrior and asked to do a feature on him. This was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. The issue came out in July 2023 and it really put him out there!

Why have one Tusken when you can have eight! Creating a tribe was his dream so the West Cork Tuskens were born.  The West Cork Tuskens are The Warrior, The Assassin, The Punisher, The Hunter, The Scout, The Huntress, The Sithlord and Caroline is The Mutha. Nuri designed and created all the costumes.  Almost every single toy he owns – Star Wars, Transformers, figures, helmets, space ship, he has taken apart, repainted, improved detailing, weathered, airbrushed and added additional parts to make them look more authentic and to satisfy his own attention to detail.

Nuri is a self-taught perfectionist in everything he does and he won’t stop until he is 100% satisfied.

Nuri and Caroline have two other collections – Transformers (his childhood favourite) and Mini Cooper models . The latter has  a Facebook Group, MINIac Model Society, with 1.3K members worldwide. But that’s another story!

Find out more

Read about in the Irish Times Magazine

Listen to the Cork Creative podcast with Newry and Caroline

Watch the Cork Creative podcast with Newry and Caroline