PSA: Sharing is Caring
TL;DR: If you’re approached in cosplay and others don’t recognize your character, don’t be rude: Educate them! Explaining the character and why you chose them may expose others to discovering a new fandom they may love as well! Be proud, be polite, and encourage them!
One of the issues I ran into throughout different versions of my Hero of Tython cosplays was that few people knew who I was. Sure, the protagonists of SWTOR are customizable, but there’s a small segment of the population that even knows the game, let alone could guess the character. It’s much easier if you’re one of the side characters, and wearing the “default” costume. Almost always though, I would hear the same question: “Are you Obi-Wan?”
No. No I’m not.
It was probably the fact that I’m a white guy with a beard. I may have been carrying two lightsabers (yellow and cyan) and wearing something different than Kenobi ever wore, but it’s what people know. Most people have only seen the films (and yes, I count the prequels) or the Clone Wars series. The number of Jedi most people can name is pretty slim. It was frustrating that no one knew who I was, and I could have been upset, or snapped at people.
Instead, I turned it into an opportunity. I read a webcomic ages ago (XKCD) that claimed for every fact that “most people” know on an everyday basis, approximately 10,000 people are learning about it for the first time. 10,000! So why not take an extra minute? Explain your character, their costume, why you picked them. Respectfully and patiently exposing others to this new fandom keeps people open, and who knows, maybe they'll become a fan themselves!
So, be mindful of your feelings my Padawans, and may the Force be with you.