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Wookiee Win

Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Gains Units, Plots Longer, Prime Time Trajectory for 2012 Mission

Carnival spirit is strong with this one.


The story of Chewbacchus falls somewhere between Revenge of the Nerds and Revenge of the Sith. This intergalactic krewe of brainy misfits continues to strike back at the imperial stronghold of traditional Carnival krewes, mounting a resistance to the staid and stolid regiments that have long ruled the parade routes. This year, when the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus rolls on Saturday, February 18, it will be a show of force by the rebel troops, as the krewe has grown in numbers since last year, and will feature some of the most inventive and creative floats, throws, and costumes of Carnival season.


NoDef dropped in on a recent Chewbacchus “build night” at the Den of Muses to chat with two of the krewe’s Overlords, Ryan Ballard and Brett Powers. What we found was the makings of one of finest fleets since the rebel fleet was massing at Sullust. The lineup includes motorized art bikes, starship costumes, and, of course, Bar2-D2, the keg droid on wheels.


Only in their second year, the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus has gained plenty of momentum in a short time, and their hard work has been rewarded. Instead of sharing the bill with Bacchus on the Sunday before Mardi Gras, the krewe will get a prime-time slot on Saturday evening and brand new route, giving parade-goers an Uptown alternative to Endymion. Starting at 5:00pm at the Big Top 3 Ring Circus on Clio Street, the parade will roll up Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and down St. Charles Ave., before stopping for a toast to the royals at Coliseum Square, and heading to the CBD.


“We really wanted our own space and our own time,” said Ballard. With the complexity of their costumes and floats, many including arrays of colorful flashing lights, he said, “it was really hard for us to get around on the old route, and we wanted to roll at night.”



This year, the krewe’s theme is “Chewbaccalypse 2012,” and floats will feature a Mayan Temple on Wheels (decorated with a sacrificial C-3PO and a Stormtrooper sugar skull), an ancient Indian “Chariot of the Gods,” and a King Cake Flying Saucer with an alien baby. There will be a squadron of spaced-out art bikes, including the krewe’s signature X-Wing Fighter bike, and plenty of other puppets, costumes, and handmade contraptions.


“We’re big on emphasizing the DIY parade scene,” Powers told NoDef.


“It’s open,” added Ballard, contrasting the open membership policy of Chewbacchus to the more restrictive rules of traditional Carnival krewes. “It’s access. It gives people a chance to come up with their own crazy ideas.”


“It’s not just access to a krewe,” agreed Powers, “it’s access to ideas. If you’re in one of the traditional krewes and have some crazy idea for a float, forget about it.”


For Chewbacchus, the crazy keeps coming. This year the parade will also include Mardi Gras Indians in the form of Mighty Wookiee Fiyo and Wild Tchewbacchatoulas, a kid’s krewe called Ewokus, and an all-girl dance troop, the Vajarjar Binks with their escorts, the Scruffy Looking Nerf Herders. Signature throws include Chewbacchus bandoliers, handmade medallions featuring R2D2 and Han Solo in Carbonite, and Wookie panties, emblazed with sayings like “Han Solo Pilots This.”


One Carnival tradition that Chewbacchus adheres to is the celebrity royalty, and this year the parade features actor Ernie Hudson, who played Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore, and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, consulting producer and star of the History Channel series Ancient Aliens, known around the interwebs for his enthusiasm in relating inexplicable historical events to the roles of extraterrestrials.


While Chewbacchus trades on plenty of pop-culture gags, their devotion to spectacle is decidedly New Orleans. This year’s parade is sure to delight all revelers, even those who don’t know the Kobayashi Maru from the Kessel Run.


All Hail Our Sacred Drunken

All Hail Our Sacred Drunken Wookiee!

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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