More than 40 years after “Star Wars” first beamed moviegoers into a galaxy far, far away, Columbia Sportswear will unveil the Star Wars Empire Crew Parka Friday.
The limited-edition jacket is inspired by the original cast and crew — think Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford as opposed to John Boyega and Adam Driver, who will appear in “Star Wars: Episode IX,” due out Stateside Dec. 20, 2019. More specifically, the royal blue outerwear is meant to be reminiscent of the ice planet Hoth scenes in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” The unisex $500 hooded styles will be sold via columbia.com/StarWars at 12:01 a.m. Friday. There will also be select distribution in Columbia’s freestanding stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.
Overachieving George Lucas fans can try to score one of a handful of the zip-front parkas signed by Hamill, who they know as Luke Skywalker from the silver screen. This particular piece of fandom will set them back $1,980 — intentionally priced to coincide with the year the film was released. But all of the proceeds from the sale will benefit college access programs and scholarships. Shoppers may need lightsabers to try to fend off others on the hunt for these jackets in Columbia’s freestanding stores in New York; Buena Vista, Fla.; the company’s Portland, Ore., flagship, and Seattle.
Columbia has not provided any apparel for any of the “Star Wars” films, but this is the brand’s third collection based on the film series, following last year’s Echo Base collection and the 2016 Rogue One collection “both which sold out in minutes,” a Columbia spokeswoman said Monday.
After Disney gave Columbia designers access to the “Star Wars” franchise archives, they gravitated to the opening scenes in “The Empire Strikes Back,” she said. To replicate the outerwear, Columbia’s designers worked closely with Lucasfilm Ltd. to include details from the crew jackets such as the bold color; shoulder stripes for visibility in blizzard conditions; a Darth Vader chest patch based on original artwork; “Star Wars” logos, and a customizable name plate on the chest pocket. As a reminder of the exact bone-chilling location for the frosty scenes, the jacket’s lining includes the coordinates of the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in Norway.
Consumers, who are frozen out of finding one of the parkas, have other ways to connect with “Star Wars.” They can tune into “Star Wars Resistance,” the animated series that follows Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order. The “Star Wars”-themed Galaxy’s Edge won’t bow at Disneyland until next summer and at Walt Disney World next fall, but devotees can sample composer John Williams’ new work for the yet-to-be-opened park. In the meantime, readers have “Star Wars Icons: Han Solo,” and Taschen’s more-encompassing “The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983” is due out later this month. If all else fails, there is always the cupcake recipe inspired by the gorgs in “Star Wars Resistance” on the official “Star Wars” site.