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Arts & Culture

Chewbacchus: The Krewe is Out There

The self-proclaimed drunken nerds of the Krewe of Chewbacchus bring their own brand of intergalactic eccentricity and fun to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and the rest of the year.

Their motto proudly professes, “Saving the galaxy… one drunken nerd at a time.” Their parade throws include panties emblazoned with phrases like “Han Solo Pilots This.” The following is a typical fan inquiry posted to their Facebook page: “A friend of mine needs some help making her scooter look like an x-wing.” You’ve just crossed over into the Wookie Zone.

Chewy poses with another member of The Krewe of Chewbacchus. (Photo courtesy of chewbacchus.org)

Of course, I’m referring to the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. This is only their second year, so the question is: How in the world/cosmos has Mardi Gras existed without their wit and genius for so many years?

They refer to themselves as BacchanALIENs, but their ranks are a mélange of “Star Wars Freaks, Trekkies, Whovians, Mega-Geeks, Circuit Benders, Cryptozooligists, UFO Conspiracy Theorists, Mad Scientists, and all the rest of Super Nerdom.”

With a membership roster like that, is it any wonder this year’s parade will feature a Mayan temple on wheels, a king cake flying saucer with an alien baby, and a rickshaw transformed into a “Chariot of the Gods” mobile disco, complete with glowing crystal skulls, flapping wings, rocket thrusters and spinning propellers?

Boba Fett works the runway at Set Your Phasers to Stunning, the fashion show hosted by the Krewe of Chewbacchus. (Photo courtesy of chewbacchus.org)

Sci-fi is quite a specific theme for a Mardi Gras krewe, so I asked Space Commander Chewbaccacabra (who describes his ranking within the krewe as “Overlord”) to explain how they recruited a legion of 400 members. He replied, “We managed to attract natural street freaks and drunken nerds from the known universe with our awesomeness.”

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that’s sort of like The Force.

Contributing to said awesomeness is their dedication to being green. Not as in, extraterrestrial skin color, but as in, terrestrial awareness. Apparatuses rolling in the parade are not allowed to use internal combustion engines. They must be pushed, pedaled, pulled or powered by electric motors. This includes perhaps the most intriguing of their contraptions, Bar2-D2.

Libation droid, Bar2-D2, is a vital member of the Krewe of Chewbacchus. (Photo courtesy of chewbacchus.org)

Asked to elaborate, Chewbaccacabra explained, “The Bar2-D2 is a Libation Droid pressed into service by the Chewbacchus Overlords. It is here to serve…beer.”

Indeed!

This year’s parade theme is “Chewbacchalypse 2012,” and a real-live Ghostbuster will serve as the Krewe’s duke (I’d request a more suitably cosmic title, if I were him). That’s right, actor Ernie Hudson (aka, Winston, from the Ghostbusters movies) will be riding with the Louisiana Ghoststeppers.

In addition to the parade and its Make it Sew – Make it Throw – Make it Geaux build nights, the krewe hosts the Set Your Phasers to Stunning sci-fi fashion show, a summer Alien Beach Party, and, of course, Chewbacchanal.

The Krewe of Chewbacchus parade  rolls through Uptown on Saturday, February 18 at 5 p.m. Membership is open to everyone, so join them. Because, y’know – resistance is futile.

All images are courtesy of The Krewe of Chewbacchus.

For the lowdown on all things Mardi Gras, check out these GoNola.com posts on super krewes, throws, and costumes.

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