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Alessandro Powell

At 7 p.m. every Wednesday in Krewe De Vieux’s Den of Muses, the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus gathers to assemble its fleet. Its floats emerged from its hidden base, The Big Top Lounge, for the group’s first parade last year. Now, the Krewe is back – in greater numbers – and since 2011’s inaugural parade, they’ve begun construction on a new fleet of floats, more powerful than the first, as well as Wookie-propelled bicycles.

The Sci-fi aficionados will take to the streets of New Orleans, following their ultimate contraption: a 150-year-old pedi-cab imported from Vietnam. As evidenced by their Stormtrooper-Mayan Temple float, this year’s theme is “Chewbacchalypse 2012.”

New to the 2012 lineup will be the sub-krewes of Ewok, for kids, and the Chewbakkan Cyclopods, whose members will ride a fleet of art-bicycles. Tulane seniors Brayden O’Guinn and Nicole Nolan, who designed the lighting for the floats, will ride among the Chewbikkans.

Tulane communications professor Wendy Hajjar was an original member. She will follow the insidious Bar2D2 mobile keg with the Wookies when they march on Feb. 18. Tulane students can march with the Wookies if they join the Red Shirt Rebellion.

“The RSR seperates the drunken nerds in the parade from the drunken nerds watching,” head of Wookie security Lauren Wagner said.

Members of the RSR receive a free T-shirt and access to Bar2D2.

The Krewe of Chewbacchus fundraiser, the Set Your Phasers to Stunning sci-fi fashion show, will take place on Feb. 26 at the Big Top Lounge. Ancient alien artifacts will be auctioned at the event. Doors open at 8 p.m. with a $10 fee.

Krewe overlord Kirah Haubirch called her group a hybrid of “art, science, sci-fi, and New Orleans tradition.” The Krewe of Chewbacchus held a booth at the 2012 Comic-Con, where they also paraded.

“We think of ourselves as New Orleans’ ambassadors to the rest of the universe,” Haubirch said.

As the Krewe’s Mother Alien, Haubirch lists giving birth to fledgling aliens, in a membership capacity, among her duties.

“We’re all about access,” overlord Brett Powers said. “That’s why we keep our dues low.”

The Krewe’s dues are a mere $42 and include costumes, throws and access to Bar2D2.

“People come with their own contraptions,” Haubirch said. “That’s how we roll.”

The parade will be environmentally friendly – the floats were made with recycled materials and are human powered.

“[Green parades are] the future of revelry,” overlord Ryan Ballard said.

Extraterrestrial theorist and Greek writer Giorgio Tsoukalos will reign as the Krewe’s king. Actor and “Ghostbuster” Ernie Hudson will serve as the Krewe’s duke, riding with the Louisiana Ghoststeppers.

The Krewe’s 2012 route kicks off on Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. at the Big Top Lounge.

“There will eventually be rituals,” said Haubirch of Chewbacchus, their demigod.

The Sacred Drunken Wookie’s own Mighty Wookie Fi-Yo Interstellar Mardi Gras Indians will play sci-fi variations of New Orleans classics. The Vajarjar Dancers and the Stormsteppers will roll with the music.

Throws will include furry bandoliers, Wookie panties, stenciled towels, TARDIS beanbads, DIY beads, medallions, moon pies and more.

Membership is open to all people with sci-fi costumes. Just remember the rules: First, no unicorns (sans rocket thrusters), second, no elves (cyborgs: okay.), third, whinebots will be air-locked and jettisoned into the nearest Black Hole (apparently puns are fine).


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