Columbia takes Star Wars fans behind the scenes with retro crew parka

Outerwear and adventure sports brand Columbia Sportswear has announced the upcoming release of a limited-edition parka inspired by the jackets worn by members of the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back while filming scenes for sequences taking place on the ice planet Hoth.


Columbia worked closely with Lucasfilm to reproduce specific features of the original jackets - Photo: Columbia Sportswear
 
The “Star Wars: Empire Crew Parka” features an adjustable hood with a removable faux-fur trim, a two-way collar, ribbed cuffs, wrist zips and a number of pockets, as well as Columbia’s own weather-resistant technologies.
 
“The waterproof, breathable and critically seam-sealed outer layer acts like the Echo Base shield generator to protect against the elements, while the Omni-Heat thermal-reflective lining and insulation will keep you as warm as a Wookiee,” said the brand in a release.
 
Columbia worked closely with Lucasfilm Ltd. in order to accurately reproduce specific features of the original jackets, which have become a rare and highly sought-after collector’s item since they were first worn by the film’s crew almost 40 years ago.
 
These unique features include high-visibility orange shoulder stripes for blizzard conditions, a Darth Vader chest patch and Star Wars logos, as well as a customizable name plate on the chest pocket.
 
As an extra nod to Star Wars history, the jacket’s lining also includes the coordinates of Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in Norway, where the Hoth scenes were shot.
 
The parkas will retail for $500 but a handful of Columbia stores in the US will also carry some of only 30 jackets signed by Luke Skywalker himself – actor Mark Hamill. These will go on sale for $1,980 (a reference to the film’s release year), with all proceeds going to fund college access programs and scholarships chosen by Hamill and Columbia.
 
This isn’t the first time Columbia has teamed up with Lucasfilm to channel retro Star Wars nostalgia into limited-edition high-performance outerwear. Last December, the brand launched its Echo Base Collection, taking its inspiration from the jackets worn by Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo when fighting alongside rebel forces on Hoth.

Indeed, since the franchise’s reboot in 2015, Star Wars has become a hot property for fashion collaborations referencing either the original trilogy or the new Disney-directed films – perhaps unsurprisingly, the much maligned early-noughties prequels have not benefited from quite the same upswing in popularity.
 
The latest main series offering, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, however, managed to bag collaborations with brands as varied as fast fashion e-tailer Asos and French luxury footwear label Christian Louboutin.
 
The “Star Wars: Empire Crew Parka” will be available to purchase at select Columbia retail locations in the US, Canada, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea from Friday, December 7, 2018.

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