Is This The Droid You’re Looking For?

I’m tired—
tired, tired, tired, tired:
Tired of being your flesh receptacle for your Star Wars hopes and dreams.

I am not
George Lucas
a Disney employee
a crew member on any of the Star Wars movies (past, present or future).

I’m not even a Star Wars fan…I much prefer cerebral science-fiction: Doctor Who, Star Trek, V for Vendetta etc.

What I am is…a charming and fun dude with an R2-D2 varsity jacket:

Back in 2012 Marc Ecko Cut & Sew launched a Star Wars varsity jacket collection featuring Boba Fett, Darth Vader and R2-D2. Much like a sneaker collaboration the jackets are all fresh fashion…regardless of your Star Wars feelings.

I dig the subtle nature of the R2 jacket it’s a borderline inside joke…plus the varsity style gives it that classic American feel: half Happy Days half Archie. (Insert Breakfast Club letter…you see me as you want to see me…take that Mr. Vernon!).

About a year ago I found it, brand new, still in the packaging at a comic book convention: seller had a handful of the R2 jackets left and was desperate to unload them. (ProTip: Always buy your gear on Sundays at cons…we’re all lazy and nobody wants to pack all that up).

The jacket passed the fresh test and more importantly the fat test (I put on weight for all seasons now but I was successfully able to close it). I handed the dealer cash and he passed over the product and I victoriously walked away from a successful transaction.

And for a while it was all good business as it should…the R2-D2 jacket garnered totally unexpected responses: you can see the hamster wheel running as people put the jacket together like a Wheel of Fortune puzzle. “Oh! It’s an R2 jacket…that is so cool.” I get it: as they stumble into basic coolness a vulnerable pride for anybody who has referred to high school as “I can’t wait to get out of here” is revealed. After all these years a part of you longs to be cool.

Only now…Star Wars is back: The Force Awakens on December 18.

Confession: growing up…Star Wars didn’t capture my attention.

I can’t recall when or where or how I saw the first two movies. Return of the Jedi was one of the first movies I saw in the cinema…but then so was Superman II and that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I found Star Wars…silly. Luke had all this angst…this isn’t exactly escapist material considering I was attending public school and failing to fit in. At the time my Star Wars take away was R2-D2 (but not C3PO aka The Gold Loser) and…Darth Vader. They were the coolest, the freshest, the bestest; especially Vader. I could bank on em for thrills, chills and mad adventures. Luke was (and actually still is) flat, boring…I did appreciate the fact he saved the universe in his pjs. The lightsabers are of course endlessly cool…the sounds are as iconic as the images.

So I bought the R2 jacket with the innocence of publishing a political opinion on twitter…I was unprepared for the consequences and viseral reactions.

The Disney hype machine transformed my R2 jacket into a monkey’s paw for new hope. The unsolicited stories started:

“I saw Star Wars…”

“I hope Luke is back in the new movie…”

“Are you going to see the new movie?”

Sigh. Tired.

I’m an ambivert…I don’t mind parties but I’m also happy at home pants off armed with a hot tea and an outstanding book. This was a bit more social interaction than I was used too…much less expected. I’m tired.

The jacket didn’t even come with a warning…ironic because we are an eager society of labellers.

And Disney is gonna crank out I dunno how many of these Star Wars movies every year? Well on the plus side it appears I’ve purchased a jacket that’ll never go outta fashion. May the Force be with me as I snap button my R2-D2 jacket closed and step outta my home.


Also published on Medium.

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