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Chewbacchus and Science-Fiction Carnival

Chewbacchus and Science-Fiction Carnival

(p.145) Chapter 5 Chewbacchus and Science-Fiction Carnival
Downtown Mardi Gras
Leslie A. Wade
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter features the fastest growing of the new Downtown Mardi Gras organizations, the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. New Orleans culture is not conventionally associated with science-fiction or futurism; however, this krewe has tapped a rich and vibrant vein, blending conventional Carnival with science-fiction fandom—the mash-up of Bacchus and Chewbacca from Star Wars. This chapter examines the egalitarian impulse of Chewbacchus, which clearly situates itself in opposition to traditional Uptown krewes. The chapter also investigates its relation to the Downtown neighborhood of Bywater and how the color and energy of the enterprise both reflects and contributes to the gentrification of the area. Finally, the chapter speculates upon the krewe’s fantastical expressions and implicit utopianism, how its carnivalesque, otherworldly aspect might alter or impact actual social realities.

Keywords:   Science fiction, Star Wars, Mashup, Bacchus, Fandom

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