Whether you have read the Harry Potter series an embarrassing amount of times, binge watched Game of Thrones in two weeks, or lined up to see the midnight release of every new Star Wars film, the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is sure to have something that speaks to the inner nerd in you. On Saturday, February 1, the sci-fi and fantasy inspired Mardi Gras krewe will march for its tenth year, marking a decade of carrying out a mission "to save the galaxy by giving the disenfranchised, socially awkward, and generally weird masses access to the magical revelry of Carnival".
The name Chewbacchus pays homage to both Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry, and Chewbacca, the furry Wookie hero who grunted his way into Star Wars fans' hearts. Members, who are known as either ChewbacchanALIENS or Chewbs, can choose to walk (or ride tricycles, shopping carts, or robotic power chairs) as part of a wide variety of sub krewes, each paying homage to a different fandom. Some favorite divisions of the past include Avatarlicious, Jon Sneaux and the Hodors, and the Jane Austen Book & Gun Club.
The theme of the 2020 parade is "The Roar of the Wookie", which honors the late actor Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in the 1970s and 80s films. While the krewe traditionally anoints a celebrity who is revered in the sci-fi community as King or Queen, this year's royalty will be chosen from a collection of 42 spectators from last year's parade who caught one of the "pocket shrine" throws. The number 42 is sacred to the Chewbs, giving a nod to Douglas Adams's cult-favorite classic The Hitchhiker's Guide, in which the number features prominently.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Chewbacchus, the krewe will hold its largest parade yet. Spectators can see the parade commence at 7 p.m. on Chartres Street at Homer Plessy Way and follow along as the Jedis and dinosaurs weave their way through Marigny, eventually ending along Decatur Street in the French Quarter. Between the quirky handmade throws and geek-centric after party, Chewbacchanal, this year's Chewbacchus parade will have you basking in the glory of nerd-filled debauchery to start your Mardi Gras season off right. As the Chewbs say: "All hail the sacred drunken Wookie!"