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Love NOLA: This Mardi Gras, forget the Snooki, love the Wookie

Brett Will Taylor (photo by Jason Kruppa)

Have you ever been abducted by aliens?

I have. It happened, not long ago, but just a few Sundays ago. In a galaxy far, far away (aka Marigny).

There I was, happily happy at Mimi’s in that late Sunday afternoon kinda way. All of a sudden, I was grabbed, quite possibly probed (ouch!) and most definitely transported to the den of NOLA’s fastest growing DIY krewe: the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus (rolling Uptown this Saturday around 5 p.m. from The Big Top).

It was a lot like being in Santa’s workshop just before Christmas. If the workshop had been designed by Tim Burton. And the elves were on acid. Which means it was an awesome experience.

For starters, this krewe that is “for the most revelrous of Star Wars Freaks, Trekkies, Whovians, Mega-Geeks, Circuit Benders, Cryptozooligists, UFO Conspiracy Theorists, Mad Scientists, and all the rest of Super Nerdom” has some really cool stuff. Out of this world stuff.

What say you? “Every krewe has really cool stuff?” True dat. And I don’t mean no disrespect to the many — and all fabulous — krewes (DIY or otherwise) that roll and roll and roll this time of year. But, let me ask you: will any of those krewes have a Mayan Temple … on wheels? A Chariot of the Gods Mobile-friggin-Disco? Will any of them quench your thirst with a Bar2D2?

Chewbacchus will bring all of that to the humble streets of our galaxy on Saturday. Oh … and just in case you thought these intergalactic space cadets have no appreciation for NOLA culture, they also will be presenting Planet Earth with its first sighting of a King Cake Flying Saucer … steered by an alien baby (who, I have heard, is on a mission to save the gazillions of babies who are trapped in sticky, gooey purgatories across our region).

There are other really cool things about Chewbacchus that merit a place of exalted honor on your Carnival list: Their throws have a conscience (including condoms with Darth Vader’s mug and the caption “I will not be your father”); they are 100 percent green; and they are open to everyone who wants to join in their mad, mad, mad world. Well, almost everyone. Chewbacchus draws the line at Unicorns, Elves, and Whinebots (a decision that has led to the inevitable launch of an advocacy group with the world’s most unfortunate acronym: PUEWC—People for the inclusion of Unicorns, Elves and Whinebots in Chewbacchus). Chewbacchus even has its very own, intergalactic app. A friggin app!

But, you want to know what really makes Chewbacchus out of this world? The people.

Now, look, I know nerds are almost as plentiful as the Kardashians. But, trust me, these NOLA nerds are different. They have tapped into the magic of alchemy, joyfully working every Wednesday night for a full year to transmute their nerdom into an out-of-this-world experience that will lift you up into the highest reaches of the galaxy (before their libations throw you down on your behind). And leading this merry band of mad scientists are its three Overlords, Ryan Ballard, Kirah Haubrich, and Brett Powers.

Talk about alchemy. Space Commander Ballard, also known as Dr. Razzamataz, channels years of street theater mayhem, experience as a Krewe du Vieux co-captain (and I’m not sure what else) into being the lead creator of the Chewbacchus starships. Haubrich, one of the the three managing members of the great 3 Ring Circus, has channeled her events management expertise to make sure everyone who boards aforementioned starships has an unforgettable time. Literally. Chewbacchus bashes are so crazy, odds are you won’t remember you were there (which really is best when it comes to alien abductions). And Powers, well Powers uses his years of fighting the Dark Side (he’s an environmental lawyer) to make sure the Chewbacchus fleet sails safely through the galaxy … and the even more treacherous minefields of Mardi Gras rules, regulations and politics.

Put all this together and what do you get? You get an opportunity to experience the very essence of Carnival. An experience that celebrates the pure, joyful, slightly inebriated rapture of being alive. Even if you forget the whole thing by Sunday morning.

So, bow down Earthlings to our intergalactic visitors! Be at the Big Top on Saturday at 5 to experience the Future of Revelry.

All Hail Our Sacred Drunken Wookie!

Brett Will Taylor writes Love: NOLA weekly for NolaVie. Visit his blog at



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