Hipstar Wars

Wouldn’t you just once like to discover the next big thing before it’s cool? Think of those bastards who saw young Bob Dylan in coffee shops. They could not have realized they were in the presence of a future legend. Now, they regale their children every Christmas with stories about sipping espresso before it turned sellout.

Well, this right here is your chance at eternal storytime. I have a tip on authority from the underground. But you better pounce right away: this new movie, “The Force Awakens,” is going to make Star Wars a household name by approximately later today.

You might be thinking that you have heard of Star Wars before now, and that it’s already famous. Sure, Star Wars has picked up cult followings with each of the original theatrical releases, the theatrical re-releases, the VHS releases, a remarkably painful Christmas special, special edition theatrical releases, special edition VHS releases, a series of imitation knock-off “prequels,” the special edition trilogy DVD releases, a cartoon series, the special edition trilogy DVDs with original theatrical releases as bonus discs, and the invention of merchandising.

But up til now, Star Wars has not yet “made the big time.” In fact, there are still first-world citizens who do not know how to make lightsaber sounds with wrapping paper tubes.

Actually, that fact is not, strictly speaking, true. I can’t keep up this charade. Star Wars is not really underground. In reality, Star Wars is as far above ground as Bespin. Star Wars is so far above ground that most of you dear readers don’t need me to explain that reference. Yet I was trying to make Star Wars seem less widely popular, so that I would therefore be more supremely unique for liking it.

Yikes. You know who defines coolness not by a thing’s inherent value but by inverse proportion to its mass appeal? Hipsters! I think. Maybe. Right? I’ll admit, I can explain the physics behind the Kessel Run, but I cannot actually define what a hipster is.

Here is what I do know about hipsters: I was once accused of being one, judged and categorized entirely on my bearded appearance. Never mind that I wear old flannel simply because I haven’t updated my wardrobe since high school. Never mind that –

Oh, criminey. That doesn’t prove I’m not a hipster. In fact, I’m essentially arguing that I was a hipster before there were hipsters. That my hipsterism is not a mere costume, unlike Luke’s and Han’s borrowed stormtrooper armor. (It is true, though, that I’m a little short for a hipster.)

Since trying to argue that I’m NOT a hipster only entrenches me deeper into dick-pockety hipsterism, let’s drop the whole subject and tackle another rampant prejudice: the notion that the entire Star Wars movement is Pop-Tart-snarfing dudes literally underground in their older relatives’ basements.

This is an outdated, judgmental stereotype. Society has progressed to where a great percentage of the Star Wars underground movement is Pop-Tart-snarfing dudettes.

Dudettes might even feature in the new Star Wars film. That’s right, dudettes plural. But no one knows for sure. The production has locked down all its thermal exhaust ports; no one has yet found a weakness to exploit.

One thing we do know is that there is a lead character named Rey, who appears to be female by Earth standards. We know literally nothing else about Rey. We don’t even know what her slave bikini will look like. Yet she has clearly got women, girls and other females excited about the new direction of “The Force Awakens,” as evidenced by the fact that you can now buy officially licensed Star Wars cosmetics.

But that’s not all! Stores are struggling to keep Rey merchandise in stock. That problem is noticeably less of a problem with mysteriously-absent-from-promotional-materials Luke Skywalker merch, and aged-but-still-impressively-rugged Chewbacca merch. Even factoring in the boys who play with dolls and fetishists who experiment with 3-inch action figures, that’s a significant number of ladies buying toys.

It’s almost as if there’s a societal void for a female hero who is not (as far as we know) love’s leather bitch.

Are we buying advance tickets to a massive hyperspace jump in gender equality? Or is all this merely a corrupt push by a diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate (who shall remain nameless but rhymes with “Misney”) to leech 70 cents out of women for every merchandise dollar spent by men?

Beats me. The more pressing concern, speaking of societal coolness, is who’s hooking me up with Rey dolls for Christmas.

Zach Hively