In the Star Wars universe, self-propelled modes of transportation, such as bicycles, skateboards or anything that might require the energy of a human, a Twi'lek, a Mandalorian clone (or any number of species seen in the Star Wars saga) is a rarity. There are exceptions to the rule: Ewoks, those furry little bipeds from 'Return of the Jedi,' for one, never seemed to figure out how to harness the power of an engine into a vehicle that they could control. And the same goes for the Wampa, the ferocious man-eater from 'The Empire Strikes Back,' who seemed doomed to wander the vast frozen tundras of Hoth on its feet.
One could argue that Yoda, in his later years, falls into this category, but if you go back and reexamine his earlier years as a Jedi Master, it's clear that he had no problem jumping into a space cruiser to battle evil across the vast stretches of the Galactic Republic. But that's besides the point. For the majority of six films, and an expanded universe that increases in size almost daily, self-propelled forms of transportation are the exception and not the rule in the Star Wars universe.
Those of us on Earth may not ride open-air repulsorlift speeder bikes through the forests of Endor or pilot the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field near the sixth planet in the Hoth System. But as a race, humans established self-propelled forms of transportation almost as soon as the wheel was invented, and there still remains a dedicated faction of humans that appreciate the ability to push themselves from one destination to another on a skateboard.
According to Santa Cruz Skateboards Art Director/Brand Manager Lucas Musgrave, a good portion of those humans that still ride skateboards on Earth are also fans of the Star Wars saga. "All the skaters I've ever met are also Star Wars nerds. I know Chris Cole is a huge Star Wars fan -- he did a shoe colorway based off it. Ryan Sheckler and Tony Hawk are also huge Star Wars fans," says Musgrave.
With this knowledge, Musgrave and company at Santa Cruz approached Lucasfilm Ltd. with the idea to collaborate on a series of skateboards that paid tribute to the Star Wars universe. "We just cold called Lucasfilm and they agreed to a meeting. Then we learned that they're coming out with the new series of movies and they're looking for a way to bring those old characters back to a new audience and it all made sense," says Musgrave.
Beginning Monday, March 3, the Star Wars collection from Santa Cruz is being released, featuring a number of skateboards and cruzers with original artwork from the Star Wars films drawn by Musgrave and fellow Santa Cruz artist Cody Melick. The line includes a "Collector's Edition" of skateboards, featuring four distinct themes and sizes: Darth Vader (8.375" x 32"), Han Solo (8.26" x 31.7"), Princess Leia (7.8" x 31.7") and Boba Fett (8" x 31.6"). The "Collector's Edition" is packaged in a vintage toy inspirited blister pack (like the Kenner action figures from the '80s), and includes a laster-etched numbered deck, matching laser cut certificate of authenticity and a deck art poster. The first edition of the "Collector's Edition" is limited to 3,000 per graphic and according to Musgrave, has already sold out before its release.
"We wanted to do something original and ridiculous. We wanted this to reflect the Star Wars we remember. The packaging, to be honest, costs more than the deck," says Musgrave.
But that shouldn't deter the average skater with a backlog of Obi-Wan Kenobi novels on their book shelf and an affinity for Jedi philosophy. Santa Cruz was careful to ensure that the Star Wars collection not just be bought and stowed away for the avid Star Wars collector. They've also created a price point version known as the "Shred Ready," featuring the same artwork and sizes but without all of the laser etching and collectible add-ons. "We wanted versions that people could actually skate, at a reasonable price," says Musgrave.
And for those humans out there not wanting to shred or collect but looking to cruise from time to time on a mode of transportation that recognizes Jedi Masters, bounty hunters, wookies, stormtroopers and Sith lords, Santa Cruz took the time to construct a series of cruzer boards in a variety of shapes, sizes and dimensions. According to Musgrave, the cruzer series "will make the Kessel Run in less than 12 Parsecs," without breaking your bank account.
To commemorate the release of the series, Santa Cruz created a commercial featuring the likes of team member Jason Jessee dressed as a security guard on the Lucasfilm campus, alongside Darth Vader and a number of Santa Cruz team riders. "[Lucasfilm] was really hyped on the video, and they've asked us if we'd like to make another video for May 4, Star Wars Day," says Musgrave.
Interested parties wishing to purchase a Star Wars collection skateboard from Santa Cruz should proceed to the Santa Cruz website. Just stick to skateparks and concrete, cause we all known that Endor, Tattooine, Hoth and any number of planets in the Star Wars universe just aren't skate able. And perhaps that is why self-propelled forms of transportation are so hard to come by in the Star Wars saga...
Also, Greedo shot first.