Club Candids

Club Candids: Star Wars Turns 35 at Rips

The year 1977 had a slew of watershed moments for both science fiction and pop culture as a whole.

In theatres across the country, George Lucas' bombastic space opera flick Star Wars was blowing up like the Death Star and changing the cinematic landscape. Every child who was lucky enough to witness the exploits of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in a galaxy far, far away grew up with visions of intergalactic adventures.

Meanwhile, in grungy clubs across the U.K. and U.S., punk rock was rising to greater prominence and spreading the infection of raw attitude and three-chord artistry. Vanguard bands like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones were invading the national conciousness while such influential acts as The Misfits, Black Flagg, Crass, and X were staging their first performances.

So its totally fitting that 1977's two biggest byproducts were combined this past weekend at Rips Ales & Cocktails to help honor the 35th birthday of Star Wars.

Its also appropos that the party took place in the midst of Phoenix Comicon, the Valley's largest celebration of geekdom. Many comicon attendees traveled to the CenPho dive bar to celebrate Star Wars and partake in an evening punk rock fury.

The musical lineup consisted of the triple threat of three of Arizona punk rock: Manual Sex Drive, Family Secret, and Tucson-based trio The Mission Creeps. Members of the latter band got into the spirit of the party and embraced their inner geeks by dressing appropriately -- guitarist James Arr wore a Star Wars t-shirt and bassist Miss Frankie Stein transformed herself into a Princess Leia look-alike (complete with white outfit and intergalactic hair buns).

They weren't the only ones in costume, as DJ Sean of the Dead was dressed like space pimp Lando Calrissian, a Darth Vader clone was wandering about, and one gentlemen did his best to mimic Chewbacca. There were also plenty of other cats wore Star Wars-inspired t-shirts.

A pack of local motorcycle enthusiasts also parked their steel steeds outside of Rips and joined the party, although (sadly) their rides were more of the Harley variety and not speeder bikes.

See who else was feeling the force this past Friday by checking out this week's Club Candids slideshow. And may the Schwartz force be with you.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.