By Bob Calhoun
I’m stabbing myself with a pen right now to keep from writing that cosplay has gone to the dogs, but that’s exactly what happened today at Petco’s “Star Wars” Yappy Hour at the Hotel Indigo only a few blocks from Comic-Con on Friday night.
There were pugs and chihuahuas wearing Yoda ears, and another dog dressed like an imperial walker. An eight-foot tall Chewbacca (I think he had some stilts underneath all that hair) was on hand to pose with a Russian wolfhound that was almost as big as he was. And when Darth Vader entered the room, dogs barked at him. He motioned as if he was using the force to choke the life out of them, but his Jedi mind tricks didn’t work on the feisty canines.
“Star Wars” wasn’t the only blockbuster film franchise represented here. Captain Jack Sparrow showed up with his four-legged friend Commodore Buddy, and Beckham, a labrador retriever mix, was dressed like Superman.
“He’s a big Christopher Reeve fan,” his owner, Geno Magracia of Chula Vista, Calif., informed me. The dog is named after a soccer player, but he’d rather be the Man of Steel–and who wouldn’t?
This whole furry soiree was thrown by Petco in advance of their new “Star Wars” Pet Fans Collection, which includes tiny mice made to look like “Star Wars” characters, so your cat can eviscerate Yoda and Chewie to her heart’s content. Dogs can also help free Han Solo from carbonate by ripping apart the Jabba the Hutt squeaker toy. And yes, there are Yoda ears for dogs. You’ve gotta have the Yoda ears.
The “Star Wars” Pet Fans Collection will be “unleashed by Petco stores nationwide and on petco.com Sunday, September 1,” according to a company lookbook.
Getting into the spirit of the whole thing was Leopold, a two-year old Chihuahua who looked impossibly adorable in green Yoda ears. Leopold is up for adoption form the San Diego Humane Society. He’s already been spayed, and his animal ID number is 125378. For more info on how you can take Leopold home can be found at www.sdhumane.org. The Force is definitely strong with him.
Bob Calhoun is the author of “Shattering Conventions: Commerce, Cosplay and Conflict on the Expo Floor,” available from Obscuria Press on June 18th. You can follow him on Twitter at @bob_calhoun.