Columbia Created a Line of ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Jackets and Sold Out in Minutes

Sadly, they won't be making more. (Cue Chewbacca wail)

Headshot of David Griner

Do you ever feel like retro marketing is an energy field created by all living things? One that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together?

Well, here’s a good reminder why: Columbia’s new Echo Base Collection, inspired by the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back, made its debut today—and sold out almost immediately.

Designed to “keep you warmer than a tauntaun,” the three jackets were based on those worn on the icy planet of Hoth by protagonists Luke, Leia and Han. Only 1,980 copies of each coat were made (the limited count referenced Empire’s 1980 debut), and they sold out online almost instantly, with the few in-store sets likely not far behind.

Just how quickly were they gone? A lot faster than 12 parsecs. Columbia tells Adweek that the Luke jacket sold out in 5 minutes 22 seconds, the Han parka in 6 minutes 23 seconds, and the Leia jacket in 7 minutes 5 seconds.

At some Columbia stores offering the officially licensed jackets, customers were spotted camping out Thursday night in anticipation of the debut, which included in-store events featuring Star Wars characters and a chance to win a Han jacket signed by Harrison Ford.

There are no plans to create more of the jackets, the company says.

The brand chalks up the collection’s success to  combination of movie nostalgia and quality construction.

“I think there were several factors at play,” said Columbia spokesman Andy Nordhoff. “Two recognized brands joining forces to honor one of the epic movies of all time certainly grabs people’s attention. The jackets also turned out beautifully and are not costumes. We built them to withstand freezing temperatures on Hoth or other galaxies closer to home.”

While you likely won’t get your own hands on a Luke, Leia or Han jacket, warm yourself by crawling inside these clever descriptions of the brand’s three creations:

Han Solo Echo Base Parka

When cold weather hits, the officially-licensed, limited-edition Han Solo™ Echo Base Parka will keep you warmer than a hug from your favorite wookiee. Crafted of durable, water-resistant, cotton-blend fabric and insulated with Omni-Heat™ Thermal Reflective, it’s a lot like Han—rugged and durable on the outside, warm and full of surprises on the inside. Inspired by the original costume in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the jacket features a faux-fur trimmed hood that allows you to slip past bounty hunters incognito whether you’re on the ice planet Hoth or a bit closer to home.

Luke Skywalker Echo Base Jacket

The officially-licensed, limited-edition Luke Skywalker™ Echo Base Jacket will keep you warmer than a tauntaun while you take on the Empire. This durable cotton-blend, water-resistant jacket and vest combination with a stowable hood is inspired by Luke’s original Hoth costume in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and features Omni-Heat™ Reflective insulation to conserve body heat. You’ll stay warm and dry whether you’re patrolling an ice planet or getting ready for a duel with your father.

Leia Organa Echo Base Jacket

Stand fearless against both the Empire and the ice planet Hoth with the officially-licensed, limited-edition Leia Organa™ Echo Base Jacket. Crafted of durable, water-resistant, cotton-blend fabric and insulated with Omni-Heat™ Reflective, this versatile jacket and vest combination delivers a vintage look, feminine fit, and stylish details. Inspired by Leia’s Hoth costume in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, this rugged yet regal combo will help you lead with confidence whether you’re battling the elements or staring down a Star Destroyer.


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
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