While we don’t quite live in a world that’s mastered intergalactic travel the same way as they have in Star Wars (at least, to my knowledge) our solar system has something new in common with George Lucas’s space franchise. Technology outfitted in Columbia’s latest collection of Star Wars-inspired gear is being sent on a NASA lunar mission.
Columbia Sportswear’s Skywalker collection officially arrives on December 1, continuing a collaboration between the 85-year-old apparel company and Lucasfilm. Previous collections highlighted The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, but now, Luke Skywalker is the muse. More specifically, the snow gear worn on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back and iconic rebel flight suits are captured in this product line.
With 11 total items in the collection, this is not only Columbia’s largest Star Wars drop but the first of the partnership to include true ski products, too. The collection features three items — two jackets and a snowsuit — lined with proprietary Columbia technology designed to keep you as warm as you’d feel cocooned inside a Tauntaun.
Referred to as Omni-Heat Infinity, the thermal-reflective technology looks space age-ready with small shiny gold dots designed to retain heat without compromising comfort. When I tried on the Columbia Skywalker Pilot Ski Jacket ahead of the collection’s full availability, I got a taste of what it feels like to wear a material that’s durable and insulating enough to land on the moon.
Omni-Heat Infinity is being used on the Nova-C lander as part of NASA’s Artemis Program lunar exploration efforts. You can read more about Columbia’s role in the mission here, but the key thing to know is that Columbia’s technology will be tasked with keeping the lander insulated against the harsh environments of space.
The material was developed in-house at Columbia and is available in a number of the company’s jackets, including NASA-inspired ones you can shop now. It only seems fitting, then, that the Star Wars collection leveraged the material to keep winter warriors warm.
According to the NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, the Nova-C lander is scheduled for its mission on January 12, 2024. It will launch from a SpaceX Falcon 9 and intend to land in a crater near the moon’s south pole.
The ultimate gear for Star Wars fans
If the relation to actual space isn’t compelling enough, the Columbia Star Wars collection is filled with all sorts of nods to authenticity. In addition to the bomber collar, sleeve pleating and orange exterior that looks pulled straight from the Star Wars costume closet, the garments each have some hidden easter eggs.
The ski coat I tried on, for example, has a replica coms pad on the left breast and a R2-D2 schematics hidden in the flap in the right breast pocket. There’s a rebel badge at the bottom of the left sleeve, and inside the jacket, there’s schematics for an X-Wing. Both sets of schematics have accurate Aurebesh (a.k.a. the alphabet from Star Wars) — I even used this translator to figure out what the words say.
If you’re not a skier, there’s items in the collection for you as well. I think you’ll particularly like this $70 long-sleeve shirt featuring vintage Star Wars concept art pulled from the archive. The scene, in my opinion, captures the essence of the entire collection.
Columbia’s Star Wars Skywalker Collection becomes available on December 1, 2023. There are limited numbers of each item, so set a reminder if you’re hoping to channel your inner Luke. In the meantime, there are a number of items on sale at Columbia.com, with up to 50% off winter coats, fleece pullovers, shows and more.