May the boutique 'Star Wars' merch be with you

Looking beyond the factory-made merchandise at some boutique Star Wars curios. 

Courtesy of Dayle-Doni Latchford
Doni Guitars now offers a 'Han Solo' guitar fashioned from a Fender Stratocaster.

The coming of Star Wars: Episode VII has awakened the spirit of creative merchandising. A new duo of Star Wars themed guitars is prompting some to make note of whether they are a Rebel bassist or a Han Soloist. 

While there is plenty of cookie-cutter, official merchandise out there, from LEGOs to Vans sneakers, licensed boutique makers are coming out of the shadows with some inspiring offerings.

Dayle-Doni Latchford, a luthier & designer says in an interview via email that Doni Guitars, of England now offers The Han Solo guitar and The Rebel Bass via the website Esty.

“Each guitar is unique, but they generally follow the same pattern and timeframe which is 1-2 weeks if nothing too outlandish, or 2-3 weeks if the customizations go above and beyond the norm,” Mr. Latchford writes.

Both guitars are hybrids - fully-functional instruments and scale models with all the glowing lights and intricate details of the Millennium Falcon.

The Han Solo is a 6-string Stratocaster encased in a plastic Millennium Falcon body.

Meanwhile, the Rebel Bass offers a fully working Fender P bass-style guitar - also encased in the same Millennium Falcon body.

Doni offers a custom flight case for an additional $360 USD. The Han Solo guitar will cost around $715 and the Rebel Bass $793. All of the items ship from Coventry, United Kingdom.

Latchford himself is a fan, so this is a labor of love.

“I've been hooked on Star Wars since I was a very small child. I couldn't tell you how many times I've watched the films, even doing marathons of Episode 1-6 non-stop, which is still an enjoyable pastime,” he writes. “ I could probably recite each film word for word, but I'm also very excited for Episode 7 this year too!”

Asked if he has plans for other variations on the Star Wars theme he writes, “Yes. I already have plans to utilize the likes of a Y-Wing, B-Wing, Slave 1, Star Destroyer and even the Death Star. Though it must be said, they won't always be guitars.”

“I've so far built 10 Rebel Bass guitars and 3 Han Solo (Strat) guitars, however I also have 2 Rebel Bass and 3 Han Solo orders come in lately that are yet to be built and finished. A busy time for me,” he writes.

There is even a video of the Rebel Bass being played.

Those fans who may not be musically inclined or can’t afford such pricey purchases can find plenty of other options from boutique dealers such as Doni and other unique sources.

Here are some unique Star Wars-themed items and one-offs from smaller makers and artists that run the gamut from soap to pups, to tide fans over until the movie’s release in December.

While the newly popular “Wookiee dog,” or Griffonshire Brussels Griffon is not a purebred dog (a cross between the Brussels Griffon and the Yorkshire Terrier) and wasn’t among the contenders at the Westminster Dog Show last week, fans are out in Force looking for Wookie pooches to adopt.

Or check out one of a series of vinyl records that have been laser cut into various tableaus from the previous films, including the “Force Choke” ($45).

Start the day with a shower behind a Han-Solo-trapped-in-carbonite curtain ($24.99), using Millennium Falcon soap ($4).

Don a cozy Chewbacca Mask Zip Hoodie with a full character facemask ($69.99) or Boba Fett hoodie if you prefer ($56.99).

Have a good breakfast with dark side or light themed toast with the words “Star Wars” seared into the bread which pops out of a toaster the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet ($49.99).

Those dining on more than just toast will want to make absolutely certain the fork is with them, particularly forks with “May the fork be with you” stamped on them ($13.95 apiece).

Make sure you have your Bluetooth Death Star speaker handy at all times so you can listen to the theme music.

At the end of the day put on your Wampa slippers ($29.99).

Couples can end the day like Princess Leia and Han Solo with his and hers pillow cases ($28) embroidered with hers reading “I love you” and his beside it replying, “I know.”

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