Motorcycling and Star Wars fandom may seem worlds apart. However, recent crossovers and collaborations have brought the two galaxies closer together. From HJC’s Darth Vader-inspired helmet to Super73’s TIE fighter on two wheels, apparently, motorcyclists can’t resist the dark side. Now, the world of minibike racing will collide with the Star Wars universe for the first annual Swoop GP.
In Star Wars lore, swoop races commonly featured smaller, cruder speeder bikes and garnered an outlaw image as a result. Though swoops lacked finesse, they were lighter and faster than standard speeder bikes. A fitting parallel to rough and tumble minibikes banging bars in the Mojave Desert.
Hosted at Willow Springs International Raceway (Rosamond, California) on July 31, 2021, the Star Wars-themed event will include costumed characters, lightsaber duels, and music. Cosplayers are welcome and vendors, prop-makers, and collectors will offer more wares than the Mos Espa marketplace. Food and beverages will also be inspired by the cuisines of galaxies far, far away. Yes, including Blue Milk.
The festivities will extend to the circuit with the “Race For The Bounty” competition. Contestants will fly around the Streets of Willow track like podracers in the Boonta Eve Classic. Organizers will award prizes, ahem, bounty to race winners and participants are also encouraged to come in Star Wars garb (track-safe apparel, of course).
Off the raceway, Padawans can get further training in the arts of lightsabers and minibikes. A photo station featuring troopers and creatures from all corners of the universe will be trackside and an art contest will keep the kiddies busy throughout the day. When the twin suns of Tattooine set, lightsaber shows and a costume and bike decorating contest will cap off the family-friendly festivities.
Aside from a fun-filled day of Star Wars and minibike racing, Swoop GP will raise funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and the Make A Wish Foundations of Northeastern & Central California and Northern Nevada. Those interested should note that Swoop GP tickets are pre-sale only and COVID-19 guidelines will be in place at the event. Those interested can find more information at the event website.
Photos by Kevin Hipp and Scott Diebold