St. Edward’s eccentric merchandise gain popularity among students

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St. Edward’s eccentric merchandise gain popularity among students

By: Bianca Esquivel

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This year, the St. Edward’s University Bookstore has been keeping busy finding new and creative ways to market their clothing to students — and they’ve figured out the coolest way to do just that.

As I was waiting in the long line at the bookstore, carrying seven massive textbooks threatening to tear my arms from their sockets, I spotted something peculiar across the store: it was C-3PO, the protocol droid young Anakin Skywalker built on Planet Tatooine. Of course, it wasn’t the real golden robot from “Star Wars,” but a 2D version printed on a black V-neck shirt that read, “I heart Star Wars and SEU Hilltoppers.”

After finally purchasing my books, I began to scavenge around the store, feeling utter euphoria when I found not only more Star Wars-related shirts and hoodies, but stacks of fly “Straight Outta Austin” T-shirts, clearly inspired by last year’s award-winning drama, “Straight Outta Compton.”

Being a huge “Star Wars” fan, I couldn’t help but snatch a few items, including my current favorite, a St. Edward’s pride T-shirt with Boba Fett that says “Go! Fett! Win!”

Last December, the long-awaited “Star Wars” movie was released and fans rejoiced in this grand “reawakening.” So it makes sense that since “The Force Awakens” has been a major hit according to the Los Angeles Times, “Star Wars” merchandise has been selling like crazy, making billions in total sales worldwide.

Similarly, “Straight Outta Compton” has also been well-received by audiences. There’s no doubt St. Edward’s has instituted clever marketing strategies in the bookstore by applying references to these popular movies in their products.

It’s refreshing to see a university actually make the effort to be creative with how they promote their merchandise to students. Also, such spirited clothing reminds people, who forget for some insane reason, that St. Edward’s is a fun place where experimentation and eccentricity is encouraged.

As an eccentric St. Edward’s college student myself, I consider “Star Wars” as a big part of my childhood.

I remember my parents renting the original and prequel trilogies at Blockbuster for my siblings and I to watch throughout the weekend. In particular, my sister and I would shamelessly reenact the final battle scene in Episode III.

Thus, Star Wars has become a trigger for my nostalgia, so being able to express my St. Edward’s pride as well a love for this cinematic masterpiece is incredible.

Tim Jackson, bookstore manager and fellow “Star Wars” enthusiast, explained the process of how he brought the “Star Wars” clothing to the bookstore.

Bookstore vendor Champion offered Jackson a selection of Disney-approved graphics, and he chose graphics with hopes that the students would love them as much as he does.

Though the “Star Wars” and “Straight Outta Austin” shirts did not sell as much as Jackson hoped, there’s no doubt that these funky and witty ideas will continue to pour in.

While it is is hard to say what new quirky merchandise we can expect to see from the bookstore next, one thing is for sure — there’s no way for Jackson to know what to bring his customers next unless he hears back from St. Edward’s students.

“My job is to listen to the students and find out what they want, but without people talking to me, I can’t give them that,” Jackson said.

As students at St. Edward’s, it is crucial that we voice our opinions about what works for us and what doesn’t. St. Edward’s is pretty liberal, and by definition, liberal means “open to new behavior or opinions,” but it is impossible for proper action to be taken when students don’t provide any feedback.