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'The Force Awakens' early at UC Davis Stores

By Cody Kitaura/Dateline on November 17, 2015 in University

The Force is coming to UC Davis Stores, and managers think it could create more buzz than the Boonta Eve Classic podrace.

The bookstore’s Memorial Union location and the TechHub are now stocking a line of Star Wars merchandise, including apparel with UC Davis branding.

Some UC Davis-branded T-shirts, along with a Star Wars-branded HP laptop, Bluetooth speakers shaped like TIE fighters and Captain Phasma, are already available, with more items — decals, lanyards and more T-shirt varieties — coming soon.

The invasion comes in advance of the Dec. 18 release of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.

Oftentimes, UC Davis Stores will survey its student employees when a new line of products is proposed. When the employees saw the proposed Star Wars items, their reaction was hotter than Mustafar.

“Everybody’s extremely excited about the clothing,” said Carol Swafford, associate director of sales at UC Davis Stores. “It looked like they were going to be hot items, especially for the holidays.”

The stores worked with vendors to choose four or five T-shirt designs, along with plenty of “gadgets” — one of the areas that showed the most promise during the informal surveying, Swafford said.

As with everything else they sell, how long they’ll be available in the store will depend on how popular they are. The customers will decide whether the creators of the Star Wars items will end up in the Great Pit of Carkoon or receiving medals on Yavin 4.

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Cody Kitaura/Dateline, Dateline, 530-752-1932,