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Empire Strikes Back

You meet the same types of people throughout your life, and they can all be compared to characters from Star Wars. And if a dog matches the appearance of the owner, then perhaps too what one purchases at Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery's "Stitch Wars Strikes Back" exhibit may match the buyer's personality.

The Luke Skywalker type -- young, whiny, naive, a hero in waiting -- may go for the too-cute-to-handle Salacious Crumb plush, by Crafty is Cool. This piece is possibly too amazing: It looks like it's made out of hackey-sack material, and the Kowakian monkey-lizard's face is more appealing than the film version's (think the Mogwai creature in Gremlins before water). To top it all off, this jokester-cum-Jabba's-court-jester can sit upright on the file cabinet!

For the developing-into-greatness Luke Skywalker, who can slice open a tauntaun with his light saber, remove its guts, and crawl inside to stay warm in beyond-this-world freezing temperatures (defining moment), maybe a Darth Vader USB cord cover by Alas! my dear will warm his heart.

But the Jabba the Hutt type, the guy addicted to crime and no exercise, may want the stuffed, mounted tauntaun head by Lana Crooks on his wall. (Sure, the girls swoon over Han Solo, but even his nemesis has his intriguing qualities.) This guy might want to model his home after Jabba's. Humans too enjoy to keep trophies out, like how, in Return of the Jedi, next to the beautiful frozen form of Han Solo, Jabba kept a trophy of a stuffed, mounted tauntaun head on the wall of his darkly lit palace.

If a man doesn't really know who he is yet, he can get the whole gang: Chewie, Solo, Lando, and Boba Fet -- as mini plush creatures. Musicians: also found in plush -- the Max Rebo Band, by Hilly Hill. For men with ugly hands -- or for aspiring puppeteers -- slip the Yoda and Greedo finger puppets by Megan Jeffery on the forefinger.

The exhibit will run until September 25, and both Bear and Bird and Tate's are open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. besides Sundays, when the store/boutique is open from noon to 6. DIY stitching takes time and skill, so expect some of these darlings to cost a pretty penny -- like 30,000 pennies. To find Bear and Bird, go to 4566 N. University Drive in Lauderhill, walk inside Tate's Comics+Toys+Videos+More (Make sure to check out the Japanese drinks and candy: Dark Chocolate Walky Walky and Pocky), and strut up the stairs. Call 954-748-0181, or visit bearandbird.com as well as tatescomics.com.
Aug. 22-Sept. 25, 2011

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Mickie Centrone

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