By Ariel Graham | DFW Newsflash | December 2017
In a galaxy not so far away, fans from all over DFW celebrated the third annual Star Wars Day, hosted at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 28.
The museum invited various -area Star Wars groups, such as the 501st Legion and the Dark Empire, to fill the hanger with Stormtroopers, Imperial soldiers, Droids, and Ewoks. Children had their photos taken with their favorite characters, rode a model speedbike from the movies, and participated in various activities. Museum members were treated to a “Jabba the Pizza Hut” pizza lunch. Guests from other “galaxies” also came out to the museum to celebrate. The DFW Ghostbusters made an appearance at the event, complete with their Ecto-1 vehicle, and a team of Jurassic Park cosplayers brought out a baby triceratops for kids to play with.
Kent Harraid, collections manager at the Frontiers of Flight museum, is the man behind the Star Wars Day celebration.
“Three years ago, I came up with the idea to do a Star Wars Day with our space exhibits and with our airplanes,” Harraid said. “We started brainstorming. I was able to contact a lot of the Star Wars costume clubs in the area, and it kind of grew from there. It’s become quite successful.”
Harraid thinks one reason why Star Wars is so popular is because of its unique stories and memorable characters.
“I think the storylines are so unique, and people can connect to it,” Harraid said. “Space is always fascinating to people. They want to travel outside of this world. [Star Wars has] a following that will be around for a long time, and it seems to be getting larger every day.”
Todd and Cheyenne Schweikert drove from Lewisville to bring their kids to the event. Todd said he loves sharing the series he loved in his childhood with his own kids.
“I grew up with the first trilogy that came out back in the 80s,” Todd said. “Now we’ve introduced our kids to it, and they love it.”
David Wilson is the leader of the “Voidstar Spire,” the DFW chapter of the Dark Empire, a Star Wars group centered around the Sith, the antagonists of the series. Wilson has been leader of the DFW chapter for seven years, and said one of the things he most enjoys about Star Wars is the huge diversity of aliens the series features.
“Most sci-fi movies, you get to see maybe one type of alien,” Wilson said. “But not Star Wars. In Star Wars, they pull out all the stops for all of these different kinds of creatures. It’s things like that I really enjoy.”
But for those who aren’t big on aliens, however, Wilson added that the series features things everyone can enjoy, whether they’re sci-fi fans or not.
“There’s so many different things that you see throughout the entire movie,” Wilson said. “There’s romance, there’s excitement, there’s adventure, there’s danger, there’s something in there for everybody, and it appeals to so many different people.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the wildly popular sci-fi series. The first film in the series, “Episode IV – A New Hope,” was released in 1977, and became one of the highest-grossing films in the world, earning over $775 million worldwide, and spawning two sequels and a huge line of toys, books, and other merchandise. The series came back in 1999 with “Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” and two other prequel movies detailing the life of the series’ antagonist Darth Vader. The series then saw resurgence in 2015 with “Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” and the side story “Rouge One,” in 2016. The next movie in the franchise, “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi,” will premiere in theaters on Dec. 15 of this year, and a new movie featuring a young Han Solo is set to release in 2018.