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The City Journals

The Force was strong with this crowd

May 21, 2018 10:44AM ● By Ruth Hendricks

Participants in the “Star Wars” lip sync contest. (SL county library)

By Ruth Hendricks | [email protected]

Where does Darth Vader buy his black leather designer boots? At the Darth mall!

That joke was told to the crowd celebrating at the Mos Eisley Cantina, also known as the County Library’s Viridian Event Center.

May 4 is known as Star Wars day and celebrates director George Lucas’s “Star Wars” movies. It comes from a variation of the famous phrase: "May the Fourth be with you."

“We are excited to bring this popular event back for a third year,” Librarian Liesl Seborg said. “It’s an amazing and immersive experience that lets you feel like you’re in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”

The county library hosted this free event for adults ages 18 and older. Costumes were encouraged but not required. Many residents dusted off their Jedi robes and dressed as their favorite character from that galaxy far, far away.

The festivities included costume and trivia contests, mocktails, refreshments and games. Galactic helpers also took free souvenir photos.

Vendors set up display tables selling their wares. Inside the main hall was a stage where participants performed in a lip sync contest. Audience members cheered for their favorite lip sync performance, which was factored in to the views of judges to determine the winners. At the back of the hall refreshments were sold including churros from San Diablo and drinks such as bantha blue milk and Tatooine sunrise.

On the previous night, county library officials hosted a free screening of the film “The People vs. George Lucas,” in partnership with the Utah Film Center. Hilarious and heartfelt, this film delved into Lucas’s cultural legacy to ask: who truly owns that galaxy far, far away—Lucas or those who worship it?

At the May 4 event, the master of ceremonies reminded the audience to check out the droid station where several 3-D printers were set up creating models of the death star, Yoda and R2D2.

The announcer informed everyone that many library branches offer services you may not be aware of. For example, you can turn in an order to have something printed on one of the 3-D printers for free. Star gazers can also check out a high-powered telescope from the library. This would come in handy for watching events such as the launching of the rocket to Mars at 4 a.m. on May 5.

“Jedi Master Tyler” told the crowd that, “Here at the library, we’re all about providing great community-building experiences.”

“Here in Utah, we are the biggest bunch of geeks in all the land, right?” said Tyler, to which the crowd hooted and cheered their agreement.

Tyler then hosted a game of “Say it Backwards” where contestants went head-to-head saying a word or phrase from the “Star Wars” universe backwards into a recording device. Whoever said the words best when played backwards went on to the next round until a winner was named.

One participant, who went by the name of Kylo Glen, came to the event last year and returned this year.

“It’s great to celebrate ‘Star Wars’ day,” he said. He suggested they celebrate another event the next day, calling it the Revenge of the Fifth. He was proud of his double-bladed cross guard light saber. “When I saw George Lucas’s special trailer for ‘The Force Awakens,’ I saw him using one. So I thought to myself, that’s definitely me.” He looked for two light sabers and put them together.

As a motorized, remote controlled R2D2 wandered the hall, a staff member handed out numbers to those wearing costumes, so attendees could vote for the best one.

For more information on this and other events at the county library, visit the web site