Wookiee warriors wandered around the Tower of the Americas, ewoks whisked along the sidewalks of Hemisfair, and there were more Darth Vader characters milling around downtown than you could shake a lightsaber at on Sunday night in San Antonio.
Thousands of people, about a third of them in costume, turned out for the San Antonio Wookiee Walk. The colorful crowd gathered at the Tower at 6 p.m. to make the annual journey to Alamo Plaza.
Normally the walk is on May 4, the official Star Wars day because, you know, “May the fourth be with you.” But Joseph Devine, founder of the Wookiee Walk, said a greater force was at work this year.
“We moved the walk to Dec. 13 to tie in to the release on (Thursday) Dec. 17 of the newest episode, The Force Awakens,” he said.
Devine is one of the top Star Wars nerds in San Antonio. He partnered with Alamo City Comic Con to make the Wookiee Walk a reality.
“I was at the Lone Star Wars art exhibit yesterday,” he said.
(Read more: Geekdom’s First Artist-In-Residence: David Blancas’ ‘Lone Star Wars’)
The crowd also payed tribute to Daniel Fleetwood, a Star Wars fan who died in November at the age of 32 after a battle with cancer. His dying wish was to see “The Force Awakens,” which production company Lucasfilm fulfilled just five days before his death.
Star Wars fan Jennifer Smith was in full cosplay as a pink Twi’lek Jedi.
“My costume took several months to get everything together,” she said. “I use an air brush as well as body paint.” Her favorite episode is “Return of the Jedi” from 1983.
Tabatha Dominguez, from Hondo, was coated in blue body paint as Jedi General Aayla Secura, a character that debuted in Clone Wars. “The make-up takes about 45 minutes to apply,” she said. “The outfit took about three months to make.”
Dominguez does charity work for the Star Wars Society of San Antonio which recently celebrated its tenth year. “This is my third year,” she said.
Danielle Mills, the leader of the Lone Star Brotherhood, said her organization works in the dark to serve the light. Childhelp, Toys for Tots, and City House are just some of the charities they support.
“Our main focus is to make the lives of children a bit brighter in this harsh reality,” she said.
The nonprofit group also assists other charities to benefit those with handicaps, help the homeless population, and support research on cancer and other diseases. “But children are our future,” she said. “So children are our focus.”
It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the kids or the adults. A Great Dane Darth Vader, more friendly than menacing, was held in check by his teenaged owner, Leonardo Oviedo. Some cosplayers dressed as a group of Stormtroopers, others went Solo.
Lightsabers, $5 for the small, $10 for the large, lit up the night. An array of automobiles displayed the theme of the future as Star Wars music played. Scores of selfies were shot with Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, and, of course, Chewbacca.
The Wookiee Walk was enjoyed by all. It appears San Antonio is undergoing an epidemic. Star Wars fever is highly contagious. The cure is to catch the latest episode as soon as you can. It’s your only hope.
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