In A Galaxy Far Far Away…

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” these immortal words have been engraved into our psyche since they first appeared on a cinema screen 40 years ago. Ever since the first Star Wars film debuted, it has started a massive cult following with legions of fans across the world.Even until this day, the massive might of the evil empire, the resourceful rebels and the mysterious Jedi and Sith continue to fascinate us with their eternal struggle of good against evil, light against dark. And the famous quote of “May the Force be with you” is also an accepted form of greeting.

So, do you know that there is a Star Wars Day? It falls on May the 4th (May the Force, get it?) every year. In Singapore there was a Star Wars Festival this year held at Gardens by the Bay from 4-6 May. Partly organized by the Singapore Tourisim Board (STB), Walt Disney with the local Star Wars fan base, it promised to be the biggest Star Wars event this year. The STB had signed a 3 year partnership with Walt Disney to bring themed events to Singapore to boost tourism, and this event was the first.

While I’m not a die hard Star Wars fan, I do enjoy the movies and played with the toys when I was a kid. Part of that never dies. So I found myself making my way to Gardens by the Bay, to the Supertrees Grove where the festival was being held. The Supertrees Grove is really a suitable place to have this festival, since the Supertrees themselves look like they are from an alien planet. They have been described by some people to remind them of the planet of Pandora from The Avatar film.

Characters from the Dark side waiting for you to take a photo with them. The afternoon was really hot and humid. They must be sweating buckets in those costumes.
A life sized model of the Imperial AT-ST or ‘Chicken Walker’ was there. The detailing and weathering look on it was realistic and made me feel like I was on a movie set.
Walking around I could see cast characters and fans dressed as their favorite Star Wars character. It was really beginning to feel like I’m in a Star Wars movie.
The hot afternoon soon gave way to the cooler evening and the lights started to turn on. More people were also coming in after finishing their work.
A BB-8 shaped entrance to the Supertrees Grove.
Young Padawans learning how to fight with light sabers.
A couple of Jedi Masters.
Finally it was getting dark and the main attraction was about to start…

Besides taking photos with your favorite Star Wars character, there are also booths selling Star Wars toys and merchandise, games, displays of fan created dioramas, art work, vintage Star Wars toys and movie props. As night fell, everyone was getting ready for a spectacular light and sound show.

There is a standard light and sound show at the Supertrees Grove every night, but tonight was special since it was Star Wars themed.

It’s 15 minute long show with John Williams familiar opening score, the Imperial March, sounds of massive spaceship battles, Darth Vader’s raspy breathing and light saber duels. Synchronized to this were the lights on the Supertrees giving it an alien sci-fi look. I was certainly in a galaxy far, far away.
At the end of the show, the Supertrees lit up with light beams to resemble light sabers, weapons of choice for the Jedi and Sith. Advertising calls them Sabertrees.

Although the festival is over, the Star Wars themed sound and light show will continue until 2 June. Until then, let’s wait for a bigger and more incredible Star Wars Festival next year.

May the Force be with you!


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