May The Fourth celebration in Malaysia
Writer: Naseem Randhawa
The people who made May The Fourth a.k.a. Star Wars Malaysia Day 2016 happen.
There are no fans like "Star Wars" fans. Say what you will of other fandoms, but The Force has been strong since 1977 and has only been getting stronger since.
To the untrained Jedi eye, at the foreground, the hype surrounding "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" might've seem to have cooled to a simmer, but in the background fans are only getting ready for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" when it comes to cinemas this December.
A young fan came dressed
as a rebel fighter pilot.
After all, with a new movie scheduled for release every year up to 2020, the most loyal fans of the 'movie universe' are guaranteed new material to keep their fandom as solid as Han Solo trapped in carbonite.
But movies aside, in countries like Malaysia where there is no grand studio backed official "Star Wars" day celebration, it's up to the fans to celebrate significant "Star Wars" dates.
Undeniably the most important one would be the intergalactic "Star Wars" day known as May The Fourth (a pun on the popular "Star Wars" catchphrase, "May The Force Be With You"), where the date was actually chosen by the fans themselves and not creator George Lucas or Lucasfilm to celebrate everything "Star Wars".
To observe the celebration this year, the official Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club had dutifully taken upon themselves to organise a special two-day celebration over the weekend of 30 April to 1 May 2016 at The School, Jaya One in Petaling Jaya, where exciting activities like Malaysia's largest lightsaber flashmob (with over 120 participants), cosplay competition and a fan panel were among the highlights.
Over the two days, fans came dressed for the occasion in their best Jedi and Sith costumes and the general public had the chance to discover really cool Star Wars merchandise and figurines that were on sale, and not forgetting the rare collectibles that were also put on display.
There was also a life-sized BB-8 and Darth Maul replicas to the delight of the attendees, however that, sadly, wasn't on sale!
The president of the Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club, Syed Sharbini Rafie says that this would be the first time the club has taken on a bigger venue to celebrate the event.
"The response for Star Wars Day Malaysia 2016 has been really encouraging and a lot of people are taking in the new and bigger format of the event quite well."
Over 120 participants joined Malaysia's largest lightsaber flashmob.
The life-sized BB-8 and Darth Maul replicas on display.
"Where last time the fan panel and merchandise sales used to all be in the same area just a few feet away, now we have a bigger and dedicated spaces in the mall for each of the activities." said Rafie who is hopeful that future "Star Wars" events would be just as grand.
Officially registered with the Registrar of Societies of Malaysia, the Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club has been in existence since December 2011 and it has 1,000 plus members to date.
Over the years the club has been active in promoting the "Star Wars" fandom in the country and also regularly hosts club gatherings, charity events and movie screenings.
Next on the list would be their father's day celebration, "I Am Your Father" in June.
With dedicated fans like these, one can say that The Force is definitely strong in Malaysia.
But hey, if you've missed doing anything "Star Wars" related for May the Fourth, then fret not, as tomorrow 5th May, you may join the Dark Side and celebrate Revenge of the Fifth (a pun on "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith").
Watch the video for the highlights of Star Wars Day Malaysia 2016.
(Photos Source: Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club Facebook group)
Cinema Online, 04 May 2016