LIMA ‚?? Motorists traveling along North Main Street in Lima on Saturday afternoon may have done a couple of double takes. No, your eyes weren‚??t playing tricks on you. Darth Vader and a pair of storm troopers were out for a stroll.
The Dark Lord of the Sith and a pair of his henchmen dropped by Alter Ego Comics as part of ‚??Star Wars Reads Day.‚?Ě Owner Marc Bowker, also known for the day as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, said the Lima event is part of more than 1,000 nationwide to celebrate reading and all things ‚??Star Wars.‚?Ě
‚??I didn‚??t know what to expect but I‚??m very pleased with the turnout that we‚??ve seen. ‚??Star Wars‚?? is everlasting, I think. You‚??ve got people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who were fans when the movies originally came out in the late 1970s,‚?Ě Bowker said. ‚??You‚??ve got a whole new generation of fans because of television shows like ‚??The Clone Wars‚?? and the ‚??Star Wars‚?? Lego video games and just people in their 30s and 40s having children now that they can share their love of ‚??Star Wars.‚?? I think it‚??s going to live on forever.‚?Ě
Created by Lucasfilm and various publishing partners, the day encourages both young and old alike to grow strong their force in reading, Bowker said. At Alter Ego, visitors were treated to Jedi lightsaber training, various arts and crafts as well as the obligatory photo ops with Darth Vader and his crew.
Chad Bryan was one of dozens of parents accompanying wide-eyed children as they walked into the store to see the film legends roaming about. Bryan‚??s sons, Dylan, 9, and Cody, 6, have always been big ‚??Star Wars‚?? fans, he said.
‚??The boys just like ‚??Star Wars.‚?? They‚??re big fans, whether it‚??s the new shows or the originals, and also they just like to read,‚?Ě Bryan said. ‚??They like to come out here to different events. They like to come down here and see what‚??s going on and get a comic book.‚?Ě
Bryan said the event is a great way to engage children in reading.
‚??I think it‚??s really important. Obviously, literacy is a big thing,‚?Ě he said. ‚??To be able to make it fun, anything they can do to make a subject at school fun is a big help.‚?Ě