Saturday, April 30, 2016

May The Fourth 2016: A Heartfelt Fan Celebration of All Things Star Wars

The gathering was not held on May the Fourth itself, since that will be a working Wednesday, and Red Dot Island fans are practical folks who do need to clock into their day jobs.

However, the May the Fourth event that kicked off earlier today at OCBC Square, Singapore Sports Hub, was a good way to get your Star Wars fix. At least until the next Resistance.

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As in the past few weeks, the weather has been searingly hot. Even though OCBC Square was located under a terrace, it was still exposed to waves of strong sunlight, and there was no escaping that muggy clingy humidity. Red Dot Diva arrived at the venue about an hour before the Lucasfilm panel was about to begin, and even with less than 20 minutes of walking around, she was drenched with perspiration.

Kudos to the dedicated 501st Legion SG and Fightsaber folks who saunter around in their Star Wars costumes in that heat. Helmets off to them!

Thankfully, the Lucasfilm panel was held within the air-conditioned Sports Hub Library. Phew!

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Four members of the Lucasfilm VFX team - Associate Production Manager Pei’an Lau, Animator Zaini Jalani, Lead for Rotoscoping and Paint JeanLe Koh and Texturing and Look Development Lead Elvin Siew - shared about their experiences in working on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as well as fielded questions from the fans. It was an interesting session and Red Dot Diva will write more on that in another separate article.

So, what are the things you can expect to see if you are attending May the Fourth SG for the first time? There is still 1 May, Sunday for you to soak in the Star Wars atmosphere together with the local fandom!

Here are some of the fun stuff:

1. Opening Parade and Selfie Opportunities
Due to the awful weather, Red Dot Diva missed today's opening ceremony and parade, but don't worry, folks, there will be another one tomorrow morning at 11 AM! Remember to wake up early and head straight to OCBC Square to see your favourite characters from the Star Wars movies march onto stage.

There are two smaller parades during the day and Red Dot Diva caught the sexy armoured bad guys of 501st Legion SG trooping onto the stage at 6PM just now. Check it out in the video below!

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You can also corner your favourite characters for selfies!

Red Dot Diva got into a mini Force-squabble with Kylo-Ren:

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They made up soon after. :P

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What can she say? Red Dot Diva loves the Dark Side! Even more so when she's being held captive.

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2. Amazing Toys Display
Apparently, this is the largest display of  Star Wars toys in Red Dot Island, and they range from the vintage Kenner action figures and spaceships to the newer ones from "The Force Awakens", as well as various lightsabers!

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You can also marvel at the detailed custom toys made by Boyan Customs and Wetworks:

3. Fun Ways to Donate to Charity
Star Wars fans are known to be generous contributors of various causes, and at the event, one can still have fun while donating to the event's chosen charity, Make-a-Wish Foundation Singapore.
There's the Canon photo booth manned by photographer Ted Chen, where you can take a picture with your favourite Star Wars character or a stormtrooper for a donation of SGD 15.

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Or, get a self-portrait done and maybe, buy a piece of drawing from artist Rachta Lin on site, and 30% of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

Those with smaller budgets can contribute to a good cause as well. Just donate SGD 2 for a May the 4th badge! Grab a bunch of them and give away to your friends!

Red Dot Diva also noted that a fan was selling Star Wars cookies for charity, but they probably sold out by the time she arrived at the event. She wonders if more will be made available tomorrow?

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4. Wonderful Creativity of the Band of Doodlers and Sunny Ang
The Band of Doodlers is no stranger to many pop-culture and art fans. These "white space bandits" have doodled several walls, canvases and even cars, at various conventions, product launches and mall events.

A few of these artists have started inking a flood of Star Wars characters from the start of May the 4th SG, and they have yet to finish. But Red Dot Diva bets that the canvases will be AWESOME when they are done!

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Red Dot Diva's acquaintance Sunny Ang has also put up a display of his gorgeous Star Wars toy photography at his booth. The framed toy art photos are on sale for charity too, so don't forget to check in there to say hello! Or better still, BUY a photo print!

5. Fightsaber's Demo + Kids' Workshop
It's a pity that the Kids' Workshop was held while the Lucasfilm panel was going on, so Red Dot Diva missed Fightsaber showing their gracefully choreographed lightsaber moves on stage. They are really mesmerizing to watch.

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If you haven't had the Fightsaber experience yet, don't miss them on SUNDAY morning.

Also, if you have young Jedis who are keen to learn lightsaber fight skills, sign them up for the workshops too!

Other than the activities listed above, one can also shop for the event t-shirt, Star Wars toys and collectibles at a mini fan bazaar. Red Dot Diva noticed loose vintage action figures and boxes of models available for sale. There may be something you are looking for in those cardboard boxes!

Every hour on the hour, there are also stage games going on, where you can stand to win some very nifty Star Wars goodies and prizes. While wandering around, go greet the characters from "Star Wars Rebels", like Jedi Master Kanan Jarrus.

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In addition, stay on to watch and root for the cutest beings in the Star Wars universe as the Kids Fashion Parade takes off on stage from 4PM - 6PM.

The local Star Wars Day may not be a flashy or glitzy one but it had a lot of heart. The turnout on opening day was superb, and Red Dot Diva noticed that there were many big smiles on people's faces! Everyone was eager to let their love for Star Wars shine, and the Force was strong with everyone.

That in itself made the fan run event truly worthwhile.

Red Dot Diva will be heading to #Maythe4thSG again on Sunday morning. Hope to see you there!

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