Taipei’s Presidential Office Building for brief moments yesterday morning took on the look of a “galaxy far, far away” as Taiwanese fans celebrated Star Wars Day in grand style with Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Jedi knights, imperial stormtroopers and R2-D2 robots.
Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) hosted more than 100 cosplayers dressed as characters from the movie series.
Chen got into the spirit of the event with humorous remarks: “This is a first for me to have friends from beyond the planet visit our office. No matter how long it took you to arrive to Earth, we welcome you to the Presidential Office Building.”
Flanked by Darth Vader and Chewbacca at the podium, the vice president introduced Taiwan to the “otherworldly” guests: “Taiwan is a very beautiful place. We have rich cultural and natural resources... If you come in peace, we very much welcome you as our guest.”
Chen apologized that the Master Yoda could not be there — referring to a nickname for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) coined after she appeared on the cover of a 2015 Asia edition of Time magazine — which drew much laughter from the audience.
“Although May the fourth is a regular day for most people, it is the day for Star Wars fans to come together and celebrate,” Chen said, as he joined the cast of characters in reciting the famous phrase: “May the Force be with you.”
After a guided tour of the Presidential Office Building, the crowd assembled out front for photo opportunities with cosplayers dressed up as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, C-3P0, Darth Maul and other characters from the movie franchise.
It was a special day for Star Wars fandom in Taiwan, said Makoto Tsai (蔡榮洲), an internationally renowned maker of lightsabers and the organizer of yesterday’s event.
“We see the Presidential Office Building as one of the most iconic places that represents Taiwan, because it has a rich history and is the political center of our nation,” he said.
“We will stream our celebration on the Internet, and show the world how we marked this year’s Star Wars Day in Taiwan,” he added.
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