Star Wars Celebration VI attracts UCF fans
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 15:08
In a busy city like Orlando, it’s almost impossible to have a dull weekend – this past weekend at Star Wars Celebration VI, attendees could verify that their weekend was anything but boring.
Beginning Thursday and ending on Sunday, thousands of Star Wars fans streamed into the Orange County Convention Center. Many of those fans showed up in true Star Wars spirit dressed as Darth Vader, stormtroopers, Jedi Knights, Princess Leia and numerous other characters, making the event an undeniable display of devotion to the generational phenomenon George Lucas created with his films.
Roaming the event among the other costumed fans was UCF junior Chris Behringer. In his stormtrooper gear, Behringer attracted a lot of attention from other fans due to his suit being customized with UCF spirit. The traditionally white gear was painted gold, the helmet was customized to look more similar to Knightro’s helmet and the UCF emblem decorated the suit as well.
“I had always wanted to do something with my stormtrooper armor. I was never quite sure what for a while until one day I just thought it would be cool to do it in school colors. I saw it in my head — the gold and black of Knightro released onto a set of stormtrooper armor and that was that, it would be done,” Behringer said.
Behringer plans to continue his combination display of devotion to both the Galactic Empire and UCF on campus.
“Keep on a lookout for me at games and other UCF events. I’m hard to miss because I’m quite shiny,” he said. “I can’t guarantee being out to every big event for UCF, but if I’m out there you’ll know I’m out there.”
For those wandering up and down the aisles of the celebration, different booths containing action figures, T-shirts, socks, handbags and comic books provided enough for one to look at for hours. There were also some more eccentric exhibits, such as a Tattoo Pavilion that covered the middle of the vast space with live tattooing, all dedicated to Star Wars.
Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan booth consistently attracted a long line of fans eager to see his display, which is the largest privately-held Star Wars collection in the world.
One guest at the celebration who drew a large crowd was the Sith himself, Darth Vader.
It was also hard to overlook Shaun Cranford, standing well over six feet and in full Darth Vader costume. This is Cranford’s second year participating in the event as a paid actor for the Star Wars Celebration.
“I love how the fans are just rabid for the mythology for Star Wars. And the way that everyone comes together to celebrate that in every way,” he said. “There’s R2-D2s, Darth Vaders and C-3POs on everything [and] anything you could want.”
For more information on Star Wars Celebration VI, visit www.starwars.com.