Oklahoma celebrates 40 years of Star Wars

Festival goers enter the OKC Farmers Public Market under a “life size” replica of an All Terrain Armored Transport from the Star Wars expanded universe. (Photo by Ryan Horton)Over the past four decades, the Star Wars film series has been an overwhelming success capable of captivating viewers of all ages.

Over the past four decades, the Star Wars film series has been an overwhelming success capable of captivating viewers of all ages.

Since its May 25,1977 debut fans of the American epic space opera franchise can be found everywhere, and July 21-23 those fans showed up in force for a new festival in Oklahoma City.

The inaugural Center of the Galaxy Festival celebrated the 40th anniversary of Star Wars with a three day, Friday through Sunday, celebration at the OKC Farmers Public Market, 311 S Klein Ave.

The event featured fun for all ages with a plethora of vendors, prop displays, children’s activities, Star Wars themed-adult beverages and live performances by the heavy metal band Galactic Empire.

Panelists included Debbie Lee Carrington and Kendra Wahl Dall, two of the original Ewoks; Richard Oldfield, one of the X-Wing fighters from “Return of the Jedi;” Keith DeWinter, who appeared in “The Force Awakens”; Mike Quinn, who played Nien Nunb in “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens”; and Colin Cantwell, the creator of the Death Star and designer of the X-Wing, Tie-Fighter and the original Millennium Falcon.

Jedi OKC, Oklahoma’s largest Star Wars fan club, was in attendance to bring characters to life.

This year’s three day event drew a crowd, but coordinators hope to see the festival grow each year as a new annual attraction.

“We launched this event on the 40th anniversary, and hope to continue doing it every year,” said Tobi Coleman, Revolve Productions.  “Jedi OKC, our local club, provided Jedi training for the kids, and there was just a lot of fun stuff going on every day.”

For more information, visit www.centerofthegalaxyfest.com.

Thanks to Jedi OKC, festival goers had plenty of photo opportunities. (Photo by Ryan Horton)

Star Wars fans have a chance to meet with Colin Cantwell, the creator of the Death Star, X-Wing, and many other fictional space craft. (Photo by Ryan Horton)

Thanks to Jedi OKC, festival goers had plenty of photo opportunities.
(Photo by Ryan Horton)

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