Lightsabers on, as Star Wars fans invade RDS
THE force was with thousands of Star Wars fans who descended on Dublin's RDS yesterday to catch a glimpse of their favourite characters at Ireland's largest annual fan event, Invasion Dublin.
Actors from the Star Wars films, including Femi Taylor, who played Jabba the Hutt's slave Oola, were hosting talks and signing autographs for the die-hard crowds.
"I love taking part in these events. Star Wars has opened me to a world of people I otherwise would not have met," Taylor said. "It's a lifetime connection. It's like a family."
Almost 10,000 sci-fi fans are expected to attend the annual fan convention, which is now in its fourth year, in support of Irish Autism Action. The exhibition halls at the RDS have been decked out with replica sets from the movies and Jedi masters are on hand to help visitors improve their knowledge of the Force.
"We're Ireland's longest-established costuming club. We're completely volunteer-based and we raise a lot of money for charity as well. We're bringing dreams to life," said Michael Pierce of the Emerald Garrison, the Star Wars costume club that stages the event each year.
Silvia Conroy accompanied her die-hard fans – husband Brian and son Liam (6) – to the event.
"My husband is a big fan and our son is into it now because of the Star Wars Lego," she said. "So we're passing on the power of the Force!"