Dozens of Taiwanese Star Wars fans gathered on the top floor of the nation’s tallest building Tuesday to salute their favorite movie, while stressing the importance of wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Fans dressed in full Star Wars costumes held mock lightsaber battles and posed for pictures on the 89th floor of the Taipei 101 financial building for what has become an annual observance of what has become known as international Star Wars Day.
Organizer of the event Makoto Tsai told reporters he also wanted the "opportunity to introduce interesting places of Taiwan to the world,” because International Star Wars Day, “is an event watched by all the Star Wars fans in the world."
Tsai said their annual event was cancelled last year because the pandemic was at its worst in Taiwan. He said while COVID-19 is largely contained in Taiwan, he is aware that much of the world is continuing to struggle with it.
He said he wanted to use his Taiwan gathering to show the world the importance of wearing a mask to fight COVID.
“Every character today, including those who wear a helmet, is wearing a mask. I hope to show Star Wars fans of the world that even in Taiwan, we all have to wear the mask. And I hope the pandemic goes away soon."
May the 4th has become the unofficial international “Star Wars Day” over the years, as a play on the famous catch phrase of the movie, "May the force be with you.” Media reports trace the international origins of the day to 1979, when Britain’s Conservative Party won elections there and then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher first assumed her office.
The party reportedly took out a newspaper advertisement congratulating the day she took office — May the 4th — saying “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!”
Reports say a copy of the original advertisement has yet to be found, so the story has not been officially verified.