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UrbanProWeekly • OCTOBER 10 - 16, 2013 6 Star Wars enthusiast Corey Rogers (center) looks over a model replica of an ATAT (All Terrain Armored Vehicle) during the Star Wars Festival, held in conjunction with “Star Wars Reads Day” at the headquarters Library in downtown Augusta. Rogers has been collecting Star Wars memorabilia since 1979. Photo by Vincent Hobbs Light sabers! The Millennium Falcon! Stormtroopers! By Vincent Hobbs “The Force” was powerful in Augusta on Saturday as Augusta’s first “Star Wars Festival” invaded the Library Headquarters downtown, in conjunction with the national event “Star Wars Reads Day” to promote literacy. Fans of the epic science fiction opera dressed as characters from the movie series and participated in a trivia quiz, toured a collection of Star Wars memorabilia, and watched movies from the series. Kids stood on tiptoes and craned their necks to see the detail in a replica Millennium Falcon starship on display. Another glass case held a talking Darth Maul figurine, who talked in a menacing voice while holding a double-sided red light saber. An ATAT (All Terrain Armored Transit) replica stood guard over a large deployment of Imperial storm-troopers in another display. A youngster dressed as Darth Vader sat with family members while watching Star Wars -Clone Wars on a TV screen. A pint-sized Princess Leia milled about the Library children’s section on the first floor. Stars Wars memorabilia collector Corey Rogers, along with local librarians Aspasia Luster and Dottie Demerest, were the main catalysts behind the event. Rogers, a historian and curator at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of History, has been collecting Star Wars memorabilia since 1979 (along with his brother Carl), and has amassed several hundred individual pieces over the years. The group thought it would be a great idea to showcase the collection in the Georgia Room at the Headquarters Library. The response to the collection, which opened in August, was extremely positive and the idea to orchestrate Augusta’s first Star Wars Festival was born. Star Wars and its many facets (books, movies, animation, and cosplay celebrations) is big business and continues to garner new fans non-stop - ever since a little film by writer-director George Lucas graced the movie screen in 1977. Over one hundred fans attended the Augusta event. Star Wars enthusiast Corey Rogers (center) explains the workings of a replica “I’m a sci-fi geek”, “Millennium Falcon” starship to Star Wars fans during the Star Wars Festival, held Rogers said. “Star Wars in conjunction with “Star Wars Reads Day” at the headquarters Library in downtown really allows me to be Augusta. Rogers has been collecting Star Wars memorabilia since 1979. me, and allows me to Photo by Vincent Hobbs enjoy another world me – it has allowed me to meet some Rogers attends Star Wars celebrations and become totally really nice people over the years, and on a regular basis and is encouraged by immersed in another culture.” Attending Star Wars festivals and has allowed me to bond with people the camaraderie he feels and witnesses Comic-Cons is standard fare for hard- around the world,” Rogers reflected. among the variety of fans. “We’ve already started working on core Star Wars fans. Rogers has formed “It’s fun meeting people from different friendships with fellow Star Wars fans walks of life. We come from differ- next year’s event, “Corey said. “We’re in France, England and across the ent socio-economic backgrounds and hoping to have collectors all over political ideologies – but Star Wars is Augusta contribute and we are looking United States. for community sponsors.” “What Stars Wars has really done for the tie that binds us.”

Urban Pro Weekly

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