LEWISTON — As a young Emperor Palpatine (Cassandra Doyle, 6) stood in Callahan Hall, Darth Vader (Ryan Marshall, 15) knelt before his lord. As a king would recognize a knight, Cassandra raised a hand over Marshall.

A few feet away, a band of Mandalorian warriors stood at the ready.

There were several Princess Leias and a Jawa. Hanging from the ceiling was a Death Star pinata, destined to be destroyed.

Saturday was “Star Wars Reads Day” at the Lewiston Public Library, a national celebration of all things Star Wars, especially books.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of “Star Wars” books, novels, adult books, teen books, kids’ books, books for babies,” said librarian Marcela Peres.

The event has been popular every year, Peres said, but this year there’s added interest with a new movie, “The Force Awakens,” coming out in December.

Lewiston’s fourth annual event brought out parents, especially fathers, who grew up on “Star Wars” and are more than happy to share the fun with their children.

Johnathan Doyle, 44, of Mechanic Falls, made the Emperor Palpatine costume for his daughter. In a dark, hooded robe, her face was painted white with black lines and red eyes. She even had the black cane.

“I’m the ‘Star Wars’ junkie,” her father said. “I like the original trilogy that came out in ’77, ’80 and ’83,” Doyle said listing the movie dates with ease.

He looked through “Star Wars” books and picked up one titled “Heir to the Jedi” by Kevin Hearne. Doyle said he went to school in Arizona with the author. “He was one of my best friends in high school.”

As part of the festivities, a group of “Star Wars” warriors posed for pictures.

Katrina Travers of South Paris said the group was the Mandalorian  Merc, part of the Wampa Clan, the Maine Chapter, she said. The group raises money for children’s charities and appears at library programs to promote reading. “It’s a way to give back,” Travers said.

Her husband, Donovan, and their daughters, 3 and 7, were among the costumed. Donovan wore an authentic-looking black, yellow and red costume he made, mostly of PBC pipe. He said the fictional Mandalorian warriors were from the planet Mandola, the same race that Boba Fett originated.

“I like everything about ‘Star Wars,’” he said. “I like ‘the universe far, far away,’ the whole sci-fi aspect. I grew up playing with ‘Star Wars’ toys. I have my first ‘Star Wars’ figure with me, Boba Fett,” he said, taking the figure out of his pocket.

Throughout the hall, children were at tables making “Star War” crafts: Ewok puppets, light sabers out of beads and Wookie bookmarks.

Greg Cuetara of Auburn brought sons, Zachary, 4, and Benjamin, 7. Like the other parents, he grew up with “Star Wars.”

“The fantasy, the alternate reality, The Force was interesting to me,” Cuetara said. “The special effects were way ahead of their time.”

Michael Cifelli, 44, is the father of Daphne, 5, who wore a Jawa costume. He recalled seeing the first movie in the theater.

“I was awestruck,” he said. “When the ship comes over, it blew our minds. Never did we know it would become so generational.”

The “Star Wars” characters, the Jedis, Darth Vader, were all great, he said. “And Harrison Ford as Han Solo? I mean, come on.”

A teacher, Cifelli was pleased with the library’s event.

“It’s so important to get kids to find something they like to read,” he said. “We’ve been every year. It’s awesome.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.