TAIPEI (Reuters) - Dozens of fans costumed as Jedi knights, stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire and protagonist Luke Skywalker thronged central Taipei on Thursday to celebrate Star Wars Day, the 40th anniversary of the sci-fi film franchise.
Costume parties, movie marathons and fun runs are among the events being mounted worldwide to celebrate the space saga. Fans on social media tweeted "May the 4th be with you", parodying the Star Wars catchphrase, "May the force be with you."
In Taiwan's capital, fans took the day off from work to pose in costume for photographs at landmarks such as the iconic Taipei 101 tower and the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.
"I liked Star Wars since I was small," said Annie Tseng, a 40-year-old communications specialist dressed as the series' black-helmeted arch villain, Darth Vader.
"None of my own friends showed up today, but I've made new ones here. I chose Darth Vader because I think he's very handsome."
This year's event featured a duel with light sabers at the Living Mall, a shopping mall with a giant orb that resembles the film's Death Star space station, organizers said.
"Taiwan people love movies and they love sci-fi movies, and very early on they were fans of Star Wars," said Makoto Tsai, 32, a film director and co-organizer of the event.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the original 1977 film written and directed by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, who died last year and is best known for her role as the intrepid Princess Leia Organa.
For a graphic on Star Wars universe timeline http://tmsnrt.rs/2pbqQGK
For a graphic on core characters in Star Wars http://tmsnrt.rs/2pbkSWD
For a graphic on box-office takings from the Star Wars films http://tmsnrt.rs/2htnkH2
(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu and Fabian Hamacher; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)