Hundreds of Star Wars fans attend event for new instalment of iconic film franchise

A late night did not stop the 400-plus fans from showing up at the local Star Wars Celebration fan event held at Shaw Lido on Thursday night. 

Fans of all ages descended upon the cineplex from 10.30pm onwards, many of them dressed up as Star Wars characters including the likes of Storm Troopers, Jedi knights, Han Solo and Princess Leia.

At around 1am, they shuffled into the Imax theatre to catch the simulcast of a much-anticipated panel hosted by director J.J. Abrams, who is helming the new instalment of the franchise, The Force Awakens, and president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy, streamed live from Anaheim, California.

Among them was Secondary Two student Lee Newton, 14, who hardly minded that he had to participate in a choir contest the next morning at 7am.

Dressed up in a Jedi costume which cost him $100 to rent, he said: "I've been a huge fan of Star Wars since I was seven, there's no way I would want to miss this event. It is rumoured that they will reveal the trailer for the new Star Wars movie at this panel, so I have to watch it firsthand. It's also my first time gathering with other Star Wars fans, so I'm excited to see what they have come dressed up as tonight." 

The live streaming panel is part of Star Wars Celebration, a major fan event that celebrates all things related to the Star Wars franchise.

This year, the four-day event is held in Anaheim, California, and comprises a series of panels, autograph sessions and exhibitions.

It is expected to see more 150,000 fans from around the world.

Additional reporting by Deborah Lee