NEW YORK – It was the biggest gathering of lightsaber-fighting Jedis and Siths in the not so far away galaxy of Manhattan.
This epic lightsaber battle took place at the Washington Square Park as the Force awakened Friday.
Fil-Am Mike Pasigan is one of the founders of the New York Jedis – a community of cosplayers, martial artists, and teachers who train students with practical stage combat techniques using lightsabers.
“We are the longest running one in New York,” said Pasigan. “It’s for fun, our instructors do teach based on martial skills. Most of us are martial artists, sword fighters at one point or another or stage combatants.”
Mike and his Jedis have performed their lightsaber routines at comic book conventions, Star Wars themed parties and even in indie films.
“You don’t have to know anything if you’re coming in as a student,” said Pasigan. “Our instructors have enough style and experience that they’ll teach you and we have so many different styles that you can pick and choose.”
Some students start with inexpensive plastic models and then graduate to custom sabers they would make themselves ranging in price from $100 to $5,000.
“Young Padawans can learn the way of the force Thursday nights at the Ripley Grier Studios to become urban Jedis,” said Pasigan.
Many others came to the epic lightsaber battle just to experience the fun.
“I thought it was really exciting and really interesting,” said Star Wars fan Hadi Opena Rushdy. I thought I’d come, maybe borrow a sword and get a new profile picture para sa Facebook ‘di ba, ang saya.”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broke records over the weekend, bringing in an estimated $238 million in the US and $100 million worldwide – becoming the biggest opening weekend in movie history.