'Star Wars' characters visit SUPe Store

Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Princess Leia and a Jedi Knight made a long trek to The University of Alabama to meet fans Tuesday. The “Star Wars” characters were volunteers from a local fan club, who make appearances at charity events, schools, and much more.

Students, faculty members, families and passersby waited in a lengthy line to see their beloved “Star Wars” characters at the SUPe Store in the Ferguson Center. Although not from a galaxy far, far away, Big Al decided to join the entourage as well.

Cole Price, Alabama trademarking licenser, said the event came together because Alabama and Lucas Films, operated out of California, are co-branding a product line. Last fall, the SUPe Store began selling merchandise such as Alabama ”Star Wars” T-shirts, a variety of books and headphones.

“We’ve found that so far our 'Star Wars' merchandise sells to the fans who really go all out,” said Mandy Johnson, senior associate director at the SUPe Store.

The characters were volunteers from a local “Star Wars” fan club in Tuscaloosa, Price said. They make appearances at several events for charities, schools, and other organizations.

The “Star Wars” characters made an appearance from 1 to 4 p.m. at the SUPe Store, taking pictures with fans, giving out autographs, and allowing students to enter a raffle to win prizes. The characters also made an appearance at The University of Alabama men’s basketball game Tuesday against South Carolina.

Before the characters arrived at the SUPe Store, a couple of students imitated voices of their favorite characters while waiting in line.

Christian Sykes, a University of Alabama student, said it was great talking with other fans in line because they all share a love for “Star Wars”. He said his favorite part of the experience was taking pictures with the characters.

Regarding the new “Star Wars” movie coming out next year, Brady Buford, a University of Alabama student, said he has mixed feelings.

“It will be hard to live up to the original trilogy,” Buford said. “It’s a lot of pressure to meet that standard. Plus, the pressure to please millions of 'Star Wars' fanatics will be hard.”

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