If you see Chewbacca wandering down Chicago Street, Han Solo ducking into Gji's Sweet Shoppe or Princess Leia sunning herself in the plaza across from the Rialto Square Theatre Saturday, there's no need to question your eyesight.
It's just the third annual Star Wars Day at the , where as many as 5,000 devotees of the science fiction films are expected to partake in games, Jedi trivia and costume contests.
One of the highlights will be an appearance by Dave Dorman, an award-winning science fiction, horror and fantasy illustrator, said Roger Burns, a young adult librarian and self-professed Star Wars/science fiction "geek."
Despite his own interest, he admits to being surprised at how popular the children's event has become with adults, many of whom attend in costume. This will be the third year for the gathering, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the downtown library, 150 N. Ottawa St.
"I've been getting calls from adults asking questions about it," Burns said. "I'm a fan of the franchise so it's been a pleaure to do this."
While adults are not eligible for the costume contest, there's plenty for them to do at family-oriented event. A professional troupe of Star Wars character impersonators from the 501st Legion - Midwest Garrison will mingle in the crowd, a live band will perform Star Wars-themed music and there will be raffle drawings, free giveaways and Lego displays, Burns said.
The underlying goal, however, is to entice children to read by introducing them to books they may not have realize are available at the library, including graphic novels, he said.
There are anywhere from 400 to 500 books with a Star Wars theme, all of which will be available for checkout. Last year, all of them went home with someone, he said.
"It's all about literacy," Burns said. "The kids come in and do computer work, they ask us questions. ... You never know, a science fiction book may have inspired today's engineers."
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