Grayson Staggs of Bar Harbor as Yoda in the 2015 Star Wars parade in Bar Harbor. Another parade is set for Dec. 15 at 5 p.m., before the second showing of "The Last Jedi" at The Criterion Theatre. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE STAGGS FAMILY

MDI to celebrate ‘The Last Jedi’

BAR HARBOR — Fans of the Star Wars film franchise will take to the streets here on Dec. 15 to celebrate the release of the latest film in the series, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” For those keeping track, “The Last Jedi” is Episode VIII in the series that began in 1977 with Episode IV: “A New Hope.”

The Criterion Theatre and Atlantic Brewing Company will host a parade the day after the movie’s initial release on Dec. 14. Two years ago, about 60 people turned out for a parade at the release of “The Force Awakens.”

Criterion board member Steve Boucher said that the Star Wars films are great for the theater because the whole community appreciates the films.

“There’s a universal appeal, there’s romance, there’s comedy, and there’s action,” he said.

Mike Staggs, office manager at Friends of Acadia, said that his family will participate in the parade. His son, Grayson, dressed up as Yoda at the 2015 parade. At last year’s release of “Rogue One” (a spinoff from the primary Star Wars story), he and his wife wore T-shirts with quotes from the movie. He said that people of all ages get excited for installments in the franchise.

“Star Wars reaches out to people on a generational level,” Staggs said. “It’s not just kids who are excited for this movie, it [appeals to] older people too.”

Staggs, 46, said that he remembers seeing the first Star Wars film in theaters and has seen every movie in the series.

Boucher also collects Star Wars memorabilia. He said that he has ice cube trays that pay homage to the scene in which Han Solo is frozen in carbonite.

“I have quite a bit, but I’m not what you would call ‘crazy,’” Boucher said. “But I have enough.”

Tickets for the movie are on sale now at The Criterion Theatre’s website. The parade requires the shutdown of the corner of Main and Cottage streets, but Bar Harbor police will assist the flow of traffic around the event. Roads will reopen at 6 p.m.

A costume contest also is planned, with awards for Most Creative, Most Accurate and Best Kid’s Costume. Boucher and other members of the community will serve as judges. The winners will be announced at Atlantic Brewing Midtown, where the Cantina Band will be playing.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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