Anne and Steve Kneeland of Bar Harbor earned the Most Creative costume award for their interpretations of Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon at the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” parade on Dec. 15. ISLANDER PHOTO BY SAMUEL SHEPHERD

‘Star Wars’ draws enthusiastic crowd



BAR HARBOR — Very cold weather and wicked wind couldn’t stop fans of the Star Wars film franchise Friday evening. About 50 people participated in a parade down Cottage Street before attending a showing of the latest installment of the series.

The Criterion Theatre and Atlantic Brewing Company hosted a parade on Dec. 15 preceding a showing of “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.”

Atlantic Brewing commissioned a band to play music from the Stars Wars films at their Midtown location. Attendees were treated to covers of the main theme and the cantina song made famous in “A New Hope.” The band was comprised of local musicians Carl Ferm, Gene Gill, Joey Dupuis and Dawson Burnett.

Allie Sasner, marketing coordinator for Atlantic Brewing, said that Midtown, which opened last summer, is the perfect place for events and gatherings.

“Now that we have our location here, we finally have a place for locals to hang out year-round,” Sasner said.

Creative costumes were on display from many area residents. Winners of the Most Creative category were Steve and Anne Kneeland of Bar Harbor, Steve with a handcrafted Millennium Falcon and Anne as Chewbacca the Wookiee.

Grayson Staggs, 4, of Bar Harbor, took home the Most Accurate award for his X-wing pilot costume.

“I didn’t even tell him until this morning,” Grayson’s father Mike Staggs said. “His eyes got as wide as saucers, and he was so excited to dress up tonight.”

The Criterion staff also was dressed up while working.

“I don’t think there’s anything of this magnitude that would bring people out when it’s 20 degrees out to parade around,” said Criterion board member Steve Boucher.

Boucher dressed as Kylo Ren, the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia who gets led astray and joined the Dark Side. Ren, played by Adam Driver, was first featured in the series’ 2015 installment, “The Force Awakens.”

Five members of political advocacy group Indivisible MDI wore costumes inspired by Star Wars villain Darth Vader with masks of Sen. Susan Collins’ face. Their capes and shirts read “Darth Traitor,” expressing their disappointment with Collins’ support of the tax bill in Congress. The group spoke with Collins about the bill in November.

Criterion representatives said Friday’s showing was close to a sell-out, selling around 400 tickets.

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