Taipei, President Tsai Ingwen on Saturday made a surprise appearance at a "May the Fourth be With You" event to celebrate international Star Wars Day, where she took a group photo with fans of the movie franchise in front of the Taipei 101 building.
Attendees had been told to expect a surprise guest earlier and Tsai arrived at the event, held on top of the ATT for Fun building in Xinyi District, at about 2 p.m. She also posed for a group photo with fans against the backdrop of Taipei 101, formerly the tallest building in the world.
Holding a lightsaber, the main weapon in the Star Wars universe consisting of a metal hilt and a plasma blade, Tsai and 100plus fans, dressed up as popular characters from the movies, such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia, shouted the most famous slogan from the franchise, "May the force be with you." President Tsai stayed at the gathering for about five minutes before wrapping up her surprise appearance. Makoto Tsai chief organizer of the gathering, said he only received official confirmation President Tsai would attend four days ago.
May 4 was chosen by Star Wars fans as a worldwide holiday because "May the fourth" is a play on the movie series' most iconic line "May the force be with you."
He said he has always wanted to invite the president to attend Star Wars Day celebrations in Taiwan. The diehard scifi aficionado has organized the annual for the past five years.
He said former U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Star Wars Day celebrations in the White House and felt that Taiwan could do the same thing.
Last year was the first time Star Wars Day celebrations were held in Taiwan's Presidential Office Building, during which fans also held a ceremonial changing of the guard when the military police on duty briefly switched places with Imperial Storm Troopers and rebel soldiers.
However, last year's event was hosted by Vice President Chen Chienjen because President Tsai had other important business to attend to.
The organizer said he hopes the president's seal of approval for this year's event will encourage more Star Wars and other scifi franchise lovers to attend similar events in the future, without feeling that dressing up like scifi movie characters is immature or childish.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel