Trending: Ex-Amazon, Google managers reveal new grocery tech startup powered by smart shopping cart
Costumed Star Wars characters
Caitlin Jacques, Nathan Battern and Kay Ahern strike a pose while standing in line outside the Cinerama, waiting for “Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” to start. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

For Star Wars fans, it’s the hap-happiest season of all — and that makes dress-up artists like Kay Ahern something akin to Santa Claus.

“Forget Christmas,” said Ahern, who was costumed as emo villain Kylo Ren tonight for the premiere of “Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” at Seattle’s Cinerama. “This is my religious holiday.”

Read more: Paul Allen’s tech adviser sizes up how close Star Wars droids are to reality

Ahern was joking, but she and her fellow celebrants from Alpha Base (the “good guys”), Garrison Titan (the “bad guys”) and the Jet City Saber Guild (for lightsaber-wielders of all stripes) certainly had the vestments for the occasion. About 20 club members showed up at the Cinerama looking the parts of Jedi knights, Imperial stormtroopers, X-wing fighter pilots, Ewok warriors and Jawa traders.

This cosplay is for a charitable cause: The members make their own costumes to screen-accurate specifications, with Lucasfilm’s blessing. Then they show up at benefits, comic-book conventions and the occasional movie premiere, in return for donations to charity.

“We may not do this every day, but we do it at least once a week,” said Caitlin Jacques, who came to the show dressed as a pilot for the Resistance.

They’ll be doing it way more often this weekend at the Cinerama: The costumed rebels, Jedi knights and Imperial troops will be part of the theater’s “Last Jedi” showings through Saturday. “We give them movie tickets, and when the movie isn’t on screen, they’re in their gear and hanging out,” said Ethan Caldwell, the Cinerama’s general manager.

Check out these scenes from tonight’s premiere at the Cinerama:

Obi-Wan selfie
Justin Crews takes a selfie as he stands in the refreshment line, dressed unofficially as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Star Wars couture
Linda Karout and Aeva Wilkes show off their Star Wars couture as they stand in line. Karout said she bought the Star Wars ugly sweater to wear at her company’s holiday party as well as at the Cinerama. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Lightsaber battle
Members of the Jet City Saber Guild put on an impromptu performance during intermission at the Cinerama’s opening-night double feature. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Darth photo op
Michael Netherton adds a little drama to his photo op with Darth Vader and Imperial stormtroopers. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Chewbacca and fan
Chewbacca (Mike Vincent) horses around with Jan Lange as she gets her picture taken. Vincent says it took six months to make his costume. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Jawa traders
Rainy Clark and her 6-year-old son, Warren Clark, came to the premiere dressed as Jawa traders. The plush Porg that Warren is holding just adds to the cuteness factor. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Berkeley and Nichols
Deunan Berkeley, commanding officer of Alpha Base, portrays Master Jedi Luminara Unduli, with Jedi knight Melissa Nichols by her side at right. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Aidan Vincent as Ewok
Aidan Vincent came to the premiere as an Ewok. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
Star Wars costumes
Members of the cosplay contingent get the Cinerama’s front-row seats to themselves after the showing. (April Keller Photo / Courtesy of Seattle Cinerama)
Star Wars cosplay
Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters get some air between shows at the Cinerama. (April Keller Photo / Courtesy of Seattle Cinerama)
Subscribe to GeekWire's Space & Science weekly newsletter


Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.