The Jakarta Post
In a galaxy not too far away, people who religiously follow George Lucas' sci-fi saga Star Wars, first screened to the public in 1977, have gathered and formed communities devoted to this pop-culture phenomenon. A decade after its last installment, titled Revenge of the Sith, the space movie saga is returning with its latest episode titled The Force Awakens, which hits public theaters today. In commemoration of the return of Star Wars, here's a look at five communities in Greater Jakarta that are inspired by the blockbuster movies.
Order 66 SITH
Established in 2006, Order 66 SITH (the Star Wars Indonesian Troopers Homebase) is Indonesia's very first Star Wars community, which annually holds Star Wars Day in the capital.
Order 66 SITH co-founder Riza Satyagraha said that sharing the same interests, he and 14 friends decided to establish Order 66 SITH as they wanted to have a community in which they could discuss the movie series.
He went on to say that since then, the community had expanded to South Tangerang in Banten, Surabaya in East Jakarta, Palembang in South Sumatera, and Makassar in South Sulawesi.
He further said that to celebrate the release of Star Wars' seventh episode, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his community would watch the movie together on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, wearing costumes each time.
Fans of Star Wars in South Tangerang and surrounding cities no longer need to commute to the capital to gather with other Star Wars enthusiasts as the city now has Tatooine, a subcommunity of Order 66 SITH.
Order 66 SITH decided to establish Tatooine, a shortened name for Tangsel (South Tangerang) Trooper Order 66 Indonesia, earlier this year due to high demand for the community in South Tangerang, according to Tatooine co-founder Ryant Andrie Kurniawan.
Ryant further explained that since then, the community had held two gatherings with around 20 participants. Ryant added that it would hold the third gathering on Friday in the iMax theater at Summarecon Mall Serpong at 9 p.m. to celebrate the long-awaited Star Wars movie.
'We will watch the seventh episode together in Star Wars costumes before marching around the mall,' Ryant added.
Like Tatooine, Jaksaber, an abbreviation of Jakarta Saber, is affiliated with Order 66 SITH. It, however, is a place for fans of lightsabers ' the light-beam weapons of the protagonist society in Star Wars, the Jedi.
Jaksaber spokesman Dwiki Mahendra Putra said that Jaksaber had around 8 members when he and his friends established it in May 2012. The community currently has around 23 active member, aged between 15 and 39 years old.
Dwiki explained that in Jaksaber, the members did not only discuss the movie series but also practiced performing arts.
'In Jaksaber, we learn acting techniques using lightsabers so that our action will look real,' Dwiki said, adding that Jaksaber welcomed anyone who would like to join their weekly practice, which is usually held on Thursday at 8 p.m. in Taman Menteng, Central Jakarta.
501st Legion Indonesia Outpost is part of an international fan-based organization which adapts Darth Vader's special force from the Star Wars realm, focusing on charitable works rather than eradicating the innocent Jedi Order.
'Star Wars fans can express their interest in Star Wars costumes while doing charity at the 501st Legion,' said Julian Malindo Widjaja, legion member. 'That's what makes the Legion different from similar communities.'
Julian further explained that the community was different because it strictly required its members to only wear costumes as seen on screen.
This year, 501st Legion is working with Jakarta Animal Aid networks to help abandoned animals, especially dogs and cats.
Aside from Jaksaber, Jakarta also has Fightsaber for those who are interested in lightsaber performing arts. It is affiliated with international Fightsaber, a Star Wars lightsaber performance group.
On its international website, Fightsaber declares that it is a non-profit fan group recognized by Lucasfilm, the production company that created the Star Wars saga. Members of Jakarta-based Fighsabers usually hold various performances, ranging from Star Wars-related events to pop-culture conventions and charity events.
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