The New Paper,
Fri, Dec 8, 2015
Princess Amidala or Denise Keller? One could barely tell as she stole the show at the gala premiere of the hugely-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Shaw Lido last evening.
Clad in a long black lace dress with Queen Amidala's signature hairdo, Keller fulfilled her dreams of recreating the iconic look. "I felt that this dress had to be flown in from Shanghai just for this red carpet," said Keller, who spent two and a half hours getting ready.
"It was totally worth it. I love Star Wars. I've been a fan all my life, like, since I was born. I have a lot of expectations for this one," said the 33-year-old model-host, who happily posed for photos with fellow fans. The star-studded event saw local celebrities reminisce about their days as children when they were first introduced to the saga.
Also on the red carpet was radio DJ Mike Kasem, who was dressed up as a Jedi. The Star Wars characters have been amassing loyal fans ever since the first film was released nearly 40 years ago. The movie became a pop culture icon and launched one of the biggest film franchises ever.
Kasem, 41, said: "I am dressed as Mike Kasem the Jedi." "I wanted to dress up because I was just a kid when Star Wars came out in 1977 and it changed my life. I identified with this movie and I thought I had the Force for five years. It took a long time to figure out I didn't.
"This is a monumental moment. It is something that will be remembered in history as the biggest opening weekend ever. Maybe no movie will ever top this," he said, adding that he spent the past few weeks re-watching all the movies in the series. Wearing a vest over a shirt, comedian Suhaimi Yusof, 46, channelled his inner Han Solo.
"I've been a fan since 1977. I remember being in Primary 2 and watching Star Wars when I saw this lightsaber and I said, 'Wow, how did they do that?' "This movie completely sparked my imagination and I think that's why I'm in showbiz today," he said. He even decided to make his own Star Wars memorabilia.
Suhaimi said: "When I was a child, I didn't have money to buy Star Wars comic books, so I bought four jotter books and created my own Star Wars comics." In 2012, Disney announced plans for three new films in the series, with acclaimed Hollywood film-maker J.J. Abrams entrusted with the reboot.
After over 30 years of waiting, fans will finally get to see what happened to the original Star Wars characters. The cast of 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming organisation, made a special appearance dressed as a dozen Stormtroopers, X-wing starfighters and Jango Fett.
Also present was furry Chewbacca, who was a crowd favourite for photos.
Kate Lim, 29, who is a dancer and actress, played Princess Leia for the night. Lim said that she relates to Leia, her favourite character, because of Leia's strong personality and her ability to fight for her beliefs and to stay true to herself.
Dressed as robot R2-D2, Ms Ilene Meiling Munas, 35, stood out in the crowd. She had ordered her costume online and DIY-ed her own hat just for the event. "This is my favourite character because it's described as cute in the movie. Even as a droid, R2-D2 is quite expressive so as a child, it resonated with me," said Ms Munas, who has a big collection of R2-D2 memorabilia.
She attended the premiere with her husband, who was dressed as a Sith Lord. Some children got into the dressing up as well, with a few mini versions of Darth Vader and Kylo Ren spotted. Hari Rajagopalan, seven, pranced around in a complete Yoda costume.
"I started liking Star Wars three years back. I like the Jedi Knights, but Yoda is my favourite character because he's so cool. I am very excited and happy to watch it today," said Hari. email@example.com