A Star Wars-themed extravaganza took to the skies in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both sides of the Force were in balance in the sky as big balloons—the Sith Lord, Darth Vadar and the Jedi Master, Yoda. The event ran on Friday October 6, 2017, from 8:30 am to 11 a.m. The event was held at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
The event was free of charge, and droids and others were expected to join in. The museum announced the event on their website stating, “No advance reservations required, except for school groups and tour groups whose total group size is 15 or more people.”
In addition, the public also had the opportunity to chat with balloon pilots and crew members. Anyone entering the event also had access to the Balloon Museum’s exhibitions. Arts and crafts were available at different locations throughout the museum.
The event offered more than just the Darth Vadar and Master Yoda balloons. There was an “Attack of the Drones” (playing off the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie title) that entailed an “aerial pursuit and conquest by TIE fighter and X-wing drones piloted by crew from Colibri.” Colibri are drone flight experts in Albuquerque.
Another part of the event included Math in Aerospace Month where math activities were scheduled to take place.
Also at the event were “hands-on hot air balloon experiments and simulators,” as well as a radio-controlled hot air balloon demonstration by Han Solo’s best pal, Chewbacca.
Star Wars themed costumes were permitted but the museum website said that, “blasters are not permitted at this event.” Signs were up to direct traffic to the event as well as people dressed as Rebels or Imperial Storm Troopers.
Although in the Star War’s universe Master Yoda was 900 years old, far older than Darth Vader, the balloon Darth Vadar was created before the Master Yoda balloon. The Master Yoda balloon first debuted in 2014, while the Darth Vadar balloon was created in 2007. Both balloons were created with the blessing of George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise.
The first time the Master Yoda balloon was inflated was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in front of a massive crowd of more than 100,000 people. The balloon was not announced before the inflation because it was a surprise.
The Master Yoda balloon is 62 feet tall and 92 feet wide, with a depth of 55 feet. This balloon holds around 60,000 cubic feet of air and weighs about 265 pounds.
The Darth Vadar balloon is 86 feet tall and 69 feet wide, with a depth of 78 feet. The balloon can hold approximately 105,000 cubic feet of air and comes in at 640 pounds in weight.
The balloons have appeared together and separately, traveling throughout the world. They have made many appearances at cities in the United States, and have traveled abroad to Russia, Germany, Taiwan, France, Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand.