Jana Olson, the Red Deer public library’s children’s program assistant, reads kids a Star Wars story at the May the Fourth Be With You event. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

WATCH: Red Deer kids gather for ‘May the Fourth Be With You’ event at public library

Locally built R2-D2 makes a guest appearance

A Luke Skywalker story and a special appearance by R2-D2 delighted a room-full of children at Red Deer’s public library on Friday.

This year’s third-annual “May the Fourth Be With You” event brought young students from G.H. Dawe School to the Snell Auditorium, as well as parents, tots and Star Wars fans from the community.

The library’s children’s program assistant, Jana Olson, said fun activities related to the George Lucas movies allow for many learning opportunities. “We work on emerging literacy, we work on numeracy, we work on arts and motor skills and all that kind of stuff,” added Olson.

Kids’ powers of imagination were tapped into as they fought with foam ‘light sabres’ and ran through a ‘laser force field’ made of ribbon streamers as part of an obstacle course.

But the star of the show was R2-D2, a robot created over three years by Kris Sturgess, as part of an international “R2 builder’s group.” Group members share information online about the custom machined parts needed and how to put these components together to create a remote-controlled Star Wars character.

Sturgess, a technician at Red Deer College’s Maker Space, has taken his R2-D2 to maker fairs, charity events and comic-cons. (He initially said he’s a “little bit” of a Star Wars fan, but later admitted his two sons are named Ben and Luke).

The best part about bringing R2-D2 out into the community, is seeing the looks on children’s faces, he said. “I love seeing the interaction with the kids when they seem him move… it’s a great thing.”

Six-year-old Oliver Craven, of Red Deer, likes the squat, beeping Star Wars character “because he’s a good guy!”

Oliver’s mom, Teri Craven, said said everything in their house is Star Wars-related, so the event presents a fantastic opportunity for her son to interact with a character he wouldn’t otherwise meet outside of Disneyland.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


A pint-sized Darth Vader stands shoulder-to-shoulder with a robotic R2-D2 at the Red Deer public library’s May the Fourth Be With You event Friday morning. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Kris Sturgess, a technician at Red Deer College’s Maker Space, took three years to build the R2-D2 robot out of custom-made parts. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Just Posted

Cougar kills 1 mountain biker, injures 2nd near Seattle

NORTH BEND, Wash. — Two friends on a morning mountain bike ride… Continue reading

Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park announces closure

Citing mounting costs, Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park recently announced it was… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Bighorn Backcountry ATV users in wait-and-see mode on future of West Country access

As off-highway vehicle users started a summer of trail riding on the… Continue reading

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

WINDSOR, England — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gazed into each other’s… Continue reading

Red Deer Silhouettes prepare for year-end show

Synchronized swimming team will perform its last show this season May 30

Maduro favoured as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expected to win a… Continue reading

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humour

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled… Continue reading

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Canadian families among throngs of royal fans camping out for glimpse of newlyweds

WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Intense security measures, massive crowds, jet lag and… Continue reading

Swiss stun Canada, Sweden crushes US in ice hockey semis

COPENHAGEN — Switzerland stunned title favourite Canada 3-2 to reach only its… Continue reading

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Lacrosse action heats up in Red Deer

More than 50 teams from across Alberta took part in the Tradition… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month