CAMAS — Mathew Boudreaux grew up watching “Star Wars” and collecting figurines, and now hopes to make a future fan out of his 2-year-old daughter Helena.
“It’s cool the newer movie is coming out so my daughter can be a fan. Who would have thought seven movies later?” the Camas resident said.
On Saturday, Boudreaux, 39, and Helena joined more than 200 other people at the Camas Public Library to celebrate the Dec. 18 release of “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.”
People of all ages flocked to the library, some dressed as Yoda, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, to take part in “Star Wars”-themed crafts and other activities.
Helena and her friend, 2-year-old Chloe, wore matching Jedi knight costumes that Boudreaux made for Halloween. However, the girls didn’t get a chance to wear them; that is, until Saturday.
Both girls spent their afternoons coloring pictures of Chewbacca and bopping their parents on the head with balloon light sabers, a favorite among most of the children.
Other activities included making an Ewok mask, building a magnet “that is strong with the Force” and recording a galactic message in your best Wookiee howl.
Portland sisters Olivia, 7, dressed as Darth Vader, and Camille, 3, dressed as Yoda, crossed off rebels from their list as they searched for them around the library.
“They are total fans. They’ve seen all the movies. Their dad is crazy about ‘Star Wars,’ ” the girls’ grandmother, Jean Hauge of Camas, said.
Camille said she chose Yoda because “he talks funny” and “is very old — 900 years old,” she exclaimed.
A stormtrooper and life-size R2-D2 greeted people as they came through the door. Olivia said she found it “kind of strange the stormtrooper was friendly.”
Youth Services Librarian Ellen Miles said she was pleasantly surprised by the turnout at the event.
She said she remembers as a kid watching “Star Wars” for the first time on VHS.
“I totally respect when people have a passion, and I know people are passionate about ‘Star Wars,’ ” she said.
This rings true for Camas resident Anthony Serhan, who brought his family to Saturday’s event. His 7-year-old son, Beckham, dressed up as Darth Vader, and loaned his Yoda ears to his mom, Sarah.
Serhan, 37, said he used to be a “Star Wars” collector and now his son collects the Legos. The family recently took a trip to Disneyland, where Beckham battled Darth Vader as Yoda at the Jedi Training Academy. “The Force is strong with him,” Serhan said of his son.
As for Saturday’s event, Serhan said he was glad his community put on something like this.
“You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever,” he joked.