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Jedi training on Orchard Road

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The Force was strong at ION Orchard yesterday as young Padawans swung and thrust their lightsabers as they "trained" to become Jedi masters.

Equally eager were their parents who made sure to immortalise the 30-minute experience through photos and videos.

The training sessions held in the outdoor event space in front of ION Orchard are part of a 10-day Star Wars: Experience The Force festival which ends on Sept 10 - in line with the school holidays.

The Jedi trainees were taught to make several signature moves with their lightsabers, including how to block attacks.

It was a family affair for chemist Grace Teo, 35, who was at the festival with her husband and three children. Her eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, the elder two, attended the training.

"We came half an hour early on purpose to queue for the 3pm session. The kids were very excited and didn't even mind waiting in the heat," she said.

Ms Teo's son, Ryu, said: "I want to be Yoda (a legendary Jedi master)."

He likes how the character does somersaults and backflips as he battles his opponents.

Fans could also spot a replica of the iconic Millennium Falcon spaceship, steered by Star Wars heroes such as Han Solo and Chewbacca, and installations of the towering AT-ST Walker and the AT-ACT Walker outside ION.

Banker Divij Chopra, 38, and his wife and two sons were also at the festival. The Star Wars fan claimed he has watched the original trilogy - screened in the late 1970s and early 1980s - more than 20 times.

"While the Star Wars galaxy is complete fantasy, it is still relatable. It is about politics, right and wrong, good versus evil," said Mr Chopra.

His son Vihaan, seven, had his face painted to look like Darth Maul, an evil Sith Lord. But Vihaan's favourite character is protagonist Luke Skywalker. Why? "Because he is a very good Jedi."