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THIS AUGUST, Orlando becomes a galaxy far, far away as Jedis, Wookies and Sith lords take over the Orange County Convention Center for Star Wars Celebration V (StarWarsCelebration.com).

The official Star Wars convention sanctioned by Lucasfilm, SWC V is the event for casual fans and die-hard fanatics alike, says Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm’s director of fan relations.

Want to enlist in the Grand Army of the Star Wars Celebration as a costumed volunteer? Doable. Want to get in a bit of Jedi training? Not a problem. Want to help create a giant diorama and take your part home with you? That can be arranged.

“There’s something for everybody, at every level of fandom,” Sansweet says. “It’s a show by fans, for fans. It’s a very interactive event — you can even play laser tag against Imperial Storm Troopers.”

This is the fifth Star Wars Celebration in the United States (two others have been held outside America, in London and Tokyo), and Sansweet expects that about 35,000 people will experience the gaming, exhibits, panels, fan-produced films and awards ceremonies in Orlando from Aug. 12 to 15.

The theme for this year’s event centers around the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back and the ongoing adventures of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Carrie Fisher will be on hand to celebrate — spoiler alert: She won’t be wearing Princess Leia’s unforgettable gold bikini — as will other cast and crew members from the six-film franchise.

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