Aug. 16, 2010— -- "Your next date starts in THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!"
With that said, 34 Jedi knights stood up and moved to the next chair to strike up a three-minute conversation with their prospective Princess Leias, as DJ MADKID sets the mood by playing "Star Wars" theme party music.
This is speed dating for die hard "Star Wars" fans at the Star Wars Cebration V, an annual convention, in Orlando, Fla.
In the world of dating, the hard part is first breaking the ice. But at this event, the Hoth ice is already broken.
"There isn't usually any common ground to work from but, with this, if you're here at Star Wars Celebration V, you're obviously a gigantic fan and that's something that's a big part of your life," organizer Ryan Glitch of Gorham, N.Y., said Saturday. "It's already established and out of the way and something you can focus and build on. So I feel it's going to be a more successful event than I've run in the past."
Glitch even said that two couples who met at his theme speed-dating event already made their way to the Star Wars Commitment Chapel on the convention floor.
There are strict rules to speed dating. Personal information like names, phone numbers or locations are not allowed during the three-minute meetings. Neither is any physical contact except for a handshake.
This is enforced by Darth Vader, who stood guard watching over the event, and an Imperial Storm Trooper, who patrolled the aisles.
Each participant is identified by a number taped to his or her shirt. At the end of the event, the participants go to the back of the room and write their preferred method of contact on a sheet of paper that correlates to the number assigned to the guy or girl they liked.
It is then up to that guy or girl to decide whether they want to accept the invitation.
For many of the participants, this was their first time speed dating.
Troy Stull, 27, from Orlando, said he didn't have any expectations.
"At worst, you came in, you talked to some girls and you had a great time," he said. "It was fun. I enjoyed that. It was a really good time."
Fans Look for Love Dressed as Jedis
Some participants showed up in full galactic regalia.
When asked how the women responded to his Jedi costume, 38-year-old Mark from Oregon replied, "The Jedi force is working, man."
Katie Smith was skeptical of the uniformed fans.
"I thought nobody [would come] in costume, but one of my connections was in costume, very surprisingly," the-24 year-old from Vero Beach, Florida said.
Ally May from Palm Harbor, Fla., came in with an open mind.
When asked what she thought of the daters who were dressed up, the leggy blonde admitted, "It just made it more fun. I like nerdy guys. They're so cute."
Unfortunately for Sarah Vilages of Castleberry, Fla., none of the daters were dressed as Storm Troopers.
"If a storm trooper came up, oh my gosh, yummy, I would give him my number in a second. I'm a storm trooper groupie," she said.
By the end of the event, both men and women scrambled to the back of the room to write down their contact information in hopes that their Luke or Leia felt the same way.
Perhaps they will show up together to Star Wars Celebration VI, which has yet to be announced, and gather under the Star Wars Commitment Chapel.