It’s time to use The Force.
Channeling the fandom for the “Star Wars” movies, the Friends of the River KC and Port KC have joined forces to create an event to help children with cystic fibrosis and attempt to set a Guinness World Record for “Biggest Lightsaber Battle.”
The “Battle4KC Lifesaver Star Wars Battle” will take place Saturday at Berkley Riverfront Park. Proceeds will support the Children’s Mercy Cystic Fibrosis Endocrine Clinic for clinical care, education and clinical research, one of the foremost cystic fibrosis clinics for treatment in the country.
“Ten months ago we began brainstorming the biggest, craziest ideas we could come up with that could also benefit a great cause, and we thought ‘why not?’ ” says Stefan White, president of the Friends of the River KC volunteer organization.
Sitting in his garage are more than 10,000 lightsabers custom-made for the Battle4KC event that White hopes can be transformed into life-savers. Lightsabers are the weapons Jedi use in “Star Wars.”
“It’s an opportunity to not only have a little fun and potentially break a record, but also fight a greater evil,” White says.
There is no current Guinness World Record for the size of a lightsaber battle, so it shouldn’t be hard to set.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, nearly 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
The lightsaber battle will conclude a week of “Battle4KC” events that began April 28 at Planet Comicon and involved companies and nonprofits across Kansas City.
Gates will open at the park at 4 p.m. Local band The Phantastics will give a 90-minute concert at 5:30. The lightsaber battle will begin at sundown, which is expected at about 8:20 p.m..
Until then, revelers have a variety of options to keep themselves busy. There will be a best costume contest, pop-up Star Wars collectible museum, food trucks, vendors, a VIP ticket giveaway to the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” red carpet premiere and, according to White, “a big surprise yet to be seen.”
Tickets for the event range from $10 (good for entry and a lightsaber) to $100 (which also includes shirts and an aerial photograph).