Star Wars fans race for chance to win coveted lightsaber
At the end of a dusty road flanked by Vasquez Rocks, four stormtroopers guarded an imperial box containing the coveted lightsaber of Jedi Cal Kestis — one of only three produced in the world.
On Thursday, 100 Star Wars fans made the pilgrimage to the rocks — ironically most notable as a film location for several Star Trek television shows and films — based on a clue provided by Electronic Arts on Twitter that was only available to the players of “Jedi: Fallen Order” who had completed the game.
Those who earned the exclusive reward received a very short video that showed stormtroopers handling a box in front of a location with a date and time hidden in the background.
Only the first 100 people to arrive at the spot, at noon, would be eligible for a raffle that would determine who received the rare lightsaber. The before-mentioned clues were the only things fans had to go off of to determine the time and place of the raffle.
Leanna McGowan, experiential development lead at EA, said the experience is one of three being done worldwide as a promotional event for the upcoming “Jedi: Survivor” game being released on April 28.
“This is Cal Kestis’ new lightsaber, which is not yet available at Disneyland,” said McGowan. “There were clues they had to decipher online and show up here before [1 p.m.]. People discovered it early yesterday. So in London, you had to be the first one there to show proof that you had completed ‘Jedi: Fallen Order.’ This one we’re doing a draw.”
As McGowan said, the first event was held in London, the second was at Vasquez Rocks and the third is rumored to be somewhere in Australia. The announcement was supposed to go out at noon on Thursday, but was accidentally posted to Instagram — giving some fans a head start.
One of these fans was Marvin Peña from Echo Park. Peña said he’s quite familiar with the area, so it was easy to spot where the event was going to be.
“[The experience] feels amazing, it reminds me of Galaxy’s Edge,” said Peña. “We’ve been here multiple times with me and my sister, they’ve filmed here with Star Trek, The Flintstones, so we’re already used to seeing this location.”
Peña also mentioned that because he had family in Palmdale, he would always pass by the distinctive rock formations of the area to and from his home in Echo Park.
By pure coincidence, Peña was announced as the winner of the raffle just minutes after his interview with The Signal.
As the crowd chanted for Peña to make a speech as he hoisted the laser sword above his head, and he only wanted to say one thing: “Trust only in The Force.”
In addition to the lightsaber, Peña also received a full expenses-paid trip to a playtest of “Jedi: Survivor” in Los Angeles, a deluxe edition of the game, the box the lightsaber came in and a sheath for the blade.
Since the video was accidentally released a day early, instead of the first 20 people who arrived, all 100 there in attendance were given a free copy of the game —- able to be downloaded on or after its release date on April 28.