It was kinda like this:
James: Do you want to go see this thing with Stormtroopers?
Me: What? No. I'm still in bed.
James: My friend from college is coming up from Tokyo to do this thing with Stormtroopers.
James: Like from Starwars.
It was like some sort of road and cycle safety show out in Shin-Sapporo. They had flown James' friend and his team of Starwars guys up from Tokyo to make an appearance and they had a big brass band and cheerleaders (see above). Ninety-nine percent of the crowd were in uniform or safety gear or bright yellow jackets and their attendance was probably mandatory. They didn't look like they were having fun. But it was fun, in a ver surreal kind of way. And we saw Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers (of the 501st regiment I believe). I didn't snap them on stage, but I got them getting ready during their break:
I think James got an absolute peach of a shot of them crossing the road in suburban Sapporo, it'll be on his blog I'm sure so check it out (he's in the links on the right). Vader's sash says something like "Bicycle Manners Instructional Team Leader". Which is awesome, but along with the Pachinko ads I've seen does continue Japan's trend of making Vader a little less scary:
Also we had a go on a car crash simulator:
The wound it back and then said "pull the lever!" So we did. It gave us quite a bump and that was only at 5km/h. Educational! And they gave us a small can of Sapporo Ribbon Soda afterwards, bless 'em.
It was a strange and wonderful Sunday afternoon.