A long time ago last month on May the 4th in a city far, far away . . . downtown Chicago . . . the Jedi Order and Sith converged at Grant Park and engaged in combat. Assuming the role of battlefield photojournalist, I covered the melee from both sides, attempting to tell the stories of heroes and villains alike.
Both the Jedi and Sith consisted of seasoned warriors and novice volunteers, young and old, of different backgrounds among the ranks. Some were merely younglings but showing the fierce courage of Wookies. The Jedi appeared as noble as their reputation implied. While the Sith were absolutely menacing, one cannot help but to admire their conviction to their point of view.
Wielding only lightsabers and the Force, the Jedi and Sith clashed on the muddy grounds of Grand Park into a frenzied freeze mob. The lines between good and evil quickly became blurred in the hurried and chaotic fray. As I ducked and dashed around lightsabers, my boots struggling to find grip on the muddy ground, I framed and captured the action with my rangefinder. The battle then moved east to the lakefront; it was uncertain which side initiated the retreated towards the water and which took pursuit. I merely weaved between the columns of Jedi and Sith, documenting the eastward advance as the sun faded behind the city on the west.
The battle lines reformed at the steps of the Shedd Aquarium. The Jedi charged first, but the Sith had the high ground. They clashed (and froze) once again before shifting the fight to lower ground, closer to the water. After another melee with no clear victor, the bulk of the warriors acknowledged each others’ prowess with the Force, saluted, and disbanded. A few smaller skirmishes persisted well afterwards, though. As the strife between the Jedi and Sith is deep, it is only a matter of time before they gather against each other again.
I would like to personally express my thanks to all of the participants of the "May The 4th Be With You, Jedi vs. Sith Lightsaber Freeze Mob-Chicago," to the Chicago Jedi, and to the E.D.G.E. Theatre for putting on a fantastic display and for allowing me the opportunity to witness and document something majorly brilliant. I am not sure if the Empire ever had photojournalists in mind, but it felt great being a part of the entire experience. Thank you!