Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon Floats Over British City — and Mark Hamill Loves It
May the hot air be with you...
In an English city far, far away, a massive hot air balloon shaped like Star Wars villain Darth Vader’s head floated in the air on Thursday.
As part of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, taking place Aug. 8-11, the Star Wars-themed creation soared over Bristol, where the first-of-its-kind balloon was made, according to a fundraising page.
The original Darth Vader was played by actor David Prowse, 84, who was born in Bristol in 1935, so it was fitting to fly the balloon at the Fiesta, the largest ballooning event in Europe, CNN reported.
Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Vader’s son Luke Skywalker, celebrated the moment on Twitter.
“After a horrible, no good, terrible week, there’s nothing quite like a giant floating #DarthVader balloon to distract from reality & raise your spirits. #ThanksDad,” wrote Hamill, 67.
“I think David Prowse would’ve loved that,” one user wrote in response to a photo of the balloon on Twitter.
“This is epic!” another user added.
The balloon was built by Cameron Balloons, and has toured the world and been photographed flying over Australia, the United States, China and Malaysia, but required fundraising to bring the balloon home for the festival.
“We’ve have been able to do this, thanks to your help!” wrote the organizers of the fundraiser, which raised £5,265 ($6,361) of its £10,000 goal.
The Vader balloon is one of 130 unique balloons that have come from around the world from various countries, including Japan and Taiwan, for thousands of visitors to see, according to the BBC.
The balloons soared over the Clifton Suspension Bridge following take off on Thursday. Due to predicted strong winds Friday and Saturday, organizers of the event decided to move the ascent forward a day.
A nightglow of the balloons was also planned for Thursday and Saturday evening.
Other balloons sighted at the festival include a bear, a koala bear and a panther.