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Massapequa High School channels ‘Star Wars’ for homecoming celebration

Massapequa High School students Sarah Lewis, left, Renee

Massapequa High School students Sarah Lewis, left, Renee Smestad and Danielle Whelan dressed as characters from "Star Wars" at the school district's annual homecoming celebration on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. Credit: Michael Cusanelli

Standing at 6-foot-2 and wearing a long black cape, Massapequa High School sophomore Sarah Lewis cut an imposing figure as Darth Vader, the iconic villain from “Star Wars.”

Clad in black armor and wearing a Halloween mask, she marched proudly through the streets of Massapequa Park ahead of students dressed as Chewbacca, Han Solo and imperial Stormtroopers as the marching band blared songs from the movie series ahead of the school district’s annual homecoming celebration on Saturday.

“I was born to be Darth Vader,” Lewis said with a laugh as she ate a dark blue lollipop. “I see people at lunch and they say, ‘Hey Darth.’”

Despite never having seen any of the movies herself, Lewis and several members of the school’s color guard donned costumes to hand out candy and get the crowd excited ahead of the district’s annual homecoming football game, where Massapequa faced off against Plainview High School.

Each year, the school chooses a theme for their homecoming celebration based on popular movie and TV show characters. Last year, students dressed up to honor the Batman and Superman franchises.

So when the call went out this year for costumed characters, Lewis and several of her friends jumped at the opportunity.

“Every year they ask if people want to sign up, and the three of us volunteered right away," said Danielle Whelan, referring to herself, Lewis and varsity color guard captain Renee Smestad, who dressed as a Jedi knight. “When people volunteer to be the characters it just becomes so much more fun.”

During the halftime performance, Lewis and her friends did a routine based on the original movie trilogy, complete with lightsaber battles, while the marching band played behind them.

Lewis made sure to stalk proudly across the field, doing her best to look menacing.

“At the football games, people get really excited to see us,” Lewis said. “My yearbook will probably say, ‘Most likely to dress up as Darth Vader.’”

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