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'Star Wars' fans out in force in L.A.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, thousands of fans have flocked to a world class fan fest.

LOS ANGELES--I'm really wishing I brought my X-wing with me down here today.

As I arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the opening of Celebration IV, the biggest Star Wars fan fest ever--which just happens to be timed to the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars--I saw endless numbers of people decked out in the attire of both the Empire and the Rebellion.

Tusken Raider
A Tusken Raider checks in at Celebration IV. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

Which made me think I should suit up and join the fight. Alas, I left my wings at home.

But anyway, there are thousands of people here, many of whom lined up all night for the chance to be among the first in the doors of the convention center--and thus, to be among the first to plop down their hard-earned dollars for endless amounts of hard-core Star Wars swag.

Near the front of the line were Janice and John Norris, a couple from Bradenton, Fla., who came here for their first-ever trip to La-La land (but their third Star Wars fan fest).

"I love the camaraderie of the people we meet here," said Janice Norris, 43, who added that she saw the first Star Wars film in Sarasota, Fla., when she was 14. It took her two months to see the film after its theatrical release.

"Ha," I thought, as I had seen the film on the very first day, in San Francisco.

But I don't think I can match the Norris' Star Wars cred. They had it on full display Thursday, as both were decked out in home-made gowns made from Star Wars bed sheets and adorned with endless buttons from the films. All six films, in fact.

And when I tried to check in at the press table, I had to stand aside as a Tusken Raider did his, er, Tusken Raider thing. Which I guess is to vogue a little bit in a menacing but fun way. I cowered in fear (OK, I didn't really).

So, here I am. There are hours of fun and excitement to go. But I don't think I'm going to be competing with the serious fans here for the life-size plush Yodas for sale. I didn't bring my X-wing, and I don't think I could beat them to it.