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updated 8/16/2010 5:45:45 PM ET 2010-08-16T21:45:45

Amid the droid races, costume contests and panel discussions, some devoted "Star Wars" fans tried their luck at finding romance with — of all things — sci-fi-themed speed dating.

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The participants, many of whom were dressed as Jedi knights, stormtroopers and the indomitable Princess Leia, sat opposite one another for a series of three-minute dates, in hopes of finding a connection with a fellow "Star Wars" enthusiast.

Two speed dating events were planned for the four-day-long Star Wars Celebration V convention, but the sessions were so popular that the organizers added an impromptu third gathering to the schedule.

"Over the course of the three events, due to size and time, we turned away about 600 participants," the event's host Ryan Glitch, of Gorham, N.Y., told SPACE.com. "Yesterday, this room was packed. We had to keep shoveling people along." [Graphic: Lightsabers in fact and fiction]

All's fair in love and ‘Star Wars’
In total, over 260 "Star Wars" fans took part in the speed dating sessions, which were open to heterosexual and homosexual participants.

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The males and females remain anonymous throughout the string of dates — identified solely by nametags with assigned numbers. The participants record the number of anyone who captures their interest.

After time runs out on all the dates, the males and females write their preferred method of contact on envelopes that correspond to the number assigned to any participant they wish to see or hear from again. This way, contact information is only divulged to those who have sparked a person's interest.

These precautions are meant to maintain the safety and comfort of the daters.

This was Glitch's first time organizing and hosting speed dating sessions at the annual "Star Wars" Celebration convention. And, it largely happened by accident.

Image: Star Wars Celebration V
Gustavo Caballero  /  Getty Images
A model of a TIE fighter sits on the floor of the Orange County Covention Center for Star Wars Celebration V.

Glitch, who is single, submitted the idea for such an event online, hoping to see it run so that he could meet someone. After several e-mails were exchanged back and forth with the "Star Wars" Celebration V organizers, Glitch found himself at the helm of the dating extravaganza.

"It was an accident," Glitch said. "Well, it was pure luck — a will of the Force, you could say."

The feedback from the three events has been very positive, Glitch said, and he is aware of nine possible success stories that have come out of the experience.

In fact, at a separate convention event, Glitch saw eight couples that were made up of people who had attended his speed dating sessions.

‘Star Wars’ chapel
In the main exhibition hall, a "chapel" was set up to allow "Star Wars" fans to profess their love and devotion to each other in the form of commitment ceremonies.

"I've been told that we've had two commitment ceremonies from people that met at my event," Glitch said. "I don't know for sure, but I've been told that by a couple different people."

And, there could a success story on the horizon for Glitch himself.

"It's kind of funny," he said. "I'm the host, so I didn't think people would be paying attention to me. But, I've had about three or four girls per session leave their contact information because they want to hang out."

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Explainer: 7 sci-fi worlds that have enraptured moviegoers

  • Image: "Tales from Earthsea"
    Disney / Studio Ghibli

    Science fiction allows writers and directors to transport audiences to landscapes that are beyond the realm of human experience. For example, in a new movie titled "Tales from Earthsea," Studio Ghibli takes audiences to a magical world of islands and largely uncharted seas where dragons fill the air. The film is loosely based on author Ursula K. Le Guin's series of novels set on the watery planet.

    Click ahead to see six more sci-fi worlds that have enraptured movie audiences over the years. Then weigh in with a comment on your favorite, or let us know what super-cool realm we missed.

  • Pandora, full of humanoids, and maybe real

    Image: Pandora's floating mountains dwarf a massive gunship
    20th Century Fox

    In his epic film "Avatar," director James Cameron takes audiences to a world filled with blue, nature-loving humanoids, flora and fauna that glow in the dark, and floating mountain islands.

    The planet, called Pandora, is located 4.4 light-years from Earth in the Alpha Centauri star system, where it orbits a Jupiterlike gas giant called Polyphemus.

    Although Pandora is fictional, scientists with the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say such an inhabitable world really could exist. "All of the gas giant planets in our solar system have rocky and icy moons," says the center's Lisa Kaltenegger. "That raises the possibility that alien Jupiters will also have moons. Some of those may be Earth-sized and able to hold onto an atmosphere."

  • In "Star Wars," there's no place like home

    Image: C3PO and Luke Skywalker
    Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM, via Associated Press

    Baked dry by twin yellow suns, the desert planet of Tatooine may not be the lap of luxury, but for Luke Skywalker and his clan, it is home sweet home. Audiences first met Skywalker on Tatooine in the 1977 release of "Star Wars," the first of several films in the saga played out in that galaxy far, far away.

    There's little to do on Tatooine except farm moisture and break the law. Skywalker himself was a humble moisture farmer before acquiring the droids R2D2 and C3PO, who held plans for the Death Star.

    The planet's many lawbreakers gather at one of the coolest, though toughest, bars ever imagined for any world, anywhere: Mos Eisley Cantina. It's a crossroads for traders of almost everything illegal. They make deals while rocking out to an all-alien band and downing concoctions slung by a surly bartender.

  • Dagobah: A swampy land for sage advice

    Image: "Empire Strikes Back" Yoda and Luke

    A mist-enshrouded, overgrown swamp greets Luke Skywalker when he crash-lands on Dagobah to train with the Jedi Master Yoda, who made the planet his hideout after fleeing the forces of the Galactic Empire. The planet is poor in high-tech flash, but rich in timeless advice shared by Yoda.

    "Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try," the little old man tells the young buck as learns to trust the powers of the Force. The promise of receiving such wisdom ought to make Dagobah a must stop for any Jedi in training.

  • LV-426: Where aliens rule

    Image: Newt in "Aliens"
    Twentieth Century-Fox

    Most noted for its spirelike rocks and consistently gloomy weather, LV-426 may not seem welcoming, but nevertheless a colony of humans in 1986's "Aliens" found it suitable enough for "terraforming," the act of making an extraterrestrial body habitable.

    The decision to colonize turned out to be a big mistake. Newt, shown here, was the only one to survive the deadly attacks from the facehuggers, the resident parasitic aliens. The film was critically acclaimed as a standard bearer in the sci-fi genre, making LV-426 an unforgettable world.

  • Krypton: Long-gone land of Superman

    Image: Superman above the Earth
    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Superman is either the superhero he is because of or in spite of his home planet, Krypton, which has been re-conceived several times since the world's most easily recognized superhero burst upon the pages of Action Comics No. 1 in 1938.

    The one thing that holds true throughout the versions of Superman's history is the explosion of the planet shortly after the superhero's departure, which created Kryptonite, the only material capable of harming Superman.

  • Middle-earth: Home from an irretrievable time

    Image: "The Lord of the Rings" screenshot
    New Line Cinema

    Film director Peter Jackson deftly transports audiences to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth in the big-screen adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, an epic tale of the struggle between good and evil. According to Tolkien, Middle-earth is part of Earth, but from a mythical time.

    The setting is one of familiar and stunning scenery with towering mountains, lush forests and gushing streams. Fans wishing to get a feel for the world as depicted by Jackson should book a trip to New Zealand, where much of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was filmed.


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