It was not "a long time ago," or in "a galaxy far, far away," but true to the "Star Wars" legacy, light sabers flashed as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker clashed Saturday afternoon at the Fairfield Public Library.

For the library's "Star Wars Reads Day," the characters, costumes and regalia from the iconic movie series were unleashed in the spirit of fostering literacy.

Also part of the program were Star Wars-themed crosswords, word jumbles, book displays, origami Wookie finger puppets, raffles, light saber craft making, Wampa bingo, trivia contests and screenings of "Star Wars IV: A New Hope."

There was even a Death Star piñata that kids could whack with their life sabers.

"The event is a national one, initiated by children's book publishers like DK, Scholastic and Penguin," said Mary Sorhus, the library's head of children's services, who donned a Han Solo disguise for the day. "We applied to get an official kit and were chosen as a host site. This is all to encourage fun and reading and celebrate the phenomenon that is `Star Wars.' Kids love it and local residents become more aware of the library as a community center. We're starting to get everyone in the holiday spirit as well."

The key organizer of the event for the library was its webmaster, Merry Uk, who proudly identified herself as a long-time "Star Wars" fan. "My older brother loved watching the original `Star Wars' movie and I would catch it with him," she said. "It made a big impression on me. Who knew I would be running a `Star Wars' program at a library years later?"

"Star Wars," Uk added, "and now Clone Wars, has carried the excitement of the series from generation to generation. It's a permanent part of our culture. It's amazing to see little Yodas running around."

The excitement was apparent on the faces of the young "Star Wars" fans enjoying the program. "The greatest light saber ever -- cardboard," smiled 12-year-old Mason Ortoleba. He said he has seen all the "Star Wars" movies and many of the TV shows. "Star Wars is pretty cool," he concluded.