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May the fourth is a day for Star Wars fans of all stripes to celebrate their fandom. Unfortunately, one high school student's attempt to celebrate led to some fairly severe reactions. A student at a Wisconsin high school wore a Darth Vader costume to class today, but when he was spotted by a concerned parent, the outfit caused them to get spooked and call it in as a potential threat, resulting in the school being evacuated.
All of this took place this morning at Ashwaubenon High School in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, a suburb of Green Bay. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the student who arrived dressed as Darth Vader raised flags because he entered the school via the back, with the Vader mask over his face, and there was concern that the rest of the costume "looked like he might be wearing a bulletproof vest or a flak jacket." The person who saw the unnamed teenager then called the police and the school was put on lockdown before being evacuated. Now that the dust is settled, the police are confirming that this was simply "an innocent mistake."
This is one of those situations that luckily gets to be funny because there was nothing else going on. As crazy as it sounds, if somehow this was an actual threat, it would have certainly been scary. Considering that there was once a shooting at a movie theater during a Batman movie by somebody who felt a connection to The Joker, we can't entirely discount the possibility that there could have been something here.
However, since there wasn't a real threat here, just a guy who liked Star Wars, the entire thing comes off like a serious overreaction. While May the fourth has long been a day that people celebrate Star Wars it's not like it's any sort of official holiday. Lots of people aren't really aware of it. If they were, the reaction might not have been quite so severe, but maybe the worried parent did know what day it was and simply wanted to be safe as opposed to sorry.
We hope the student in the Darth Vader costume is doing ok. Clearly, he just wanted to celebrate Star Wars and have some fun. He certainly wasn't expecting to cause his entire school to freak the hell out. It wasn't his fault that he spooked people, so hopefully, nobody gets him in too much trouble. He's likely embarrassed enough as it is. Still, it does go to show the true power of Darth Vader. Everybody was terrified of him, so clearly, the costume successfully did its job. Maybe next May the fourth the school will have some specific guidelines to avoid seeing this happen again.