Parkland Middle School celebrating Star Wars this week as they look forward to a field trip to the Columbia Theatre for a screening of The Force Awakens on Friday.

Parkland Middle School celebrating Star Wars this week as they look forward to a field trip to the Columbia Theatre for a screening of The Force Awakens on Friday.

A field trip to a galaxy far, far away

Parkland and Laurie middle schools teaming up for a trip to Columbia Theatre for a screening of The Force Awakens.

Star Wars fever is sweeping the world and Cranbrook is not immune—specifically Parkland and Laurie middle schools.

The two junior high schools are teaming up their student bodies to catch a showing of the The Force Awakens—the latest instalment of the series of trilogies on Friday.

Traditionally, the schools like to wrap up their first fall semester with an assembly or a fun activity, however, with the new Star Wars movie opening on the Friday, according to Parkland vice principal Kaley Wasylowich.

“We always try to do some kind of Christmas assembly or something fun before Christmas to send the kids off and I knew that was the day that Star Wars was coming out,” Wasylowich said.

“So I worked with the [Columbia] Theatre, they sent me to the head office in Vancouver, I talked to Disney and we somehow, by some miracle, managed to secure seats in the theatre to show an early viewing of Star Wars for our school.”

Though Wasylowich had initially set up the event for Parkland students, she reached out again both to Disney and Laurie Middle School to include their students.

Assemblies usually happen in the gymnasiums, but Laurie’s gym is currently unusable due to damage from a recent rooftop fire,

“Laurie had their unfortunate burning of their gym, so I know—being in middle school—it’s important to provide kids with some fun things,” she added.

Parkland is making it a week-long celebration of the new Star Wars movie, with trivia and colouring contests, costume contests and quirky Star Wars-themed  items at the concession stand.

For those who think there isn’t any educational value in seeing a movie, think again.

Kids can learn the ethical spectrums between the two sides of the Force, or tell the difference between a moon or a space station.

However, both Wasylowich and Laurie principal David Standing see more practical learning opportunities.

“What isn’t educational about Star Wars?” said Standing. “We do film and media here, for us…kids do graduate middle school, go on to high school and end up being successful movie makers like George Lucas or Steven Spielberg.

“That’s the real educational value.”

Added Wasylowich: “It’s team building, it’s about providing an opportunity to kids who might otherwise not get something like this.

“…Just the schools coming together as a community—that provides a lot of value for this age group of kids.”