STAR Wars characters used the force to grant the Christmas wishes of wide-eyed youngsters at a special festive grotto in Colchester over the weekend. 

Darth Vader’s Galactic Grotto landed in Culver Square on Saturday before taking families on a festive adventure which was quite literally out-of-this-world.

The intergalactic event saw guests greeted by familiar Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca and Imperial Biker Scouts, and Imperial crew members.

Those in attendance then made their way into the Death Star to meet the iconic Darth Vader.

The grotto was installed and organised by Ace Comics in aid of St Helena Hospice, Colchester Hospital and Mind. 

Dave Robertson, centre manager of Culver Square, said: “We are thrilled to host this event and have everyone join us for a Star Wars adventure. 

“Kerrie Williams, from Ace Comics and Invasion Colchester, and her band of willing volunteers organise these exciting events to raise money.

“They should be commended for all they do for these three important charities.” 

Impressively, the event successfully raised £1,105 for the charities.

Darth Vader’s Galactic Grotto, as well as the annual Invasion Colchester, have proved incredibly popular with fans of pop culture over the years.

For the latter, Colchester residents are encouraged to dress up as their favourite television and movie characters while enjoying live performances in the city centre.