WORLD NEWS
08/08/2019 10:33 EDT | Updated 08/10/2019 06:40 EDT

Darth Vader Brings The Dark Side To The 2019 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The "Star Wars" villain is soaring over the skies of southwest England this weekend.

Darth Vader is stealing the show at the 2019 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

A hot air balloon likeness of the “Star Wars” character wowed spectators in southwest England early Thursday at this year’s first mass ascent of Europe’s largest ballooning event.

Mark Hamill, star of the space opera movie franchise, also approved.

After a horrible, no good, terrible week, there’s nothing quite like a giant floating #DarthVader balloon to distract from reality & raise your spirits,” he tweeted, alongside the hashtag #ThanksDad.

The festival runs until Sunday at the Ashton Court Estate.

Some 130 balloonists from around the world are participating in the 41st annual fiesta, which is free for visitors to attend. Mass ascents are scheduled at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time each day.

They are all contingent on weather, however, as seen last year when the majority of the ascents were canceled. So far this year, the Thursday afternoon and both ascents on Friday and Saturday have been called off. High winds even forced the closure of the entire fiesta site Saturday morning.

Check out photos from this year’s event below. We’ll add more as the weekend progresses.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Ben Birchall - PA Images via Getty Images
PA Wire/PA Images
PA Wire/PA Images
PA Wire/PA Images
Toby Melville / Reuters
Toby Melville / Reuters
Toby Melville / Reuters
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images
Toby Melville / Reuters