R.D. White Elementary School students added a new chapter to the "Star Wars" legacy on Friday.
With Darth Vader in tow, kindergarten through third grade students impressed upon their classmates that The Force was with them.
"Focus on reading comprehension every day," they said in unison, adding a past-tense "D" to the word "force."
The Sith lord had something to say and leaned into school Principal Suzanne Risse's ear.
"He's saying you must read to comprehend," Risse told the assembled crowd of about 600 students, parents and teachers. "He came from the Dark Side to help us be better readers."
Not that they need it, if academic achievement data from the California Department of Education is any indication. The school is well above the goal on state benchmarks, and all of its student groups met their targets on federal exams, according data released earlier this month.
"Every teacher pumps it up and we devote time to [reading]," said Tracy Holland, a teacher. "By you wanting to read, they'll want to read."