As launch parties go, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was an A-lister. There was a huge floor spread with costumed performers wandering about (and not one but two fully functioning R2-D2 units), a raised stage from which swag was thrown every half hour or so, a PSP-fraught raffle, swank VIP room, and of course – the man of the hour – George Lucas himself. Hit the jump for party pics and more.Lucas didn’t take the stage until nearly two hours after the event had started. During that time, I managed to wheedle my way into the VIP room to steal brownie bites, snag a diet coke and manipulate man friend into snapping cosplay pics with his Shiny Less Than New iPhone. Take a look:

Then, what we’d all be waiting for – George Lucas. But first, another long, drawn-out raffle sequence where the dudes on stage were having way too much fun dangling t-shirts over the side to generate loud screaming and people hoisting small children over head.

George took the stage slowly, looking every bit as old as his 60-some odd years. He thanked the team for all the good work, urged the attendees to grab whatever was on the shelves and buy it – and then revealed that his son had bugged more than 400 issues in Force Unleashed. “More than the play testers,” George beamed. More t-shirts were thrown and the man departed to wild cheers, chased after by Secret Apprentice actor Sam Witwer, bearing Lucas his very own t-shirt. And at 10, we were all thrown out of the Best Buy as they closed the store. At midnight, the doors will re-open to sell the first copies of The Force Unleashed to the waiting crowd. Be sure to check out our interviews with Sam Witwer and with project lead Haden Blackman tomorrow morning.