A Jedi knight hurls snowballs. Chewbacca trudges through the frozen powder, icy clumps of sludge accumulating on his furry ankles.

No, this is not the planet Hoth. It's Washington's Dupont Circle neighborhood, where hundreds gathered Sunday for a "Star Wars"-themed snowball fight that some had hoped would look like a wintry scene from "The Empire Strikes Back."

The mostly young adults who descended on the traffic circle in the middle of the nation's capital were clearly ready for some childlike play, after more than 22 inches (56 centimeters) of snowfall left residents stuck at home since late Friday.

"After being locked in for a couple days, it's fun," said 33-year-old Laura Lorenzo who, like most people, was dressed in non-"Star Wars" attire.

But some fully embraced the theme.

Throwing snowballs nearby from under a brown hooded Jedi master's cloak was 42-year-old Paul Ollig, who said the "Star Wars" aspect had sealed his participation -- but he would have shown up for the fun anyway.

"I lived in Alaska for seven years so I'm well-versed in how to make very effective snowballs," said Ollig, a federal government employee.

"Snow Wars: The Snowball Strikes Back," as the event was dubbed by organizers, kicked off at 10:00 am (1500 GMT) to the franchise's iconic theme music after being postponed from Saturday due to the ferocity of the winter storm.

Some 3,400 people indicated on Facebook they would attend, but with bus and metro service cancelled for the weekend, co-organizer Ami Greener told AFP there were "a lot of disappointed people" who were unable to make the fight.

In 2010, during another massive snowstorm in Washington, a snowball fight organized by the group at the same location drew some 3,000 participants, Greener said.

Millions of people in the eastern United States started digging out Sunday from under near-record-breaking snowfall as the storm passed and the sun returned.

Trudging away from the snowball fight covered shoulder-to-toe in fur and his Chewbacca mask in hand, Scott Martin told AFP his "mask and outfit are a little too big to run around in."

"It's been a fun day and I'm glad I came but I think it's time to go home and change," the 30-year old said.