They marched down Grove Green Road to the house where Freeborn was born in 1914 and unveiled a blue heritage plaque in his honour.
The Dark Lord forced traffic to stop as he was greeted by droves of fans, many in costumes of their own.
He shook the hand of a young Vader, Adrianos Mavroukakis, before posing for pictures with his admirers.
Adrianos, aged eight, said he is "crazy" about Star Wars and was "so excited" to meet his favourite villain.
Elliot Ashton, who campaigned for Waltham Forest Council to commission the plaque, said: "I couldn't believe it when I found out Stuart Freeborn was from Leytonstone.
"I went to the council about getting a plaque because I wanted local people and local artists to remember his amazing work."
Hailed as the "grandfather of modern make-up design", Freeborn did the make-up for all the characters in the sci-fi trilogy, and created the faces of Yoda and Chewbacca.
Street murals were painted by local artists from Wood Street Walls as a permanent tribute to his work.
Freeborn, also renowned for designing the human-apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, died in February 2013 aged 98.
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