Cool ways to celebrate Star Wars Day

From the geeky to the very geeky, here are some suggestions for feeling the Force this Star Wars Day.

may 4th
Credit: Lucas Films Inc.
May the Fourth be with you

May 4 is International Star Wars Day, the unofficial holiday where we celebrate the Force, X-wings, Ewoks and women wearing their hair in the shape of their favorite breakfast pastries.  But how do you give your week that particular galaxy-far-far-away flavor? Some suggestions follow.

RELATED: On Star Wars Day, Japan’s ANA gives new flight to franchise's iconic theme song

10 ways to celebrate Star Wars Day

10 awesome ways to celebrate International Star Wars Day

darth vader
Credit: Credit Lucasfilm Ltd
Wear a giant, solid-gold Darth Vader mask

So you think you’re a fan – but are you fan enough to pay $1.4 million for a solid-gold replica of Darth Vader’s mask? Us either. Nevertheless, if you’re rich and crazy, Tokyo jeweler Tanaka Kikinzoku has you covered. (H/T: New York Post)

Credit: YouTube.com
Remember Carrie Fisher

Thanks to growing up on Star Wars, the stereotypical princess of my youth wasn’t a weeping damsel in a castle, but a blaster-toting revolutionary fighting for freedom. Even Princess Leia, however, had nothing on Carrie Fisher herself, who lived a difficult life with brilliance, humor and verve. She was a legendary screenwriter and author, and an extremely funny human being, who will be missed.

Star Wars days
Credit: YouTube.com
Watch the movies (duh)

The Star Wars trilogy – no, there is only one complete trilogy, stop making jokes – is a big reason many of us are nerds in the first place, so it’s a great place to start. Bonus points for finding the release versions without too much awful George Lucas tinkering. Han shot first, you bearded goon. And the latest generation of movies - which have been pretty darn good so far - are also available.

star wars forks spoon
Credit: Disney
Enjoy a fine bouquet of Star Wars-themed gadgetry

Oh, there’s just Star Wars geegaws aplenty, with lightsaber selfie sticks, jauntily animated R2-D2 USB 3.0 hubs and even Death Star herb and spice grinders. Or what about everybody’s favorite, lightsaber flatware?

Credit: YouTube.com
Build a giant Lego spaceship

Dan Steininger and his son Chris built a quarter-million-Lego-block replica of the Millennium Falcon in a mall in Melbourne, Australia to celebrate Star Wars day in 2015. Both Dan and Chris are Lego Master Builders, which is apparently a real job that I could have had, according to my inner child, who is throwing a huge tantrum right now.

Chris Steininger, Master Lego Builder
Credit: Lego
Or a REALLY giant Lego spaceship

And if you thought that Millennium Falcon was something, check out what Chris Steininger is up to this time – the Australian Lego master builder is planning a Death Star, which will weigh in at about 1,200 pounds and 24 feet in circumference. (Many Bothans died to bring News.com.au this information.)

star wars treats
Star Wars: It’s what’s for dinner

The official Star Wars website has a variety of recipe ideas to make treats everyone from Jedis to Siths will love. Check out the Yoda-themed Sushi, Jabba the Hut Marshmallows and BB-8 Donuts.

sw pinata
Arts & crafts

There’s no shortage of Star Wars themed arts and crafts, from a Tie Fighter Piñata to a Chewbacca bookmark, the official Star Wars site has plenty of ideas. Oh, and don’t forget your party invitations.

sw oreo
Check out how various brands celebrate

We enjoyed Oreo’s take, but check out more here.

Star Wars days
Credit: Wookieepedia
The X-Wing/TIE Fighter series of PC games

Correctly hailed as some of the best space combat games ever produced, Lucasarts’ iconic space sims put you in the cockpit of the starfighters from the movies. X-Wing, released in 1993, was the original, but it was 1994’s TIE Fighter – featuring graphical upgrades and numerous gameplay tweaks – that tends to get most of the plaudits as a modern classic. (Later titles, including 1997’s X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and 1999’s X-Wing: Alliance were still enjoyable, but never recaptured the magic of the first games.)

Star Wars days
Credit: Wookieepedia
Star Wars comic books

Pardon me, graphic novels. There’s a heap of them out there, including Rogue Squadron, Dark Empire, and Invasion. Be aware that many are “expanded universe” and much of the subject matter spins far, far away from the films.

Star Wars days
Credit: Wookieepedia
Novels

Speaking of the expanded universe, there are also stacks and stacks of licensed novels produced under the Star Wars brand available for your perusal. Quality is, in a word, uneven – the best of them evoke some of the same emotions as the movies, while others are a bit hackneyed. A 1979 trio of Han Solo-focused stories by Brian Daley are some of the best out there.

Star Wars days
Credit: Wikipedia/Bantam Media/Fair use
Avoiding some of the more embarrassing parts of the expanded universe

As I’ve been hinting in the last couple of slides, the vast quantity of spin-off Star Wars material out there means, inevitably, that much of it is garbage. Main characters acting totally differently than they did in the movies, lame settings, and author insertion characters galore. You have been warned.

Star Wars days
Pretend to be a Jedi on the Internet

While you could probably make yourself one of the more entertaining forum trolls by doing this on some random website, pretending to be a Jedi is a bit more fulfilling in Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’s free to play, though if you like it enough to play lots of it, you’ll probably want to pony up for the $15 per month subscription.

Star Wars days
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/CC License/istolethetv
Pretend to be a Jedi in real life

Or you could just go full-bore and dress up like your favorite character in real life. There’s a big community of cosplayers out there who will doubtlessly be happy to help. You should probably warn any spouses or kids beforehand, though.

Star Wars days
Credit: YouTube.com
Watch this cute video from NASA, featuring R2-D2

Easily the coolest character from the movies (what?) saves the day yet again, in this fun little short from NASA, released a couple of years ago. Seriously, R2 is the best. And even though we only get half the conversation when he chatters with C-3P0, it really kind of sounds like he swears a lot. “How rude!”

Chortle at Star Trek people, who are trolling shamelessly
Credit: YouTube.com
Chortle at Star Trek people, who are trolling shamelessly

While there are people who are fans of just Star Trek or just Star Wars, there are many more people who like both. (And the mono-fans at least have their general lack of a sense of humor in common.) So it’s always fun to see the likes of The Next Generation’s LeVar Burton tweeting “May LaForge be with you” or this very funny video from the Upright Citizen’s Brigade featuring Voyager’s Tim Russ.

 

may 4th star wars 8
Check out the spaceships flying over MIT

I dunno, I think this may be Photoshopped. Those merry pranksters. But they’re getting into the spirit of things, aren’t they?

star wars video games
Credit: GOG.com
Buy some of those Star Wars video games

Good Old Games – the greatest purveyors of video game nostalgia in the world, and all-around nice folks – has 19 Star Wars titles on sale right now, for anywhere from $1.37 to $3.99. Cover me, Porkins, I’m going in.

Be completely and totally blown away that it’s the 40th freaking anniversary of Star Wars

It’s extremely difficult to believe, I know, and not all of those 40 years have been great – but the state of the franchise is strong. The new movies, both in and out of the main trilogy, are safely out of George Lucas’ hands, and are, perhaps relatedly, excellent. Take a moment to think about the cultural juggernaut that we’ve constructed, and may the Force be with you.