The pages of the calendar have flown past this year like starfighters going to lightspeed, and May the 4th is almost again upon us. It’s a little like Valentine’s Day. You might love someone all year long, just like you celebrate Star Wars all year long, but this is a special day devoted to your passion.
There is no right or wrong way to mark the occasion — you can have a movie marathon, make a R2-D2 cake, or wear a Han Solo T-shirt. Just do something! It’s easier than ever this year since May the 4th falls on a Saturday.
I asked several fans to share with me the ways they’ve celebrated our Star Wars holiday in the past. Their responses were as varied as the crowd at a Mos Eisley bar. Learn from them, you can (look, I get one Yoda-ism per post).
Carmen Latvis and her family make themed food and watch the movies. Her son wears a costume, and Carmen and her daughter wear shirts from Her Universe. “My son and I are the big fans in the house,” says Latvis, “but everyone is included in all day Star Wars fun. I usually theme all of our meals and snacks, blue bantha milk, Tatooine twin suns & toast, Padmé pad thai for lunch.” This year is going to also include the final season of The Clone Wars because her kids love Ahsoka. “She is kind of a hero in the house.”
Continuing the food theme, Jenn Fujikawa has used her awesome baking skills to come up with all kinds of Star Wars recipes. Last year she outdid herself by making a severed wampa arm cake. “The cake was red, covered in cream cheese frosting and coconut for ‘fur,’” says Fujikawa. “The chocolate wampa fingernails made it very realistic. On the cut end I added red guava jelly for a full bloody effect.” The best part is that Jenn left the cake in her grandmother’s fridge and the elder lady was completely disgusted. Besides baking delightful treats, Jenn does art projects with her kids.
Some use the special day as a reminder to embrace Jedi-like values. Dee Elms chooses to do good deeds. She makes donations to charities in the names of various obscure Star Wars characters, and she buys Star Wars books and passes them along to students who can’t afford to buy books. This year she’s focusing on Dornbecher’s Children Hospital. “I feel that part of maintaining the balance of the Force — applied to real life — is to take new energy and give it back to the universe.” Master Yoda would be proud.
The Capital City Jedi Knights stage combat group also spreads a virtuous message. Aaron Chernak, the founder and president of the non-profit organization, let me know they always perform for enthusiastic crowds. “We have used it [May the 4th] to bring joy and entertainment to kids and families, and teach everyone about the Jedi way.” They recently founded the Saber Guild: Keystone Temple, and they’ll be performing at the York Revolution baseball team’s stadium on May the 4th as well as taking photos with fans.
Just look around your area on May the 4th and you are bound to find the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and Saber Guild bringing Star Wars to the community. This is especially true since it also happens to be Free Comic Book Day.
Texts, social media, and memes make it easy to share in celebrations with fellow fans. Bryan Young receives notifications all day long. “I think the thing I spend the most time on May the 4th doing is receiving every picture and meme involving Star Wars the internet has ever produced. My friends and family all know how important Star Wars is to me, and so all day, from 12 in the morning to midnight, I’m receiving emails, texts, Facebook posts, and tweets with all kinds of Star Wars well wishes.” He’s spending this May the 4th in Paris and is planning to scour shops for Star Wars merchandise while in his Boba Fett hoodie. I can’t wait to see what he finds; just remember, no disintegration allowed!
Kai Charles not only connects with fans across social media on the holiday, she also reminded me it’s a perfect day for crafting! She made a Yoda eye pillow last year, and this year she’ll be giving away a Star Wars prize pack and seeing Return of the Jedi on the big screen in Hollywood. Vanessa Talamantes is also attending the screening (hey, so am I!). Last year she started work on a fantastic Han Solo costume. Check out the result! I think she even impressed herself.
May the 4th is also an ideal day for a wedding. Ollie and Anna Sanders did just that in 2012, and Ollie got hitched while carrying a Jedi Luke action figure from his childhood in his pocket. They usually watch the films with friends and kids, and next year they are planning a Star Wars-themed party to celebrate their anniversary. It’s perfect to have the two tied together.
You really can’t go wrong with a marathon of the films, but you can add on video games and more. Marco Loreto always combines the movies, food, and everything Star Wars. He sums up my feelings about the day with these words: “Every day is the perfect day to celebrate Star Wars but on May the 4th you can almost see the Force floating in the air, there’s a smile on every Force sensitive human being on earth. On May the 4th, I put on my favorite new Star Wars clothes, call my geeky friends and congratulate them on such a cool day of Star Wars content, when I’m done with my work for the day I go to my house and start watching the movies with my closest friends and family. It really is a great day to be a Star Wars fan.”
Yes, yes it is.