Cool ways to celebrate Star Wars Day

From the geeky to the very geeky, here are 10 suggestions for feeling the Force this Sunday.

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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 to give your Sunday that particular galaxy-far-far-away flavor? Some suggestions follow.

RELATED: 10 ways to celebrate Star Wars Day

10 awesome ways to celebrate International Star Wars Day

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Watch the movies (duh)

The Star Wars trilogy – no, there is only one 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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 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!”

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.

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.

 

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Watch (for the whatever-th time) the trailers for the upcoming movie

Say what you will, but I’m perfectly sanguine about the upcoming movie being in the hands of J.J. Abrams. If you watch the end of the most recent trailer and don’t squeal with delight, at least inwardly, I’m afraid we are probably not going to be friends. Oh, and here’s a link to the first one, too.

 

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Credit: Vanity Fair, via TheStar
Ogle Annie Leibovitz photos of the new movie’s cast

Vanity Fair has a Star Wars cover this month, featuring two new characters, two somewhat more recognizeable ones, and that neat soccerball droid from the first trailer. Seriously, Annie Leibovitz? How cool is that?

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Play Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on your Android phone or tablet

The original Knights of the Old Republic was that rare thing, a Star Wars videogame that preserved the feel of the films and was a great game in its own right. And now you can play a not-at-all stripped-down version on an Android phone or tablet. For $3. Seriously, why are you still here?

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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?

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Await Star Wars: Battlefront with bated breath

Star Wars: Battlefront and its sequel were popular games, bringing a Battlefield 1942-esque style of open-ended combat to the PC and consoles. However, they came out in 2004 and 2005 – and fans have been crying out for a sequel ever since. This November, finally, they’re going to get it.