10 cool ways to celebrate Star Wars Day

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

May the Fourth be with you
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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Credit: YouTube.com
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: StarWars.com
Star Wars Legion Exhibition

If you’re in Los Angeles, stop by the Robert Vargas Gallery to see a bunch of stormtrooper helmets, as re-conceptualized by artists and celebs. It’s times like this you wish Salvador Dali was still alive.

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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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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.

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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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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. 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!”

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Delight over the official announcement of the cast for the upcoming new movie

It’s happening! It’s really happening! The official announcement of the cast of Star Trek 7 has been made. In addition to most of the original cast, they’ve added a bunch of folks from various other nerdy milleus, like Andy Serkis from the Lord of the Rings movies and some kid I’ve never heard of from the Harry Potter flicks. Still feel like Benedict Cumberbatch should’ve gotten in there, somehow.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.