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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Star Wars Day

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's always appropriate to celebrate your love of Star Wars, and that goes double every May 4, which has become known as Star Wars Day over the last few years (for the pun fans out there, the proper greeting is "May the Fourth Be With You").

So what do you do on Star Wars Day? Well, you’re only limited by your own imagination. You can enjoy everything from official events held by Disney to independent organizations, stores, and sports teams getting in on the fun. Then there are all the festivities you can throw on your own for you and your Star Wars-loving friends. To prepare for your own May the Fourth activities, here are 10 fun ways to celebrate Star Wars Day.

1. REWATCH THE ENTIRE SAGA.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens on a movie theater marquee
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With all of the events, cosplay, merchandise, and other celebrations, it's easy to forget the most important part about Star Wars Day: the movies. And if you don't own the saga yourself, you're in luck because TBS will be playing all the installments from The Phantom Menace through The Force Awakens in order (so, excluding Rogue One and The Last Jedi), starting at 2:30 a.m. and going until 11 p.m. on May 4. Of course you can always splurge on all the DVDs, Blu-rays, or digital copies and set up shop at home for the better part of 20 hours across nine movies.

2. COOK UP SOME STAR WARS RECIPES.

If you're going to sit through an all-day Star Wars binge, you won't be able to do it on an empty stomach. Prepare for your May the Fourth marathon with some themed recipes, like these Darth Maul waffles (which you can wash down with some blue milk), Jabbacado toast, porg puffs, or Imperial nachos.

3. EXPLORE YOUR CRAFTY SIDE.

If you need to do something with your hands instead of just feeding yourself while binging movies, there are more than enough crafty projects to either spruce up your living room with some homemade Skywalker décor or make a gift for that Star Wars superfan in your life.

You can make a unique costume modeled on your favorite character, create your own bookmark, try your hand at some TIE Fighter art, paint a Jawa picture frame with the kids, or make a personalized gift for Mother's and Father's Day. There's really no limit to what you can do—and if you run out of ideas, there are plenty of online resources and books to help stimulate your creative side.

4. ADD A LEGO Y-WING TO YOUR COLLECTION.

Star Wars Day is about more than just getting deals on pre-existing merchandise—it's also about the debut of brand new collectibles that you've never been able to get your hands on. And the biggest one coming out this May 4 is LEGO's new Ultimate Collector Series Y-WING.

Measuring in at two feet long and containing an impressive 1967 pieces, this massive starfighter is just like the one fans saw make the assault on the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. The set also comes with a Gold Leader minifigure (complete with blaster) and an R2-BHD droid, because everyone knows any starfighter worth its salt needs an astromech aboard. If you want one for yourself, the UCS Y-Wing will set you back $199.

5. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY, MUSEUM, AND ZOO.

There's a good chance that a local institution in your community is jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon with activities aimed at fans of any age.

If you're in New York City on Star Wars Day, the public library system will have events at branches throughout the city on May 4—just call ahead for information and availability. Various zoos, including the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida, the El Paso Zoo in Texas, and Oklahoma's OKC Zoo will all have themed events, such as character meet and greets, costume contests, or games and activities for kids. And the Boston Children's Museum will have activities—including Star Wars yoga—from May 4 through Sunday May 6.

These are far from the only local events you can partake in—cities all over the world are looking to take advantage of May 4 to bring people together for special activities to enjoy. Do a little digging and see what your local parks, museums, malls, and zoos are doing to celebrate all things Star Wars.

6. ENJOY STAR WARS NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK.

Star Wars Day at an MLB ballpark.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If you're at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, or SunTrust ballpark in Atlanta on May 4, you can snag special bobbleheads of one of the team's standout players in Star Wars garb. Then on May 5 (sometimes known as "Revenge of the Fifth"), the Washington Nationals are holding their own celebration, complete with photo ops with your favorite characters and themed food and drink specials.

But the force can be with you even if it isn't the fourth. The Baltimore Orioles are holding a Star Wars Night on May 11, complete with a Darren "O'Day-Wan" Kenobi bobblehead, followed by the New York Mets on May 19, where the first 25,000 fans will get a special Mr. Met Star Wars bobblehead. There are even more Star Wars-themed nights throughout the season all around the league, all the way into August and September.

7. GET A FREE STAR WARS COMIC BOOK.

Han Solo frozen in carbonite
iStock

It just so happens that Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day are back-to-back this year, so when you head down to your local comic shop on May 5 to score your haul of freebies, be sure to pick up the special issue of Star Wars Adventures, put out by publisher IDW.

While Marvel has the license to publish Star Wars comics, IDW is handling the Adventures book, which is aimed at younger readers (though adult fans will still enjoy them). The story in this issue—which will be continued in Star Wars Adventures #10 and #11—will focus on a young Han Solo and Chewbacca, in preparation for the May 25 release of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

8. LEGOLAND STAR WARS DAYS.

LEGO Darth Vader sculpture at LEGOLAND.
Kevin Baird, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sure it's the day after the official Star Wars Day, but if you're in LEGOLAND in Florida on May 5-6, or either of the two weekends after, you can experience LEGO's ode to the blockbuster movie franchise. For the park's LEGO Star Wars Days event, you'll be able to take part in building activities, cosplay (with a chance to win prizes), and see the latest addition to MINILAND with a Force Awakens display. This display is made up of thousands of LEGO bricks and will recreate memorable moments from the movie.

9. SALES! SALES! SALES!

Star Wars action figures.
iStock

You don't even have to leave your computer to enjoy May the Fourth. There are plenty of retailers that are giving out deep discounts on Star Wars merchandise like action figures, movies, clothing, home décor, kitchen accessories, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The Star Wars website has a direct hub for the biggest sales, and then there's the highly anticipated Think Geek Star Wars Day sale, which is usually among the best.

10. ENJOY THE MUSIC.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir performing the Star Wars scores.
Leon Neal, AFP/Getty Images

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a day off to watch the Star Wars movies, make crafts, and take advantage of sales. If you're stuck at work on May the Fourth, though, you can still celebrate the music of Star Wars while you're at your computer or during your commute. Just pop some headphones in and stream one (or all) of John Williams's memorable scores from the saga. They're all easy to find on the major music services, and surely listening to the Cantina Band song in the afternoon will get you pumped for happy hour.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Steve Martin
NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images
NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images

Is there anything Steve Martin can't do? In addition to being one of the world's most beloved comedians and actors, he's also a writer, a musician, a magician, and an art enthusiast. And he's about to put a number of these talents on display with Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, a new comedy special that just arrived on Netflix. To commemorate the occasion, here are 10 things you might not have known about Steve Martin.

1. HE WAS A CHEERLEADER.

As a yellleader (as he refers to it in a yearbook signature) at his high school in Garden Grove, California, Martin tried to make up his own cheers, but “Die, you gravy-sucking pigs,” he later told Newsweek, did not go over so well.

2. HIS FIRST JOB WAS AT DISNEYLAND.

Martin’s first-ever job was at Disneyland, which was located just two miles away from his house. He started out selling guidebooks, keeping $.02 for every book he sold. He graduated to the Magic Shop on Main Street, where he got his first taste of the gags that would later make his career. He also learned the rope tricks you see in ¡Three Amigos! from a rope wrangler over in Frontierland.

3. HE OWES HIS WRITING JOB WITH THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS TO AN EX-GIRLFRIEND.

Thanks to a girlfriend who got a job dancing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Martin landed a gig writing for the show. He had absolutely no experience as a writer at the time. He shared an office with Bob Einstein—better known to some as Super Dave Osborne or Marty Funkhauser—and won an Emmy for writing in 1969.

4. HE WAS A CONTESTANT ON THE DATING GAME.

While he was writing for the Smothers Brothers, but before he was famous in his own right, Martin was on an episode of The Dating Game. (Spoiler alert: He wins. But did you have any doubt?)

5. MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT HE WAS A SERIES REGULAR ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

Martin hosted and did guest spots on Saturday Night Live so often in the 1970s and '80s that many people thought he was a series regular. He wasn't. 

6. HIS FATHER WROTE A REVIEW OF HIS FIRST SNL APPEARANCE.

After his first appearance on SNL, Martin’s father, the president of the Newport Beach Association of Realtors, wrote a review of his son’s performance in the company newsletter. “His performance did nothing to further his career,” the elder Martin wrote. He also once told a newspaper, “I think Saturday Night Live is the most horrible thing on television.”

7. HE POPULARIZED THE AIR QUOTE.

If you find yourself making air quotes with your fingers more than you’d really like, you have Martin to thank. He popularized the gesture during his guest spots on SNL and stand-up performances.

8. HE QUIT STAND-UP COMEDY IN THE EARLY 1980S.

Martin gave up stand-up comedy in 1981. “I still had a few obligations left but I knew that I could not continue,” he told NPR in 2009. “But I guess I could have continued if I had nothing to go to, but I did have something to go to, which was movies. And you know, the act had become so known that in order to go back, I would have had to create an entirely new show, and I wasn't up to it, especially when the opportunity for movies and writing movies came around.”

9. HE'S A MAJOR ART COLLECTOR.

As an avid art collector, Martin owns works by Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, and Edward Hopper. He sold a Hopper for $26.9 million in 2006. Unfortunately, being rich and famous doesn’t mean Martin is immune to scams: In 2004, he spent about $850,000 on a piece believed to be by German-Dutch modernist painter Heinrich Campendonk. When Martin tried to sell the piece, “Landschaft mit Pferden” (or "Landscape With Horses") 15 months later, he was informed that it was a forgery. Though the painting still sold, it was at a huge loss.

10. HE'S AN ACCOMPLISHED BLUEGRASS PERFORMER.

Many people already know this, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that he’s an extremely accomplished bluegrass performer. With the help of high school friend John McEuen, who later became a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Martin taught himself to play the banjo when he was 17. He's been picking away ever since. If you see him on stage these days, he’s likely strumming a banjo with his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers. As seen above, they make delightful videos.

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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Star Wars Premiered 41 Years Ago … and the Reviews Weren’t Always Kind
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

A long time ago (41 years, to be exact) in a galaxy just like this one, George Lucas was about to make cinematic history—whether he knew it or not. On May 25, 1977, moviegoers got their first glimpse of Star Wars, Lucas’s long-simmering space opera that would help define the concept of the Hollywood “blockbuster.” While we're still talking about the film today, and its many sequels and spinoffs (hello, Solo), not every film critic would have guessed just how ingrained into the pop culture fabric Star Wars would become. While it charmed plenty of critics, some of the movie’s original reviews were less than glowing. Here are a few of our favorites (the good, the bad, and the Wookiee):

"Star Wars is a fairy tale, a fantasy, a legend, finding its roots in some of our most popular fictions. The golden robot, lion-faced space pilot, and insecure little computer on wheels must have been suggested by the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. The journey from one end of the galaxy to another is out of countless thousands of space operas. The hardware is from Flash Gordon out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the chivalry is from Robin Hood, the heroes are from Westerns and the villains are a cross between Nazis and sorcerers. Star Wars taps the pulp fantasies buried in our memories, and because it's done so brilliantly, it reactivates old thrills, fears, and exhilarations we thought we'd abandoned when we read our last copy of Amazing Stories."

—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Star Wars is not a great movie in that it describes the human condition. It simply is a fun picture that will appeal to those who enjoy Buck Rogers-style adventures. What places it a sizable cut about the routine is its spectacular visual effects, the best since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001Star Wars is a battle between good and evil. The bad guys (led by Peter Cushing and an assistant who looks like a black vinyl-coated frog) control the universe with their dreaded Death Star."

—Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

Star Wars is like getting a box of Cracker Jack which is all prizes. This is the writer-director George Lucas’s own film, subject to no business interference, yet it’s a film that’s totally uninterested in anything that doesn’t connect with the mass audience. There’s no breather in the picture, no lyricism; the only attempt at beauty is in the double sunset. It’s enjoyable on its own terms, but it’s exhausting, too: like taking a pack of kids to the circus. An hour into it, children say that they’re ready to see it again; that’s because it’s an assemblage of spare parts—it has no emotional grip. “Star Wars” may be the only movie in which the first time around the surprises are reassuring…. It’s an epic without a dream. But it’s probably the absence of wonder that accounts for the film’s special, huge success. The excitement of those who call it the film of the year goes way past nostalgia to the feeling that now is the time to return to childhood."

—Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

"The only way that Star Wars could have been interesting was through its visual imagination and special effects. Both are unexceptional ... I kept looking for an 'edge,' to peer around the corny, solemn comic-book strophes; he was facing them frontally and full. This picture was made for those (particularly males) who carry a portable shrine within them of their adolescence, a chalice of a Self that was Better Then, before the world's affairs or—in any complex way—sex intruded."

—Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic

“There’s something depressing about seeing all these impressive cinematic gifts and all this extraordinary technological skills lavished on such puerile materials. Perhaps more important is what this seems to accomplish: the canonization of comic book culture which in turn becomes the triumph of the standardized, the simplistic, mass-produced commercial artifacts of our time. It’s the triumph of camp—that sentiment which takes delight in the awful simply because it’s awful. We enjoyed such stuff as children, but one would think there would come a time when we might put away childish things.”

—Joy Gould Boyum, The Wall Street Journal

Star Wars … is the most elaborate, most expensive, most beautiful movie serial ever made. It’s both an apotheosis of Flash Gordon serials and a witty critique that makes associations with a variety of literature that is nothing if not eclectic: Quo Vadis?, Buck Rogers, Ivanhoe, Superman, The Wizard of Oz, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table … The way definitely not to approach Star Wars, though, is to expect a film of cosmic implications or to footnote it with so many references that one anticipates it as if it were a literary duty. It’s fun and funny.”

—Vincent Canby, The New York Times

"Viewed dispassionately—and of course that’s desperately difficult at this point in time—Star Wars is not an improvement on Mr Lucas’ previous work, except in box-office terms. It isn’t the best film of the year, it isn’t the best science fiction ever to be translated to the screen, it isn’t a number of other things either that sweating critics have tried to turn it into when faced with finding some plausible explanation for its huge and slightly sinister success considering a contracting market. But it is, on the other hand, enormous and exhilarating fun for those who are prepared to settle down in their seats and let it all wash over them.”

—Derek Malcolm, The Guardian

“Strip Star Wars of its often striking images and its high-falutin scientific jargon, and you get a story, characters, and dialogue of overwhelming banality, without even a ‘future’ cast to them. Human beings, anthropoids, or robots, you could probably find them all, more or less like that, in downtown Los Angeles today. Certainly the mentality and values of the movie can be duplicated in third-rate non-science fiction of any place or period. O dull new world!”

—John Simon, New York Magazine

"Star Wars is somewhat grounded by a malfunctioning script and hopelessly infantile dialogue, but from a technical standpoint, it is an absolutely breathtaking achievement. The special effects experts who put Lucas' far-out fantasies on film—everything from a gigantic galactic war machine to a stunningly spectacular World War II imitation dogfight—are Oscar-worthy wizards of the first order. And, for his own part, Lucas displays an incredibly fertile imagination—an almost Fellini-like fascination with bizarre creatures.”

—Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News

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