It was May 1977 and I was turning 22 years old. I celebrated that birthday enjoying dinner with friends. After which we decided to go see a new film called Star Wars. Back then we knew nothing about the phenomenon it would turn out to be, of course. And, to be honest, the posters that advertised it looked a little hokey.
You know the rest of the story. Once we saw Star Wars for the very first time, we were hooked and did not tire of returning to the theater week after week, always dragging new friends along to see this epic tale that so captured our imaginations.
Not only did it capture our imaginations, but truly, we were hooked on Jedi-magic for life.
Fast forward to today. May the 4th, 2020. Every year on the 4th of May, we kick off our Darby Summer Movies by showing the OG – Star Wars: A New Hope.
Our kids are now old enough to share the magic and have been inviting friends for years to our May the 4th Star Wars Day Celebration.
And this year, in spite of the crazy, we are doing it again, with just our immediate family.
As we start the month of May, we (and by “we,” I mean Eric) set up our lights in the backyard, get the movie screen up, and hose off the chairs to prepare for the upcoming summer movie night season, commencing with Star Wars and going through the rest of the summer.
Each year our Darby Summer Movies Opening Night gets bigger and better. Sometimes the kids dress up, but more and more, everyone wears their favorite Star Wars T-shirts and a good time is had by all.
This is how we set up and what the menu looks like.
The choice of what to serve is pretty much driven by the cutesy names we came up with or found on Pinterest. Thank you, Internets.
I don’t make a big fuss. In fact, the simpler, the better. I usually just pick up most of the menu items at my local grocery store deli.
- Han Sandwiches – ham & cheese on Hawaiian rolls.
- Storm Trooper Scoopers – Tostitos Scoops
- Ewokamole – Guacamole
- 7 Leiah Dip – 7 Layer Dip
- Tie Fighters – Bow tie pasta salad
- Vader Veggies – veggies with Ranch Dressing
- Princess Lays – individual bags of Lays Potato Chips
- Jaba the (Pizza) Hut – Bagel Pizza BItes
For desserts and drinks we have:
- Do or Donut. There is no try. – Assorted Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Wookie Cookies
- Luke Skywater & Vaderade
- Served in red SOLO cups. (See what I did there?)
On this year’s menu, we have:
- Tie Fighter Sliders
- Tatouine Tomato Soup
- General Cheesius Sandwiches
We also have utensils out with the reminder to “Use the Forks.” (I know. Shut up.)
We picked up a Star Wars lap blanket at Target a few years ago which we clip onto our canopy as a backdrop.
I downloaded this cool font called Star Jedi from dafont.com to make our little food identification signs. I found a graphic of the Storm Trooper helmet and printed a bunch out to create a banner. Personally, I use Adobe Photoshop for everything, but any graphics program will work.
Then, I get to bust out my collection of Star Wars toys and scatter them around the table.
The Lego Millenium Falcon (built my Eric and Jon) takes center stage and then we just wait for it to get dark until we are magically transported to a “more civilized age.”
So tonight, and every year on May the 4th, we travel back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
I’ve got my light saber ready and my grandsons are at just about the age where I’m hoping they will catch the same excitement we have over the years shared with their parents.
I’m excited to continue to pass along the fun and magic of Star Wars that captured my imagination back in 1977 with yet another generation.
Also, I’ve got a great team assembled to help me pull it off.
May the Fourth Be With You!