May the 4th is officially Star Wars Day - with fans of the long-running sci-fi saga celebrating all things Star Wars both here and in a galaxy far, far away.
The date was adopted by Jedi wannabes faster than an X-Wing on a trench run following the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, with the arrival of social media introducing the event to a new audience, with the hashtag #MayThe4thBeWithYou now used widely to advertise the occasion. Even the official Star Wars channels get in on the action to share in the fun.
Recent years have seen May 4th’s popularity rise higher than Bespin’s Cloud City thanks to an array of excellent Disney+ series including The Mandalorian, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book Of Boba Fett, while the video game sector continues to embrace the Star Wars universe with the recently released Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
There are now more Star Wars goodies than ever before to pick up, collect and enjoy. So to mark May 4th, I’ve picked out some of my favourite products that are sure to go down easier than Boba Fett into the tentacled maw of the sarlacc pit.
Star Wars Day: Our products picks
The latest game in the Star Wars universe sees players jump back into the boots of Cal Kestis for another swashbuckling, lightsaber-swinging adventure. Some of the more frustrating aspects of its predecessor Jedi: Fallen Order have been chucked into the Death Star’s trash compactor and the combat and puzzle solving is top drawer. It's just been released on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC and looks amazing in 4K. This is going to sell a Sandcrawler-full of copies.
There are many iconic Lego Star Wars models, but perhaps the best-loved is the 1353-piece Millennium Falcon kit. It’ll take longer to complete than a return Kessel Run trip, and it comes with seven Lego figures including Chewbacca, Lando, C-3PO and R2-D2. Not only that, but the set also includes a cargo area, nav computer with rotating chair, a hidden smuggling compartment for your illegal stash of Tatooine blue milk, a holo, bunk and repair tools.
Most of the iconic Star Wars images are imprinted on my brain after watching all the movies over and over again since I first saw A New Hope in the cinema in 1977. So it’s refreshing to see something a little different, and this awesome Japanese design t-shirt showing an AT-AT Walker in full stride on the Hoth surface hits the spot perfectly. It has a retro vibe going on too, with the planetary background reminding me of those Houston Astros' uniforms from the 70s.
There were a few raised eyebrows when Disney got hold of the Star Wars franchise, but with some excellent movies and series under their belts, it's safe to say the Star Wars universe is in safe hands. One of the biggest successes has been The Mandalorian, which has thrilled with its action, special effects and locations - and I love this figure of Mando. I also have to mention the Kenner packaging and design which takes me right back to my youth. If only I had kept some of those original figures!
Remember the 1996 Tamagotchi craze? It was chaos as everyone rushed to grab them either for themselves or for a Christmas gift. The problem was they were sold out everywhere and, with little or no internet back then to secure one, it was a nightmare. They're much easier to get now and come in all colours and varieties - but for Star Wars fans, this is the one to get. Everybody’s favourite bleeping bucket can learn 19 skills and there’s nine mini-games to work through.
I have fond memories of making a giant Death Star cookie at home with my mum when I was a young Padawan - a recipe I'm pretty sure was taken from a magazine at a time when the world was discovering Star Wars for the first time. It was pretty basic stuff but it's stuck in my mind for all these years. This book by Jenn Fujisawa and Marc Sumerak is far more detailed when it comes to delicious products and features delights including Bantha Milk Hot Chocolate, Kublag Curry, Pickled Mynock and Wookie-Ookiees.
Earlier this year, I discovered Displate’s range of art which are all printed on metal sheets and can be easily attached to your walls. Along with a huge selection of band, video game and pop culture artwork, there’s a great selection of official Star Wars artwork. My pick this Star Wars Day goes to this stylised scene showing Vader’s iconic lightsaber showdown with Obi-Wan on the Death Star. If this doesn’t pull you in like a tractor beam, there are dozens of other prints on the Displate website.
I return to Lego for my next Star Wars pick - and that’s because they’ve just announced their brand new X-Wing starfighter. It’s not due for release until May 12, but pre-orders are now being taken directly from their website. It’s made from 1949 pieces and also features a Luke Skywalker figure and R2-D2 who fits snuggly behind the cockpit. The wings can also be adjusted and the finished model can be displayed on a stand. Lego also say that at 55cm long, it's their biggest X-Wing model to date.
Disney+ is home to all things Star Wars. Not only can you watch all the classic films including The Empire Strikes Back and Rogue One, you can also binge on series like The Book Of Boba Fett, The Bad Batch, Andor and more. Don't forget that all three seasons of The Mandalorian are also now available to stream. A monthly sub to Disney+ costs $7.99/£7.99 and along with a Bantha-full of Star Wars content, you'll also get instant access to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star.
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