Finally, a day in the year dedicated to "Star Wars." Because in between the now yearly movies and the constant movie rumors and reports and the toys and the TV shows and the franchise's general complete pop culture omnipresence, we really don't talk about and celebrate "Star Wars" enough.
Indeed, it's May the Fourth aka Star Wars day aka that day each year when everybody sounds like they're quoting "Star Wars" with a lisp. And while it is easy to be cynical toward this unofficial holiday – in the same way it's easy to eye roll at Alien Day and Back to the Future Day and Mean Girls Day and Miss Congeniality Day and whatever other arbitrary days pop culture has barnacled onto in the name of peddling you an overdone meme and then some – after the resounding success of "The Force Awakens" last year, it's fun being in the "Star Wars" spirit once again.
In addition to keeping your eyes and ears open for any new "Star Wars" movie news – maybe the Episode VIII subtitle? Or some new "Rogue One" footage? Or, dare I say, a quick Episode VIII teaser trailer? – there are plenty of ways both local and national to celebrate that long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Here are just a few of the ways. Unsurprisingly, none of them involve screenings of the prequels.
1. Brew. Or brew not. There is no try
Coffee geeks and "Star Wars" geeks can unite at Stone Creek Coffee, as the local coffee shop will have a limited offering of two special roasts of the same coffee – a Light Side and a Dark Side – in quite nifty "Star Wars" packaging. The special "Star Wars" roasts are available for $8 in individual half-pound bags in both stores and online, but act quickly because they are in limited supply.
If you manage to avoid being seduced by the Dark Side roast – or the Light Side roast – at Stone Creek Coffee, you could always pay tribute to Princess Leia's unfortunate home planet and grab a cup at Alderaan Coffee at 1560 N. Water St.
2. "Star Wars" trivia
The most important part of being a fan is showing off your bountiful nerdy knowledge to others. Luckily, Quizmaster Trivia agrees, as they will be hosting "Star Wars"-themed trivia nights at both Jack's American Pub and Revel Bar. The contests both begin at 8 p.m. with seating first come first served and prizes given away for first place, second place, best "Star Wars" team name and best costume.
As a bonus, Revel Bar will be playing "Star Wars" movies on all of its screens all night and following up trivia with a special DJ set by DJ Zello playing all sorts of the galaxy's greatest hits. So yes, probably the Mos Eisley Cantina song for an hour or two.
3. Geek out at the geek bar
It would only make sense that 42 Lounge, Milwaukee's go-to geek watering hole, would have something set up for Star Wars Day. And while the bar and lounge is already in the midst of a week-long celebration of something even more special – its three-year anniversary, as well as the one-year anniversary of 42 Ale House in St. Francis – of course they're making some time for "Star Wars" too. So, in addition to $2 off Darth Maultinis, 42 Lounge will host Mos Eisley-themed karaoke tonight starting at 9 p.m. And I think it goes without saying cosplay is welcome.
4. "The Force Awakens" screenings
Judging by the current box office tally, it would seem that we've all seen "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" – and probably about seven times each. So why not make it eight? Over at the West Allis Library, located at 7421 W. National Ave., there will be a free screening of the franchise's latest chapter starting at 6 p.m. For fans in grades five through 12, the St. Francis Public Library will also be showing the movie at 3 p.m., with crafts starting before at 2:15 p.m.
Or, as mind-blowing as this sounds, the film is still – STILL – showing on the big screen at the Marcus Value Cinema in Oak Creek, with times at 4:25 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
If you don't want to make the pilgrimage to the big screen, however, there's always Redbox too.
5. "Star Wars" at the library
For crafty "Star Wars" fans, two Milwaukee Public Library branches will be hosting special May the Fourth crafts events. From 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., the East Branch Library, located at 2320 N. Cramer St., will allow "Star Wars" fans of all ages to create their own paper plate BB-8 (a BB-plate if you will) and fuzzy Chewbacca bookmark, along with other fun Force-themed arts and crafts activities. The Forest Home branch, located at 1432 W. Forest Home Ave., will also have a similar "Star Wars" family-friendly crafts program involving creating your own lightsaber and Yoda puppets.
6. Learn to (board game) battle at Barnes & Noble
There is no shortage of "Star Wars" themed games – video, board or otherwise. Barnes & Noble stores across the area would like to teach you how to play yet another one, some sort of miniature game called Star Wars X-Wing in which you play an X-Wing or two TIE fighters dogfighting against one another, with various expansions to grow the dogfight into epic size. Barnes & Noble locations at Mayfair Mall, Bayshore and Greenfield will all host the game tutorial at 6:30 p.m., while the Brookfield Square Barnes & Noble will begin at 7 p.m. No matter where, however, it seems like a fitting tribute to Star Wars Day – and to our favorite fallen X-Wing pilots. We're still thinking of you, Jek Porkins.
7. Deals, deals and more deals
Of course, there are tons and tons upon tons of "Star Wars"-related deals, discounts and more scattered across national retailers for Star Wars Day. The official "Star Wars" site has a good rundown of many of the deals you can find today – and, in many cases, for the rest of the week – including discounts on your own personal BB-8, Toys 'R' Us bargains, free Target gift cards for buying $50 in "Star Wars" stuff, comics and more.
And in case that didn't give you enough reason to spend some shillings on "Star Wars" swag, here's another good rundown of national brands and retailers getting into the May the Fourth spirit, including deals on the movies at Amazon Video, iTunes, Target and more. And, in case THAT'S not enough, we're sure more nifty one-off "Star Wars" items will pop up over the course of the special day, and if we see any notable ones, we'll plug them right here.
8. Watch this video of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega rapping and dancing and just being the best
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.