In case you haven't heard, there's a big new movie coming out this weekend expecting to gross millions of dollars based on an iconic story that's inspired children of all ages for decades. But enough about "Ferdinand."
Yes, there's also a freaking "Star Wars" movie arriving in theaters on Dec. 15, and if you're smart, you've already gotten your tickets, bought a small nation of stuffed animal Porgs, gotten in line and muted anything related to "The Last Jedi" on Twitter because you just KNOW somebody's trying to spoil the movie somewhere (RIP Han Solo). But there's plenty of other ways to geek out this weekend – and here are just a few ways Milwaukee bars, theaters, restaurants and more are hoping to help out.
1. Fan events at Marcus and AMC Theatres
"The Last Jedi" premieres Thursday night, with showings pretty much available at any time you'd think of (need tickets for a 2:40 a.m. showing? YOU'RE COVERED!). But a special movie event like this deserves something more than just showing up at the theater, watching a film and leaving with fond movie memories, a ripped ticket stub and a stomach of Sour Patch Kids as your only souvenirs.
So, both Marcus Theatres and AMC have special presentations of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" arranged for Thursday night, complete with a pack of collective "Star Wars" cards, a free popcorn and exclusive content. Not sure what that exclusive content implies, but as long as it doesn't mean Disney attached another 50-minute "Frozen" short to the front of the movie, consider us intrigued.
The special opening night fan event screenings will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14, at both the AMC Mayfair as well as several Marcus Theatres locations in the area. Act quickly, though, because tickets have already gone fast.
Oh, and if you intend to see "The Last Jedi" more than once – and let's be serious, we're probably going to see it a dozen times even if it sucks – the AMC Mayfair will have a different exclusive "Star Wars" mini-poster each week through Jan. 7 for those seeing "The Last Jedi" in IMAX.
2. The Dagobahr
If you're willing to travel to a galaxy far, far away – or just a few minutes away to Cudahy – you will find a slimy mudhole. Mudhole? Slimy? City Lounge this is! Located at 3455 E. Layton Ave., the local tavern has impressively transformed itself into The Dagobahr, a pop-up bar themed around Yoda's soaked swamp planet and expert Jedi training facility, through Dec. 18. What's in this cover-free bar? Only what you take with you ... oh, and also Star Wars-themed drink specials, Friday and Saturday night dance parties where we can assume they play a lot of Mos Eisley Cantina bar music and much, much more. Hopefully that doesn't mean any rootleaf stew.
3. Boone and Crockett
Unfortunately, Boone and Crockett's now annual "Star Wars" movie release party and after-party is all booked up – so much so they'll close down both the Bay View and Gypsy Taco for the night of "The Last Jedi" premiere on Dec. 14. However, you can still join the nerds from Boone and Crockett in geeking out over the new franchise entry the "Epic Star Wars: The Last Jedi Weekend" package offered by Grand Geneva.
The resort and spa has both one-night and two-night packages including four tickets to an exclusive showing of "The Last Jedi" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Marcus Ridge Cinema, $20 in movie concessions, round-trip transportation, an opportunity to binge the last installments in the Skywalker saga at the resort and spa, and stormtroopers both Friday night and Saturday morning for photo ops (making this the rare time that a visit from Star Wars stormtroopers was a good thing!). Boone and Crockett wants you to join so bad, they even have a special link so you can save an extra 10% off your "Star Wars"-filled stay. No Jedi mind trick needed to convince us to hop aboard!
4. Star Wars Day with the UWM Panthers
Because what doesn't scream "Star Wars" like basketball? Hey, it's a better sport than whatever that weird hologram Cirque du Soleil nightmare was from the Holiday Special.
Anyways, the 6-4 UWM Panthers (complete with an impressive upset win over the Iowa State, becoming the first team to beat the Cyclones in their home opener in 20 years) will host Star Wars Day when they take on the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers at the UWM Panther Arena on Saturday, Dec. 16. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Jedi Pounce bobblehead, while anyone who shows up in costume (Star Wars costume; we don't want any Captain Kirks coming around) will get discounted admission. For an added bonus, it's buy one, get one free tickets for those who bring a toy donation for Children's Hospital.
So rock out your best Kylo Ren costume, save some cash, give a kid a great Christmas and hopefully catch another Panthers win. That's a happy ending for everyone – except Loyola.
5. "Star Wars" trivia
The best part of fandom is having a passion for a work of art or team and sharing that passion with others. The next best part of fandom, however, is rubbing your superior knowledge in the faces of fraudulent wannabe fan posers (it's like if you can't even name the voice actor behind Stormtrooper #4 in the 2008 animated feature "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," then WHY BOTHER SHOWING UP!?). So, of course, just in time for the new movie, several local bars and taverns will host special "Star Wars" trivia nights.
America's Pub Quiz will bring a new collection of questions to Cudahy's City Lounge, The Brass Tap in Greenfield and Karma Bar & Grill. Meanwhile Quizmaster will supply some new "Star Wars" stumpers to Camp Bar's Tosa, Shorewood and Third Ward locations on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Prizes for the Quizmaster contests include first, second and "Best Star Wars Team Name," so get to studying. There is no try.
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.