May the Fourth Be With You! Here is what’s going on in Austin to celebrate Star Wars Day

For a few years now, hardcore “Star Wars” have celebrated May 4 as Star Wars Day. It’s a pretty easy pun on “May the Force be with you,” even if “Star Wars” aka “Star Wars: A New Hope” actually debuted May 25, 1977.

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How are Austinites celebrating?

Well, members of the 501st (the living, breathing cosplaying Stormtroopers) may very well be stopping by Dragon’s Lair in the morning and the LEGO store at Barton Creek Mall that afternoon.

Dozens of fans dressed as Rey face off against a tiny Kylo Ren for a group photo at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, FL, on April 16, 2017. Alyssa Vidales/American-Statesman

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The sci-fi film festival Other Worlds Austin is throwing their 3rd Annual Star Wars Day event over at the 4th Tap Brewing Co-operative (10615 Metric Blvd.) from 7 to 11 p.m. May 4. This free event features Star Wars fan films, a costume contest, a Wookiee mating call contest and a new beer called  “The Fist of the Empire.”

According to the news release, “4th Tap will also be renaming their Zephyr served in the taproom to ‘The Iron Knight’ to represent the Light Side of the Force. A third taproom offering will be a ‘black and tan’ with The Fist of the Empire served over The Iron Knight. This special beer will be called ‘The Voss Mystic,’ as it represents the blended or balanced.” Got all that?

C-Boy’s Heart & Soul (2008 S. Congress Ave) is hosting its Second Annual May The 4th Be With Y’all Star Wars celebration from 5 p.m. to midnight.  Kids will be welcome (with parent or guardian) from 5 to 8 p.m.; it will be 21 and older only from 8 p.m. to midnight. The celebration will benefit  Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. Look for the Baffles to perform surf rock versions of “Star Wars” music, local pin-up belly dancer Michelle Manx performs her Oola dance, Saber Guild-Jakku Temple will put on a light saber display, and Fan Force Austin will host a Star Wars trivia game. There will be nail art by Nails Y’all and sweet treats by PMS Bakery.

Beer lovers aren’t being left out, either. Friends & Allies Brewing is launching a new beer on the heels of its grand opening in East Austin: Protocol Droid, a Belgian golden ale with hibiscus and yerba mate. The sassy brew debuts at Banger’s, at 79 Rainey Street, Thursday evening with a Friends & Allies tap takeover that will have four of their other beers on draft. Come in wearing your “Star Wars” costume.

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The dress Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the medal ceremony scene in Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope on display at the Prop Store Ltd. booth at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, FL on April 13-16, 2017. Alyssa Vidales/American-Statesman

Over at the Windsor Park Branch of the Austin Public Library (5833 Westminster Drive) look for a kid-oriented Revenge of the Fifth celebration from 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 5 complete with a costume show, trivia contest, games, prizes, photo booth, button and bookmark crafts and snacks.


SXSW attendees, you’re our only hope: Immerse yourself in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

By Alyssa Vidales, American-Statesman staff (and resident “Star Wars” expert)

Want to join the Rebellion? Your mission awaits at South by Southwest.

A little piece of the Star Wars universe has popped up at Grimes Studio on 500 E. Fifth St. during the South by Southwest Conference and Festival. The space has been transformed into an immersive experience inspired by 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the latest film in the Force-filled franchise.

“Rebel Mission – Escape from Scarif” is open to SXSW badgeholders and offers the opportunity to channel your inner Rogue One crew member to steal the plans to the Death Star and transmit them back to the Rebel Alliance before time runs out.

No blasters required for this mission— participants need only brainpower to save the rebellion from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday this weekend.

The SXSW installation is an escape room-like experience in which small groups of participants must solve a series of puzzles in order to progress through the course. Sights and sounds from the planet Scarif add to the immersive problem-solving mix.

Be careful not to choke on your aspirations – like all escape experiences, the Rebel Mission is timed. Taking too long to steal the plans to the Death Star just might put you face-to-face with the destiny you weren’t looking for.

Some Rebel intelligence worth keeping in mind before venturing out:

  1. Choose your crew wisely. The tasks aren’t easy and take some teamwork to work though. Don’t get cocky, kid.
  2. Think outside the box. Jedi mind tricks won’t work in this mission, but the cellular one in your pocket just might. That is, if you’re like me and aren’t a math wiz.
  3. Trust the Force. Always.

May the Force of others be with you. You’re gonna need it.