Boy dressed as Darth Vader with red lightsaber

Ensure the Force is Strong in Your Star Wars Party

No movie series appeals to young and old alike as does Star Wars. Two full generations of Americans know what it’s like to watch these movies as children, making them both entertaining and nostalgic. As a party theme, it appeals equally to children and adults, and there’s lots of things you can do with it.

Costumes

Star Wars costuming is great because it can be very simple or very complex. Several characters can easily be represented by DIY outfits, while more industrious fans can create really masterful pieces.  There’s also a ton of costumes for sale.

Of course, the accessory everyone wants is a lightsaber. There’s a ton of them on the market, some only a couple dollar apiece. You can even make creating them a party project: pool noodles and masking tape work well.

The drawback to lightsabers is that everyone, young and old, wants to hit something the moment they get their hands on one. If your climate is mild, send your partiers outside for epic lightsaber fights. If you’re hiding inside from the cold, however, it’s best if there just aren’t any lightsabers.

Kids dressed up for star wars

Food

There is an unending number of quick food projects settings for a Star Wars party. Just a few include:

  • Using edible marker to turn marshmallows into stormtrooper helmets
  • Creating tie fighters by using icing to adhere marshmallows in between Oreo wafer cookies
  • Dropping a figure of Han Solo into a Jell-O mold, thereby encasing him in colorful carbonite
  • Dipping pretzel rods into candy melts or white chocolate dyed with food coloring to create edible lightsabers

Decorations

What Star Wars party is complete without a Death Star? Transform paper lanterns into these terrifying constructions by spray painting them gray, then creating details by gluing on construction paper and drawing with markers. Or do the same thing with a round piñata and let people take swings at it with a wooden rod painted to look like a lightsaber.

If you’re going to print anything including type, get hold of a Star Wars font to give everything the feel of that iconic logo.

Of course, Star Wars is on everyone’s minds this month, but a Star Wars themed party can be held year round. Whether as part of a birthday party or just an excuse to get friends together, Star Wars is something that calls to the kid in all of us.

Images copyright: jqnoc / 123RF Stock Photo and smile19 / 123RF Stock Photo

Fans in Star Trek uniforms

Celebrating Fandom in All its Geeky Glory

In honor of Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, I figured I give geeks their due. Geeks are stereotyped as shy, socially awkward introverts. Of course, that’s a gross overgeneralizaton. Still, if your friends are hard core geeks, why not throw a party that appeals specifically to them?

These parties can easily accommodate both teens and adults. Children are probably too young, as the theme goes beyond costumes and decorations. It does depend on the theme, however. It’s technically possible to find an entire group of eight-year-olds knowledgeable about Star Wars: the Force Awakens.

Decorations!

Depending on your theme, you might be able to find appropriate cups, plates, banners and other items for sale online. There’s also sites which offer free printable decorations. On top of that, you can employ an appropriate color scheme, such as everything being yellow, blue or red (to represent Star Trek uniforms) or blue (for the TARDIS from Doctor Who). You can name foods after items in the show. Blue punch could be Romulan Ale, for example.

Costumes!

If any party is suited to costumes, it’s a geek party. Many fans already have costumes and look for excuses to wear them. Others can find appropriate attire online or in party or Halloween stores. Some will likely pull something together quickly, like taping a Star Trek insignia to an appropriate colored shirt or doffing a fez and bow tie for Doctor Who.

Games!

Testing fans’ knowledge of their favorite show is always a hit. One game involves writing character names on cards, which are then folded up in a theme-appropriate container (such as the aforementioned fez). The first person draws a card and shows its contents to everyone else. He then asks ten yes-or-no questions and guesses who he is after each question. Give one point for each question, and whoever has the fewest points wins.

Similarly, you can divide players into teams, put quotes in your fez (or whatever), have one team read them out, and have the other team guess who said it. Perhaps give extra points for naming the setting, when appropriate. (Clearly, you can’t pinpoint a single moment when Dr. McCoy said “He’s dead, Jim.” Alternatively, leave quotes that blatant out of the game.)

Viewings!

Consider scheduling a couple episodes of your theme show. Try and get fan favorites so your guests can enjoy them as much as possible. Occasionally, however, a really bad episode works just as well. Judge your audience.

For more fun, have everyone guess how many times a certain phrase will show up in the scheduled episodes. These are things like Mr. Spock’s “fascinating,” The 11th Doctor’s “Geronimo!” Captain Picard’s “make it so,” and even common words like “Enterprise,” or “TARDIS.”

Of course, you don’t have to limit your party to a single genre. Your theme might span multiple TV shows and movies. That makes all of the games significantly harder, and you should at least let people know which shows/movies are included in them. However you throw it, fan-oriented parties are a great way of letting people express their passion for movies or TV shows, and enjoy it with like-minded friends.

Image by Jason Scragz (Flickr: Star Trek) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons