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Galaxy's Edge, fighting Vader, and more: 10 Star Wars experiences no fan should miss
Watching favorite films or bingeing beloved TV shows is helping many of us get through the quarantine. For some, that means a lot of Star Wars. Watching our favorite characters like Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Kylo Ren in the sequel trilogy, and Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian on a screen is entertaining, but we can’t wait to get back out into the world and be able to experience Star Wars in real life.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, though, many of our favorite in-person Star Wars events have been put on hold or pushed back. Some of the most anticipated events of the year, like Star Wars Celebration and the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon Weekend, have been outright canceled. Meanwhile, others have been pushed back on many people’s calendars, like publishing initiatives, visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at a Disney theme park, or cruising the ocean on a Disney Cruise Line Star Wars Day at Sea.
But don’t worry, things like making a Star Wars-themed dinner for friends or dueling a sinister Sith in a Star Wars virtual reality game are all on the horizon. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best Star Wars experiences to look forward to after quarantine is over and things are better, safer, and healthier — as well as a couple of things you can do in the meantime. So get your lightsaber assembled and your spaceship prepped for light speed to enjoy a galaxy far, far away.
01. Visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World or Disneyland
One thing Star Wars fans should not miss out on is being able to live out some of their lifelong Star Wars dreams in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort. Both lands are exactly the same, so it doesn’t matter which one you visit either. Inside the land, you’re transported to the planet Batuu, where Rey, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, and a new Star Wars character Vi Moradi are all looking for new recruits to join their causes.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is filled with unique experiences, including building your own lightsaber or droid, trying blue milk just like Luke Skywalker, and even piloting the Millennium Falcon! The newest attraction inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where you’re captured by the First Order and Kylo Ren and must escape before he gets you to tell him where the rebel base on Batuu is.
Currently, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World is open to guests with a day ticket for Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting at $109 — with plenty of social distancing measures in place. Disneyland Park remains closed, pending state and local government approvals.
02. Sail away on a Disney Cruise Line Star Wars Day at Sea adventure
Disney Cruise Line vacations are fun no matter if you’re going alone, with friends, or with your family. Anyone who is a fan of Star Wars should consider booking a trip on Disney Cruise Line’s Star Wars Day at Sea.
During the themed cruise, one day out of the entire sailing is dedicated strictly to Star Wars. Guests onboard are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character, and young padawans are able to learn the ways of the Force with lightsaber training. Throughout the day, you’ll encounter some of the most beloved Jedi and Sith from the Star Wars universe and indulge in Star Wars-themed eats and treats. And the night will end with a Star Wars-themed fireworks show at sea.
Disney Cruise Line’s Star Wars Day at Sea will return in 2021 starting Jan. 2 through Feb. 27 on select Disney Magic cruises, and prices start at just over $4,000. This is admittedly the priciest experience of the lot, so if it's not your jam, no worries — there's still plenty for you to do elsewhere!
03. Battle Darth Vader at The VOID
The VOID is a virtual reality experience that has locations around the country. One of the options at The VOID that should be done by Star Wars fans is Secrets of the Empire.
The virtual reality experience takes you and three of your friends disguised as Storm Troopers to Mustafar as you seek Imperial intelligence to bring back to the rebellion. While on your mission, you’ll be able to solve puzzles, shoot your blaster, and battle Darth Vader himself! Your guides through the entire experience are Cassian Andor and K-2SO from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The VOID’s Secrets of the Empire can be found at multiple locations around the country, though no official reopening date of any of the locations has been announced.
04. Visit Star Wars filming locations around the world
Star Wars has made temporary homes in filming locations all across the globe including Ireland, Death Valley National Park in America, and Tunisia. Being able to visit some of the locations on which Star Wars was built is any fan’s dream trip. For example, taking a tour of Tunisia, where many Star Wars scenes were filmed, could include a stay at Hotel Sidi Driss, which was used as the location for Luke Skywalker’s childhood home.
But since international travel is on hold for the time being, visiting Redwood National Forest in Northern California seems like the best bet for any U.S.-located Star Wars fan. The locale was used for the speeder bike chases in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and as home to the lovable Ewoks, and both the national park and forest are free to visit and open now.
05. Make a Star Wars-inspired meal
There’s something about making a meal (either for yourself and your family or for friends) that’s so rewarding.
One way to celebrate being together (or back together again once it's safe) is to make a Star Wars-inspired meal using an official Star Wars cookbook. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook has fun recipes from foods inspired by the Disney Parks land, including the fan-favorite Ronto Wraps from Ronto Roasters. For dessert, you might want to consider making a cake based on the popular Disney+ show The Mandalorian, and pair everything with a copycat recipe for blue milk to feel like you’re eating with Luke Skywalker.
The cookbook is $25 from most major online and in-store retailers.
06. Attend Star Wars Celebration
Getting a coveted pass to the yearly Star Wars Celebration is a dream for most Star Wars fans. The convention allows fans of all ages to cosplay as their favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away, learn new information about different aspects of the Star Wars universe, and even meet some of the stars of the films and TV shows.
Even with all of the hype around panels and meeting celebrities many Star Wars fans have loved their whole lives, the best part for many fans is seeing friends they only see once a year.
Because of the pandemic, Celebration has been canceled for 2020, but will be returning to Anaheim, California, at the Anaheim Convention Center Aug. 18-21, 2022. Tickets for the 2022 event are not yet on sale.
07. Run in a Star Wars-themed half marathon
Every year at Walt Disney World there are Star Wars-themed road races. The Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon Weekend is a fun spot to have a unique Star Wars experience and earn some serious bling while running through the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Each Star Wars race weekend has a 5K, 10K, and half marathon distance that people can take on. For the runners who are strong with the Force, they can choose to do the Rival Run Challenge, in which they do a 10K one day and then a half marathon the next. During each race, people are dressed up as their favorite Star Wars characters and there are even Star Wars characters along the course to stop and take photos with.
The next runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon Weekend will take place April 15-18, 2021, at Walt Disney World. The cost ranges from $89 to $409, depending on which race or race challenges you register for.
08. Visit Rancho Obi-Wan to see a massive Star Wars collection
Rancho Obi-Wan sports one of the largest collections of Star Wars memorabilia in the world. The museum started out as a collection from one fan that turned into a quest of sorts to get the best Star Wars merchandise, collectibles, and artifacts around. Now anyone can visit the museum as long as they have a ticket.
Tour groups are small, so you’re sure to get all of your Star Wars questions answered, and maybe even meet the original collector, Steve. Rancho Obi-Wan is an incredible fan tribute to a saga that many people have loved their entire lives.
When Rancho Obi-Wan reopens to the public, tours will be limited. Adult tickets start at $85 for a guided tour.
09. Explore the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is an art museum founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas. The museum will house paintings, photography, cinematic art, and digital art from Lucas' personal collection. The museum will also be home to an impressive Star Wars exhibit featuring never-before-seen artifacts and film strips all curated by Lucas and his executive team.
Even though the museum is not open to the public yet and is still in the construction stages, this is going to be a place to add to any Star Wars fans’ bucket list.
10. See the Yoda Fountain at the Letterman Digital Arts Center
The Letterman Digital Arts Center is the home to LucasFilm’s marketing, online and licensing offices, Industrial Light and Magic, and LucasArts. The office space is located right in the middle of a public green space, making it a perfect spot for a Star Wars fans to get up close with the place where major Star Wars decisions are made.
For anyone visiting, a must-go location is the Yoda fountain, which you might recognize from when it made the rounds earlier this summer on social media after a protestor wrote the words “Black Lives Matter” in green on the base of the statue. This spot is just outside the main entrance to the buildings making it part of the public green space. Snapping a photo in front of the Yoda fountain is a sure way to make any of your friends jealous that you were there.