How to Have a 'Star Wars' Day in Los Angeles


It's almost here! It's like Christmas but better. It's the opening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on December 18 (or really the evening of December 17). The expectations are that this film will break all box office records, possibly even taking the crown from "Avatar" for highest grossing film of all time.

So how to honor such a momentous occasion? Here are five sure-fire ways to celebrate your own personal "Star Wars Day" in Los Angeles.

Your Morning Begins with "Star Wars"
Clad in your "Star Wars" pajamas, your day begins by waking up in your Millenium Falcon Bed that's shaped like the iconic cockpit from Hans Solo's famous Falcon. (Thanks, Pottery Barn). Then it's a few minutes (or hours) of meaningful playtime with Sphero's BB-8 droid. Sure, it's not the real BB-8, but this app-enabled toy is a seriously cool gadget that rolls along beside you with a wide range of emotions and expressions. BB-8 spins through your breakfast options, like the "Star Wars" Limited Edition Lucky Charms or perhaps "Star Wars" Toast from the Darth Vader Toaster.

"Star Wars" Shopping
BB-8 thinks you need trendy attire for the big day and suggests hitting the Disney Store at Westfield Culver City Mall or Santa Monica Place to find official "Star Wars" goodies. Maybe a "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Hoodie or a "Star Wars" Lightsaber Skirt is the ticket. Since your journey will eventually end in Hollywood, you can also check out Hot Topic at Hollywood & Highland for the official "Star Wars" Stainless Steel Darth Vader Helmet Necklace. Don't want to deal with brick and mortar stores; then how about some online shopping of cool merch at web retailer, thinkgeek.com/star-wars.

"Star Wars" Footprints at TCL Chinese Theatre
When Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO graced Earth with their presence back in 1977, they honored Hollywood with their footprints and signatures in the forecourt of the TLC Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Mann's Grauman Chinese Theatre). With nearly 200 handprints, footprints and autographs in the concrete, you may have to do some searching. But, a good Jedi Knight knows where to look — it's street side on Hollywood Blvd., just west of the box office between Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, and Eddie Murphy.

"Star Wars" Drinks
It's exhausting gearing up for the momentous "Star Wars" adventure, so drinks are in order. Of course Disneyland and Disney World offer their own themed restaurants, Galatic Grill and Star War Weekend Pop-Ups, respectively. But bring the party with you. Ask your barkeep of choice to mix you a "Star Wars" cocktail like, "The Tatooine" (Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Midori, Orange and Pineapple Juice and a Millennium Falcon Glow Cube) or "The Mustafar" (Stoli Ohranj, Chambord, Cranberry Juice, Sweet-and-Sour, with a Death Star Glow Cube). Okay, the Glow Cubes might only be available at Disney World.

The Big "Star Wars" Show
If "The Force" is with you, you already secured tickets to the Sold Out "Star Wars" Marathon at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre. This marathon beings at 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 17 and screens consecutively the first six "Star Wars" movies before the thrilling finale, the 7:00 p.m. premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

If you are looking just for the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," try catching a screening at either one of the two best movie theatres in Los Angeles — TLC Chinese Imax Theatre or the ArcLight Cinemas' legendary "Cinerama Dome." Although the first showings may be sold out, the ArcLight Hollywood is running the latest saga around-the-clock for a full 24-plus-hours from 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17 through the 2:00 a.m. shows on Saturday, December 19. You're sure to be able to catch a show, even if it is at 2:00 a.m. in the morning.

Whether you're for the Light Side or Dark Side, "May the Force Be With You" on your special "Star Wars" day.

Lori Huck works in television development as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of many film, television, and arts organizations.

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