May the Fourth be with You!
The nerdiest day on the calendar has to be Star Wars Day! Every year on May 4, Star Wars fans around the world celebrate their love for a galaxy far, far away.
As a librarian and a Star Wars fan, I can't think of a better way to mark the occasion than by mining the depths of the library catalogue for hidden gems. Sadly, scruffy nerf herders like me don't have access to the wonders of the Jedi Archive on Coruscant so you’ll just have to settle for the eclectic array of Star Wars-inspired oddities I found in the TPL collection.
Fan-made works are common in any fandom community and, oftentimes, professional artists and creators are eager to get in on the fun. In this case, we've got a collection of musicians, writers and theatre professionals showing off their geekier sides.
Star Wars music fact: The band playing during the Mos Eisley cantina scenes is called Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes! Sadly, those woodwind-playing Bith aliens don't make an appearance on this particular album. Instead, music producers Rick Rubin and Kusatsu asked several electronic music artists to compose pieces using sound effects and dialogue clips from the films. The result is a unique, immersive Star Wars-inspired listening experience.
William Shakespeare's Star Wars : Verily, a Bew Hope by Ian Doescher
The Star Wars films. Written as plays. In the language of Shakespeare. Need I say more?
This off-Broadway musical parody pays homage to the dedication of Star Wars fans. It tells the story of two diehard fans who are determined to perform their Star Wars musical at Comic-Con but must battle Dark Forces and restraining orders along the way!
Merchandising has always been a huge part of the Star Wars fandom. And of the franchise’s commercial success. My personal favourite is probably my Yoda backpack that makes me feel like I’m Luke Skywalker carrying the Jedi Master around the swamps of Dagobah.
From books and TV shows to models and minifigures, LEGO has become a significant part of the Star Wars franchise. In this particular book, you’ll find everything you ever wanted to know about the Star Wars characters that have been made into LEGO minifigures.
An in-depth look at the history and impact of some of North America’s most iconic toys. You’ll find the Star Wars toys on Disc 1, Episode 1.
Looking for a hands-on way to immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe? We've got all your galactic cooking and crafting needs covered.
Puns and food and Star Wars?! What's not to love? In the words of Ahsoka Tano, "this is a new day. A new beginning." So why not start your day with some Luke Skywaffles, a bowl of Han Soloatmeal or one of the other 27 recipes in this digital cookbook.
Whether you're a Jedi Master knitter or still a Padawan learner, this book of official Star Wars knitting patterns is full of geeky goodness. There are porg plushies and a replica Darth Vader pullover sweater but my personal favourite are the detailed R2-D2 mittens with adorable robot noises knitted onto the palms. Beep, Boop, Bloop!
Star Wars and Society
The Star Wars franchise is undoubtedly a cultural phenomenon, impacting filmmaking, popular culture and society more broadly, but it is also a product of the society in which it was created. Analyses of the films demonstrate many of the real world parallels and influences that George Lucas incorporated into his stories.
The Military Science of Star Wars by George Beahm
The complexities of war, it's long-term effects and the blurred lines between good and evil are all major themes throughout the entire Star Wars franchise. Drawing on his experience as a former U.S. Army major, George Beahm discusses the military science in the films, including weaponry, tactics, technology and key battles.
Star Wars and History edited by Nancy R. Reagin and Janice Liedl
Star Wars brought us lawless frontiers, glittering cities, cunning rebels and wondrous technologies. So too has our own history. Written in close collaboration with George Lucas, and including materials from the LucasFilm Archives, this edited volume features 11 essays written by history scholars. It draws parallels between the resistance fighters of the Rebel Alliance and those in the French and Mexican Revolutions, explores the existence of real-life warrior monks, and provides insights into the many characters who are inspired by actual historical figures.
An Unsung Hero
I am C-3PO : The inside story by Anthony Daniels
"I am C-3PO, human/cyborg relations." The uptight, anxious protocol droid built by a young Anakin Skywalker might be one of the most recurring characters in the Star Wars universe, but the man behind the mask is not nearly as well known as his fellow SW actors. In this memoir, Anthony Daniels discusses his personal insights into the character's storyline, from the early stages of development through to the final film, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. He shares behind the scenes details of working with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher and others, as well as the realities of filming on location and wearing a metal suit for long periods of time.
Star Wars has taught me a lot over the years. Of course, there is the Jedi Master Yoda's admonishment to "Do or do not. There is no try." Or, the words of the notorious smuggler and reluctant hero Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds."
But I think the most profound thing I have learned is to always "Let the Wookie win!"
Happy Star Wars Day fellow nerds! May the Fourth Be With You!
And to the followers of the Dark Side, I haven't forgotten about you. Just hold on for one extra day and you can celebrate the “Revenge of the Fifth” on May 5. (In case that reference doesn’t make sense to you, it’s a play on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Puns for everyone!)