Attention Star Wars fans: The Force Awakens is coming to theaters on Friday! (Thanks, Captain Obvious.) But while you anxiously await the premiere and try to keep your arguments over midi-chlorian counts to a minimum, here’s how you can distract yourself from the anticipation without undermining the suspense.
Recommended: Star Wars: The Force Awakens review
That’s right—you don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to celebrate the most anticipated movie release since, er, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2. There are plenty of events, exhibitions and thematically appropriate adult-beverages to try in NYC this week.
Gorge on Ice Cream
No matter which side of the force you’re on, Ample Hills has a treat for you. The Brooklyn creamery teamed up with Lucasfilm and Disney to create two limited-edition Star Wars flavors: The Light Side (marshmallow ice cream with crispy clusters and coco crispies) and the Dark Side (dark chocolate ice cream with espresso brownie bits, cocoa crispies and white chocolate pearls). Pints are available by the four-pack (two of each, $36) at amplehills.com, and you can pick them up at the shop’s Gowanus location. 305 Nevins St, Brooklyn, (347-725-4061, amplehills.com)
Gawk at Costumes
Princess Leia’s gilded bikini, Darth Vader’s signature mask and a head-to-toe Stormtrooper uniform are all on display at the exhibit “Star Wars and the Power of Costume.” Head to Discovery Times Square to see 70 handmade garments from the franchise’s first six films, along with seven plucked from the new movie. Looking for holiday party wardrobe inspiration? A selection of Queen Amidala’s gowns are on display too. 226 W 44th St (866-987-9692, discoverytsx.com). $27.50, seniors $24; kids 3–11 $20. Through Feb 29.
Show off at Trivia
Round up your wanna-be Jedi friends for a night of Star Wars–themed True Nerd Trivia. Don’t expect questions from prequel episodes I to III, but brush up on everything else, including video games and the infamous holiday special. Team sizes are limited to six, but if you come solo, you’ll get matched with equally saga-obsessed contestants. Think Coffee, 248 Mercer St (212-228-6226, thinkcoffee.com). Wed 16 at 8pm; $1 suggested donation.
Big-time labels like Opening Ceremony and Rag & Bone designed Star Wars–inspired looks for Force 4 Fashion, a charity auction that benefits children’s mental health services, and the brands will likely fetch five times your rent when bidding closes at charitybuzz.com on Friday 18. You can still add a dash of the force to your wardrobe, though: Pop into Forever 21 to snag pieces from its Star Wars collection, which includes gems like an R2D2 sweatshirt and a Jedi bodysuit. Various locations (forever21.com)
Learn to use a Lightsaber
Yes, you read that correctly. Cosplay and stage combat group New York Jedi hosts a weekly lightsaber-wielding course, taught by skilled martial arts instructors. Sabers are provided to Jedi initiates, but more advanced members of the Order are encouraged to bring their own, so long as it’s “battle-ready.” (Your five-year-old nephew’s toy won’t cut it.) Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Ave (212-799-5433, newyorkjedi.com). Thu 17, Jan 7 at 7pm; $10.
Cocktails as strong as the force
Fix yourself a sci-fi inspired cocktail thanks to TY KU Sake. The liquor purveyor suggests that you play the role of a mixologist and try a Dark Side Martini (2oz of TY KY Coconut Nigori, a shot of coffee or espresso, cinnamon and top with Whip Cream) or an Obi TY KU Kenobi (2oz TY KU Sake, fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon/lime/orange juice).
Awaken Your Inner Force Workout
When it comes to working on your fitness, Yoda has the right mindset: "Do or do not, there is no try." Take a hint from the Jedi master (a.k.a instructor Amira Lam) and RSVP for New York Sports Club's Star Wars-themed workout starting this Friday. The 45-minute choreographed, strength-based routine includes martial arts moves, cardiovascular and strength exercises using a light saber. The best part? The workout is free to members and nonmembers alike. Just show up early at the following locations to sign up before the class begins. Soho, 503 Broadway; Fridays at 5:45. Chelsea 270 Eighth Ave; Tuesdays at 5:30pm; Through the end of January.
The Farce Awakens
Once the hysteria surrounding the the new Star Wars flick subsides, Obsolete Cinema wants you to join its mockery Rebel Alliance for “enough spoofs and parodies to sink an Imperial fleet.” The marathon lineup incudes Hardware Wars, Spaceballs, The Star Wars Holiday Special and more on VHS. May the farce be with you. Freddy’s Bar, 627 Fifth Ave, Brooklyn (718-768-0131, freddysbar.com). Dec 27 at 3pm.
Chew(ie) on this
Choc O Pain Bakery & Cafe has transformed the look of their classic sourdough boules to fulfill your Star Wars fever dream. Pre-order a The Force Awakens loaf ASAP if you want to get your carb fix in time for the movie premiere. 157 First St, Hoboken, NJ; 530 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ; Large $8, small $5 (chocopainbakery.com). Pickup only.
Death Star Chicken and Waffles
Sweet Chick is partaking in the fun by serving a Death Star Chicken and Waffles dish with three blueberry balsamic glaze "X-wings," garnished with edible gold stars ($19). YUM.
Written by Leah Faye Cooper