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Star Wars Party for the Whole Family

Planning a Star Wars party is almost as fun as the party itself. The opportunities seem endless, with six episodes to choose from and countless characters to include.

I was about ten years old when a friend and her dad took me to see the very first Star Wars movie, you know, the one that is referred to as Episode Four these days. As a child, I had an irrational fear of robotic things (seeing the Terminator a few years later didn't help!) and my seven year old son laughed at me as I recently told him how I lost it in the theater and my friend's dad had to sit with me in the lobby during almost the whole movie. The reason I told him this is because at his Star Wars Party, he has his little heart set on getting a Darth Vadar voice-changer mask. I can see it now, he will stand over me in the morning as I sleep and wake me in Darth Vadar's evil voice with "Luke, I am your father!" (which is a running joke here these days).

It is very interesting to me to see how the Star Wars saga has spanned almost thirty years (yes I am telling my age here!). It's cool for me to see how it feeds on everyone - the good vs. evil theme is universal, the characters are both nostalgic for those of us who were there "in the beginning" and are also embraced by our kids' generation.

So, I was not the least bit surprised when my son announced that he wanted a Star Wars party for his birthday this year. It actually sounds like a lot of fun for both him and his friends and also their parents and some of our friends too.

I'm sure my son is not the only one who wants a Star Wars party, so I decided to write this article with tips and ideas for planning one.

Where

Because our Star Wars party is in the summer, it will primarily be outside. However, we will decorate our living room too. Also, if appropriate, have the party at night to take advantage of glow in the dark decorations.

Invitations

You can get some cool invitations with one of the Shindigz "Kit and Kaboodle" kits, or you can make your own using some phrases like "On (Party Date), in a galaxy far, far away, (Birthday Child's name) was born. Little did he/she know he/she was the Chosen One. Now you have been chosen to come train to become a Jedi… May the Force Be With You" or "It Is Your Destiny ... to Come to This Party!"

Decorations

For our Star Wars party, I'll get the decorations at Shindigz. They have a great assortment of Star Wars cups, plates, and other party supplies. I order from them for all of our parties because they have a huge selection and especially because they have great deals with their "Kit-n-Kaboodles." These are full sets of themed party supplies, instead of having to buy everything separately. They include themed plates, napkins, invitations, balloons, cutlery, cups, napkins, and a table cover. Getting all of this separately would cost at least twice what Shindigz does! Since our party will be bigger than just the kids, I'll order some black and gold solid plates, napkins, etc. too.

Since the tableware is all taken care of, here are some other decorating ideas:
-> Black and metallic balloons and streamers can give a spacey, technological kind of look.
-> You can hang glow in the dark planets and stars from the ceiling too - just use black thread.
-> Metallic gossamer, or even better, Shindigz offers glow-star gossamer, can be hung on the walls.
-> Put Star Wars movie posters and life-size stand-ups around the party room or area. You can also take pictures of the guests with the stand-ups too.
-> For kids, you can have a Death Star centerpiece or piñata - just get a ball sized piñata and paint it gray.
-> Inexpensive Star Wars action figures can be displayed around the party area.

Costumes

Part of the Star Wars party decorations can be yourselves and your guests. You can mention on the invitations that people can come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character. You can also make really easy Jedi costumes (especially for the kids) with a piece of cloth that has a slit cut halfway down the middle; drape it over the child with the two sides meeting in the front and tie it on with another piece of cloth. Princess Leia can be a wig, belt and white bathrode. Han Solo just needs jeans, open shirt and vest. Darth Vadar can be just a flowing black cape and mask (and black clothing). BuyCostumes has some great Star Wars costumes, as do CostumeMan.

Favors

Shindigz has a great Star Wars party favor bag that is a small black duffel with some Star Wars party themed things in it. If your party is just for kids and is somewhat small (or if the cost doesn't matter), this is great - especially if you can go for the Biggest Favor pack. Another idea is to get several of the stadium cups (they are less than a dollar each) and fill them with candy, glow sticks, and Star Wars stickers. Oversized bags of candy, glow toys by the dozen, and stickers are all available inexpensively at Oriental Trading Company, Inc..
Doing something like this works out well if you aren't sure how many kids are actually coming. Some parties are by invite only, but ours tend to be "the more the merrier!" and I want to be sure that every child gets a favor cup to take home. Better to have too many than not enough, right? Other ideas are to get an inexpensive light saber for each child (they were only $5.59 at the last store I looked in) and/or include small action figures (also around $5.00 or under) in their goody bags.

Food

Well, for the Star Wars party I was planning, I wanted to have "Light Saber" hot dogs and other barbeque/picnic type foods, but my son wants pizza. Since it's his party, he'll get what he wants. Here are some other ideas. In one of the movies, a blue drink is served, so we'll have some blue Kool-Aid or Gatorade punch. And a lot of the snack foods served will be in the form of sticks, like light sabers - carrot and celery sticks (with ranch dip), maybe some fruit kabobs or watermelon cut into sticks, long pretzels, Twizzlers…

Cake

Local bakeries and grocery stores can make a nice Star Wars party cake for you, but if you want to do your own, here are a few ideas I came across online: (1) a light saber cake - very simple, just bake a sheet cake and cut and arrange to be really long and then ice it whatever color saber your child wants, with the "handle" iced gray or black. (2) More complicated but really neat is to make an R2D2 cake - round cakes and another layer baked in a bowl to make his head. Ice white and decorate with candies to make him look like R2D2. (3) A sheet cake with inexpensive action heroes on top - it could be made into a scene or they figures could be arranged as though they are posing for a photo.

Games/Entertainment

I couldn't believe all the awesome ideas I found when I was researching the Star Wars party. Here are some of them:

-> For younger kids, a moon bounce is a great idea!
-> For older kids, LaserTag (need I say more?)
-> You can have each child make their own light saber out of foam noodles and silver duct tape for the handle. Very inexpensive.

-> Pretend light saber duels. This can be free play or it can be contests. It can also be to destroy the Death Star piñata!
-> If it's summer, you can have water gun duels in the back yard.
-> Star Wars board games like Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly - you can get them at AreYouGame.com
-> Death Star Toss (hot potato)
-> Of course, have the Star Wars music soundtrack playing throughout the whole party!
-> And lastly, watching one or several of the movies can be part of the party. We plan on having the kids go crazy during daylight, but when it starts getting dark, we'll pop some popcorn and pop in one of the movies.

When my son first said he wanted a Star Wars party, I was thinking we'd keep it simple, a few decorations, a couple hours, cake and ice cream. But now that I've researched and found so many great ideas, as always, the party will be much more elaborate than I first envisioned and I can't wait!

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Copyright © 2004-2010 Cheryl Williams Levey. All Rights Reserved.