Throwing a Star Wars themed birthday party is a fun and easy way to celebrate the birthday of the next generation of Jedi masters. For decades, kids have pretended to fight with light sabers, feared Darth Vader and cheered when the Death Star blew up. The original generation of “Star Wars” fans are now turning their own kids to the obsession, and it’s the perfect idea for a birthday party theme that will delight both generations.
First decide on which area of the “Star Wars” universe the party will focus – the original trilogy of films? The later prequel films? Or even the spin-off cartoon series? All offer plenty of imaginative character options and worlds to explore. Once you’ve settled on the characters and worlds available to you, you can tailor party games, activities and treats to those films. And although there are plenty of places to buy “Star Wars” toys and gear, you don’t need to go overboard. A little do-it-yourself work and imagination will help transform any party into one from a galaxy far, far away.
USE THE FORCE
Of course, at the center of any “Star Wars” adventure is the force, the mystical power that binds the universe together and endows its masters with almost magical powers. Luke Skywalker, the hero at the center of the saga, battles a remote with a light saber while blindfolded. Adapt a standard party game with a Jedi twist. The partygoers can use the force themselves as they are blindfolded and play “Pin the Tail on the Bantha” – a creature from the original film.
The bantha is easily constructed from construction paper – it resembles a shaggy elephant with curved ram horns. A quick internet search will show you what these look like as they lumber through the deserts of Tatooine, or that same internet search may lead you to buy a poster instead. All you need to complete the game are a handful of attachable tails and strips of tape, and of course the blindfold. Then the kids will need to “use the force” as they attempt to attach the tail to the bantha while blindfolded. The one who is closest to the spot wins a small prize, of course – perhaps space-themed pencils, or glow-in-the-dark star stickers.
Go ahead and adapt other favorite party games with a “Star Wars” twist. Under the guise of “Jedi training,” any number of activities can lead to the greater goal of becoming a master of the force. Use the famous theme music from the movies for a game of musical chairs. Only a true Jedi will triumph at the end!
“Red Light, Green Light” can instead be “Jedi, Sith” – on the word “Jedi” the kids are allowed to advance as far as they can while the leader’s back is turned. But turn around to the dark side of the force, and say “Sith” and all the runners must freeze.
If you’ve got a good color printer, create a bingo game using different characters, locations and space ships from the series. Create a unique card for each guest, and the cut up and mix the images in a big bowl. Draw them out one by one and the first to get four in a row wins a prize. You could also send the partygoers on a scavenger hunt, searching for well-hidden toys, figurines or other “Star Wars” trinkets around the house or yard.
DESTROY THE DEATH STAR
The conclusion of the original “Star Wars” movie is the destruction of the menacing Death Star, a space station the size of a moon. Any worthy “Star Wars” fan has dreamed of firing the shots that trigger the decisive explosion. So what better way to create that thrilling experience than by creating a Death Star piñata? A moon-shaped one is especially easy since all you need is a big round balloon as your mold.
Start with a sturdy round balloon. Then you’ll need strips of newspaper and a homemade paste for your papier maché. The paste is a simple combination of flour and water –you can find various recipes online. You’ll just need about a cup of flour. Then add water until it is a smooth paste, with the consistency of heavy cream. Drag the strips of newspaper through the paste, then plaster smoothly onto the balloon. You can suspend the balloon from a string tied over the work area. Be careful because you will be making a mess. Cover the entire sphere, and then allow to dry overnight. Repeat this process two to three times until you’ve got a hard shell. A simple pin-prick will deflate the balloon inside. Then, cut a small hatch in the back side and remove the balloon remnants. This is where the candy will go in.
Once dry, it’s time to decorate the piñata. Cover the entire surface with a silver paint, then add details like the lines along the equator and the large circle on the upper half for the laser cannon. Make two small holes through the top and thread string through the holes to hang the piñata. Fill about a third of the way with candy. Decorated and full of treats, it won’t be long until it’s bashed to bits. And although any old sturdy stick or broom handle will do the job, it’ll carry the party theme through even more if you decorate it as a light saber for kids to wield. You just need to cover the length of the stick in blue, red or green paper with a silver duck tape handle, and the young Jedis will be ready to swing away.
MAY THE CAKE BE WITH YOU
Every young “Star Wars” fan has a treasure trove of figurines to play with – all of which can easily be washed and put to duty as cake decorations. That galaxy far, far away is filled with planets that each have a distinctive atmosphere. This means you can decorate a cake to inhabit one of those worlds and use the corresponding figurines to make a scene. There are the sandy deserts of Tatooine, which just need some yellow icing and yellow sugar sprinkles as C-3PO and R2-D2 wander around, lost. Or there’s the ice planet Hoth, with heaps of white icing to be the snow surrounding Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Or add a few drops of food coloring, and that could be the green forests of Endor, where the ewoks help Princess Leia.
If you’re skilled with an icing bag, you can execute a two-dimensional design on a regular sheet cake. “Star Wars” is so popular that any internet search will yield plenty of skilled creations to inspire you – plus plenty of pictures and info to help with your design. You could create the Millennium Falcon speeding against a backdrop of stars. A green and red light saber can clash. Yoda can declare “Happy Birthday I wish you.” There are even special cake pans available for purchase in the shape of characters like Darth Vader and R2-D2, if you want a three-dimensional look.
With so many characters and worlds, the “Star Wars” universe offers almost limitless possibilities in planning an excellent birthday party.