A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!
Unless you’ve been living under a Death Star for the last 12 parsecs, you probably know that the 7th Star Wars movie is about to burst onto a screen near you like an angry stormtrooper!
But rather than traveling to a distant galaxy (imagine all those layovers), let’s get our Star Wars fix on—right here on good old Earth!
As Yoda would say—first on our list, San Francisco is.
1.) Yoda Fountain
Located in the southwest corner, outside building B, of the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, this endearing statue of one of the most iconic characters from the franchise, Yoda, is a real favorite amongst visiting fans! Countless gravelly-voiced, backwards-talking impersonations echo through the courtyard, as imaginary lightsabers dance under the ever watchful gaze of the Jedi Master. Just looking into his eyes can make the force stronger in you!
The Letterman Digital Arts Center is home to Lucasfilms, the creators of Star Wars, and is set in a magnificent 17 acres of gardens and lagoons that lead directly to the Golden Gate Bridge via the Presidio Promenade. During the week, fans are allowed to get up close to a 6’6″ Darth Vader who stands menacingly inside the lobby, and if you get past him, you’ll be rewarded with a view of many other Star Wars artifacts!
If you’re having trouble finding this diminutive statue in this impressive campus, remember the words of Yoda: Patience you must have, my young padawan!
2.) Rebel Base—ball?
Not too far, far away.
Even San Francisco’s home baseball team, the Giants, are crazy about Star Wars.
On October 1st, 2016, the Giants are scheduled to be hosting the LA Dodgers in what will be the 6th annual Star Wars event at their stadium! Fans dress up as their favorite characters from the movies to enjoy the game—you may find yourself wedged between a Wookiee and an Ewok as you munch on a hot dog topped with Obi Wan Ketchup! It’s a fun-filled family outing, with many Star Wars themed events and activities taking place before, during, and after the game. Local fans will be hoping the force will be strong with their team, but win or lose, it’s sure to be an amazing day out. If you’re interested in flying out to San Fran for this event, make sure to reserve your stadium seat as early as possible to avoid awakening the dark side of your character!
I wonder how many fans will stand up in the fourth inning and cheer may the fourth be with you? (I fear I would!)
If you can’t make it to this game, but you’re headed to San Francisco anyway, check out the tour of the stadium for its incredible field and Bay views.
3.) Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC
No, you’re not reading the wrong blog!
One of the most unlikely settings to find a tribute to Star Wars villain Darth Vader is on the Washington National Cathedral, but if you look very closely, you will see the Sith Lord staring down at you from high up on the Northwest tower. I wonder if this tower is on the dark side of the cathedral? So, you ask, how did this cathedral in the nation’s capital come to have Vader adorning it’s turrets?
Well, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—just kidding, it was back in the 80’s when the Washington DC cathedral launched a sculpture competition for kids to send in their ideas for gargoyles. The winning entries would then be carved and placed on the cathedral. Evidently Darth Vader came in 3rd, and the rest is history.
Like the Dark Lord himself, the sculpture is not the easiest to find, so follow cathedral instructions and bring binoculars! (And a lightsaber if you have one—just in case!)
4.) TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Formerly named Grauman’s, and also Mann’s Chinese Theatre, this working movie house in Hollywood, California is hallowed ground for countless movie buffs, but holds a special place for Star Wars fans as the venue for the premiere of the original Star Wars back in 1977.
Tourists flock to Los Angeles to visit this Hollywood Hall of Fame site to browse the hand prints and signatures of some of the biggest names in movie history. The must-see slab for Star Wars aficionados contains the footprints of Darth Vader, and the tracks of R2-D2 and C-3PO and yes—these are the droids you’re looking for!
By the way—aside from all the pizzazz and history outside, this is an awesome spot to catch a movie. This Tinseltown theater boasts seating for over 900 and the 3rd largest screen in North America!
Of course, for the more adventurous Skywalker fans out there, you could always fly to Tunisia in about the same time as it took Han and Chewie to make the Kessel run. Many famous scenes from the planet Tatooine were filmed here, and despite shifting sand dunes, visiting super-fans will still be rewarded with some really memorable treasures—including Luke’s house! Awesome.
I’m not sure if there are any available seats to Tunis on the Millenium Falcon this time of year, and anyway—I hear their in-flight food is awful! (But the movies are great!)
Let us know how much you love Star Wars and which character you’d most like to travel with and why, in the comments section below!
May our top 4 be with you!