While the cheeky use of “May the 4th Be With you” apparently started in the U.K. in 1979 (in a newspaper ad congratulating Margaret Thatcher on becoming Prime Minister), it could be argued that there is no better place to celebrate the May 4 Star Wars Day than California.
Certainly, Disneyland Resort has become a hotbed for the sci-fi-lovers’ observed holiday. Captain Phasma and his stormtroopers will periodically stage a “March of The First Order” through Tomorrowland on the big day, while Rey will be greeting fans in Launch Bay.
And thanks to the quick sell-out for its May 4 festivities, Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort recently announced that they would extend the celebration, holding another cosplay-welcome Disneyland After Dark party on May 9 (9 p.m.–1 a.m.), which will feature live entertainment, more characters, and Star Wars–themed snacks, along with the chance to snag the first pins related to the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story, which premieres May 25. Space Mountain has turned back into the Hyperspace Mountain for a limited time, and the theme park is gradually ramping up to the big debut the Star Wars area, Galaxy’s Edge, which will open in 2019.
It’s a reminder that, really, every day can be Star Wars Day in California. Go to San Diego County’s LEGOLAND California to see the LEGO Star Wars area of Miniland, constructed of 1.5 million LEGOS. In Los Angeles, Star Wars fans can raise a glass at the Jedi-friendly Scum & Villainy Cantina on Hollywood Boulevard, an homage to the raucous Mos Eisley bar in the original Star Wars film (that desert scene, by the way, was filmed in part in Death Valley). The L.A. bar is sci-fi-inclusive: the menu includes delights like the Gold Bourbonkini—which “will give you the courage to slay a Hutt”—as well as the rum-and-agave Grabthar’s Hammer, a nod to the never-say-die fans of Galaxy Quest. For some serious geeking out, come on Wednesdays for Trivia Night.
Or, head to northern California: Pay your respects to the Yoda statue in San Francisco’s The Presidio, or take a hike along the Avenue of the Giants at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, or in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park or Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, which were all populated with Ewoks during filming of Return of the Jedi.
For more ideas on Star Wars getaways in the Golden State, check out Visit California’s and DIY Star Wars Vacations and—to see where Kylo Ren and company might let off steam—California Vacations for the Star Wars Icons.