Playtime: May the 4th Be With You and Free Comic Book Day

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Showing at the Edmonds Library May 4.

Social media may be to blame, but it feels like everyday is National “Something or Other” Day. March has “Pi” Day on 3-14, when people focus more on the dessert than the math. In April alone, there is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, National Siblings Day, National High Five Day, and National Pigs in a Blanket Day. While sometimes these “Days” are mentioned at home — for instance, National Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19 is good for an excuse to say “Arrrrgh” — very few are actually observed. Except for, that is, Star Wars Day on May 4.

StarWars.com says that once the Internet allowed fans around the world to connect, May 4 “soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it ‘Star Wars Day.’” In order to hear the pun turned “rallying cry,” the site suggests you say “May the 4th Be With You” out loud.

While it took fans on the Internet to start the day, the earliest use in pop culture was in 1979 and involved Margaret Thatcher. Author Alan Arnold explains that when Thatcher won the election, becoming Britain’s first woman prime minister, her party celebrated by taking out an ad, referring to the date of her victory, that said “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.” Arnold considered it “further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.”

All these years later, it still holds true. We have been to Star Wars-themed Silvertips and Aquasox games, a large number of the T-shirts and Halloween costumes in this house are Star Wars related, and we have sent out two Star Wars-themed holiday cards — three if you count Spaceballs. The way we “celebrated” Star Wars Day last year was by hanging a Darth Vader shower curtain that I got on clearance at Target. We decided to make it a  (albeit weird) tradition. Continuing with the whole “clearance at Target” theme, I saw some Star Wars party decorations with the red and white clearance sticker on them and will hang up a few of those this year, as well. There are much better ways of celebrating the day locally!

The Friends of the Edmonds Library posts some good stuff on their Instagram account and that is where I found out about the library’s May 4 showing of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” at 4 p.m. The Sno-Isle calendar for the Edmonds Library has this event listed for teens, tweens, and all ages, but they also mention this movie is PG-13 and may not be suitable for those 12 and under. It is worth noting, there is an awful lot of death in this movie. Before we decided to take my kids, both under the recommended age, I polled friends whose kids are similar ages to mine and came to the decision it was OK. For more information on this screening, you can call the library at 425-771-1933.

The Lego Store at Alderwood Mall is also celebrating Star Wars Day. On May 4, kids can come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character and complete a “Search & Find” activity to earn wearable Yoda ears. At 5 p.m. on the 4th, kids ages 6 to 14 who pre-register can participate in a mini-figure speed build challenge for a chance to earn a free mini figure. I called the store to ask about the event and was told you can pre-register by phone at 425-640-2281, and that there is still space available. The store will also have Star Wars Day-related deals on Legos from the 4th through the 7th.

Another fun and upcoming event, celebrated on the first Saturday each May, is Free Comic Book Day. On May 6, comic book stores all over will be handing out a free comic to those who stop by and there are often really great deals on the other comics as well. Our comic book store of choice is Phantom Zone Comics, 16825 48th Ave. W. #137, Lynnwood, down the street from Meadowdale High School. This small shop has been owner-operated each time I’ve visited. It’s not as easy as it seems to just go to a comic book store and grab a couple of titles for your kids. We’ve always had great service here including finding much needed Green Lantern Rings for my color blind son who can actually see green or just the right comic to go with a birthday present. Their Free Comic Book Day runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but from what I’ve seen in the past, the stores tend to run out of the free titles at some point during the day. The last Free Comic Book Day we went to at Phantom Zone also involved finding some great sale comic books for the kids. You can find their Facebook event page HERE.

There will also be Free Comic Book Day events at Subspace Comics between the Regal Cinema and H-Mart in Lynnwood, you can find their Facebook event page HERE and A World of Collections: Games, Comics & Cards in Edmonds next to Ranch Market. This place has “Games, Comics & Cards” on the outside, which I can never remember in that order and they are also a good destination for Pokemon Cards, you can find their Facebook event page HERE.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her on Twitter trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” @jen_marx.

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