The Force is Strong in Los Angeles

Star Wars Experiences in LA

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire | Photo: Star Wars

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire | Photo: Star Wars


Whether it's May the Fourth (aka Star Wars Day) or any time of year, the Entertainment Capital of the World offers many ways for fans to celebrate Star Wars. Every summer, the music of legendary film composer John Williams is performed at the Hollywood Bowl accompanied by clips from the Star Wars franchise and other classics.

The inaugural Empire Con took place December 8-9 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, and Star Wars Celebration returns to nearby Anaheim in 2020. With the imminent release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on December 20, try to contain the excitement —or, as Yoda says, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

The namesake cocktail from the Galaxy Bar at TCL Chinese Theatres | Photo: @thegalaxyla, Instagram

The namesake cocktail from the Galaxy Bar at TCL Chinese Theatres | Photo: @thegalaxyla, Instagram

Galaxy Bar at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres (Dec. 18, 2019 - Jan. 16, 2020)

The Galaxy Bar is being billed as "a truly immersive intergalactic experience," featuring themed cocktails inspired by The Rise of Skywalker. The pop-up bar is taking over a 5,000 square-foot creative space at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres at Hollywood & Highland (6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028). The Galaxy Bar will be open daily from December 18 through Jan. 16, 2020. Hours are 5pm - 1am.

Advance tickets are $23 and on sale at the Galaxy Bar website. General Admission ticket includes signature cocktail and Galaxy LED bracelet. VIP tickets are $35 and include two cocktails and LED bracelet.

Star Wars at Mann's Chinese Theatre in 1977 | Photo: @chinesetheatres, Instagram

Star Wars at Mann's Chinese Theatre in 1977 | Photo: @chinesetheatres, Instagram

R2-D2 is immortalized in the Forecourt to the Stars at Mann's Chinese Theatre on Aug. 3, 1977 | Photo: TCL Chinese Theatres, Facebook

R2-D2 is immortalized in the Forecourt to the Stars at Mann's Chinese Theatre on Aug. 3, 1977 | Photo: TCL Chinese Theatres, Facebook

TCL Chinese Theatre

Step back in time to when Star Wars premiered at TCL Chinese Theatre (then called Mann’s Chinese Theatre) on May 25, 1977 and measure your feet against the footprints of R2-D2, C-3PO and Darth Vader at the Forecourt of the Stars (6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028).

Cross the street to see Mark Hamill's recently added star on the Walk of Fame (6834 Hollywood Blvd, in front of the El Capitan Theatre), then walk a few blocks east to Harrison Ford’s star on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard, in front of Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028). Keep going east to the famous “You Are the Star” mural of long-gone celebs located on Wilcox Avenue, just south of Hollywood - look for R2-D2 in the crowd!

Star Wars 9 Movie Marathon hosted by Nerdist | Photo: El Capitan Theatre, Facebook

Star Wars 9 Movie Marathon hosted by Nerdist | Photo: El Capitan Theatre, Facebook

Exclusive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie poster | Photo: El Capitan Theatre, Facebook

Exclusive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie poster | Photo: El Capitan Theatre, Facebook

Star Wars 9 Movie Marathon + Movie Poster Giveaway - El Capitan Theatre

Hosted by Nerdist and clocking in at 24 hours and 39 minutes, the epic Star Wars 9 Movie Marathon at El Capitan Theatre will start on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:00pm, and culminate with the first screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Thursday, December 19. In addition to being the first audience to see the latest Star Wars film, all Marathon guests will also see all eight of the previously released films in the Skywalker Saga. Marathon guests will receive a reserved seat for all 9 movies, souvenir credential, meals & snacks, light up Millennium Falcon popcorn container (1 refill), three 20oz bottled drinks, comfort kit, souvenir blanket, exclusive art poster, surprises and more! Tickets are $125 and available by calling 1-800-DISNEY6.

On opening weekend, the El Capitan is giving away an exclusive movie poster (Dec. 19-22, while supplies last). Throughout the movie's run, guests will enjoy a laser and light show, photo op with First Order Stormtroopers, and costume exhibits featuring "Evolution of the Stormtrooper" and costumes from the new movie.

Blue Milkshake from the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" menu | Photo: Alamo Drafthouse

Blue Milkshake from the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" menu | Photo: Alamo Drafthouse

Soba Fett Salad from the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" menu | Photo: Alamo Drafthouse

Soba Fett Salad from the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" menu | Photo: Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse

Located at The Bloc, Alamo Drafthouse (700 W. 7th St. Ste. U240, Los Angeles 90017) loves Star Wars like Luke Skywalker loves atypical milk beverages (i.e. a lot). Beginning December 20, Alamo will fuel your trip to a galaxy far, far away with a themed menu including the Trash Compactor Pizza (bacon lardons, green chile, onion jam, pears, blue cheese, and green onion) and the Soba Fett Salad with buckwheat noodles, avocado, wasabi peas, Brussels sprouts, baby kale, cucumber, sesame seeds, and tofu.

To quench your thirst, there's Luke's fave, the Blue Milkshake (Skyy Infusions Pineapple Vodka, BOLS Blue Curacao, real coconut cream) and the Powerful Dark Force with Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Kahlua, Liber & Co. Orgeat, and Alamo Cold Brew.

Star Wars Landspeeder on loan from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art | Photo: Petersen Automotive Museum, Facebook

Star Wars Landspeeder on loan from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art | Photo: Petersen Automotive Museum, Facebook

Landspeeder Ahead! - Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum presents Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world's largest exhibition of science fiction and fantasy vehicles. See Luke Skywalker’s real-life X-34 Landspeeder, rolling wheels and all, along with other iconic vehicles from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mad Max, Transformers, Blade Runner and more.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

Join the Rebellion in Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience created by The VOID in partnership with Lucasfilm. Accept a mission from Rogue One actor Diego Luna, disguise yourself as a Stormtrooper and infiltrate The Empire, where you’ll fly over the volcanic rivers of Mustafar and spot Darth Vader’s castle in the distance while fighting off Imperial Troops—all at the Glendale Galleria! It’s a 15-minute multisensory thrill, perfect for a group, a date or on your own. Good luck and may the force be with you.

The bar at Scum & Villainy Cantina in Hollywood

Photo: Scum & Villainy Cantina, Facebook

Scum & Villainy Cantina

Anyone who has ever dreamed of hanging in the Mos Eisley Cantina can get pretty close by swinging by Scum & Villainy Cantina (6377 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028), a perfect replica of the intergalactic bar situated in the heart of Hollywood. Conspire in a corner booth, belly up for a space-inspired cocktail, or flaunt your fandom during the monthly "Trivia Quest," featuring questions written in-house by geeks, for geeks with categories such as "This Week in Geek" which tests your knowledge of the latest and greatest in nerd news and geek history in the making. Cosplay encouraged but as their FAQs state: “No projectiles!” – so no one shoots first.

Photo: Swordplay LA, Facebook

Photo: Swordplay LA, Facebook

Swordplay LA

Practice those lightsaber skills at Swordplay LA, a fencing club and stunt fight studio located in beautiful Downtown Burbank. (416 S Victory Blvd, Burbank 91502) The first lesson is free and many actors swear by their Stage Combat Training academy, guaranteed to give LARP-ing duels a boost of authenticity.

Star Wars filming in Death Valley | Photo: Death Valley National Park, Facebook

Star Wars filming in Death Valley | Photo: Death Valley National Park, Facebook

C-3PO meets a National Park Service Ranger in Death Valley

C-3PO meets a National Park Service Ranger | Photo: Death Valley National Park, Facebook

Field Trip to Tatooine

Superfans might want to take the 4.5-hour road trip to Nevada’s Death Valley, where many scenes for Episode IV - A New Hope and Episode VI - Return of the Jedi were shot. Bring your Jawa and Tusken Raider action figures to recreate some of your favorite scenes - and don’t forget the sunscreen! After all, “Tatooine” has two suns and the heat there can be unforgiving.