The Force is Strong in Los Angeles

Star Wars Experiences in LA

Star Wars Secrets of the Empire

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 first annual Empire Con is planned for December and Star Wars Celebration returns to nearby Anaheim in 2020. Until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released on December 20, try to contain the excitement —or, as Yoda says, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

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.

Star Wars Landspeeder

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

Landspeeder Ahead!

The Petersen Automotive Museum presents Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world's largest exhibition of science fiction and fantasy vehicle. 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" at Mann's Chinese Theatre in 1977

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

R2-D2 at Mann's Chinese Theatre in 1977

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)

From here it’s easy to get to Harrison Ford’s star on the Walk of Fame (north side of the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, in front of Musso & Frank Grill) or mosey on down to the “You Are the Star” mural of long gone celebs at 1698 Wilcox - look for R2-D2 in the crowd!

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 right in the heart of Hollywood. Conspire in a corner booth, belly up for a space-inspired cocktail or flaunt your fandom on “Geeks Who Drink” trivia nights. Cosplay encouraged but as their FAQs state: “No projectiles!” – so no one shoots first.

Swordplay LA in Burbank

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

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.