As far as made-up holidays go, Star Wars Day is pretty hard to beat. Celebrated annually on May the 4th in homage to the popular “May the Fourth be with you” pun (despite the fact that the anniversary of the original film is just over two weeks later, making it all the more mystifying that Lucasfilm established the holiday based around a pun, but whatever), it’s become an all-consuming commemoration of everything we love about a galaxy far, far away.
While it’s not quite so transparent a holiday centered around consumerism as, say, Alien Day (which was established by Reebok in 2016 to commemorate the launch of their annual Alien Stomper sneaker drops), it’s impossible to celebrate Star Wars without talking about merchandise. Star Wars merch is sort of the epicenter of pop culture merchandise. It’s the first film franchise to become so fully and inextricably attached to the action figures, props, and collector’s items associated with it and to this day the products themselves are pretty beyond comparison in the grand scheme of pop culture merchandise.
If you’re feeling the pull of the Force (or just have some money to burn), here are some of the best (and some of the weirdest) pieces of Star Wars merchandise with which you can celebrate May the Fourth.
Ever since their debut way back in 2008, Force FX lightsabers have been the cream of the crop when it comes to Star Wars merchandise. There are more high-end collectibles and more accessible toys out there, but they deliver in full on the most universal aspiration of Star Wars fans around the world: to know what it’s like to hold a lightsaber. Crafted to screen-accuracy from die-cast metals, plexiglass, and complex lighting and wiring, they’re a genuinely impressive collectible that any Star Wars fan should have in their collection. While there’s a killer assortment available these days, you can’t go wrong with the recent Mace Windu saber.
Like I said, so much of Star Wars collectibles center around giving fans the chance to feel like they own a piece of the Star Wars universe. And over the last year there’s been no single piece of the Star Wars universe more universally beloved than Baby Yoda. Official merchandise, including a number of replicas of the character, has finally started to hit stores after his surprise reveal in The Mandalorian but none of them can touch Sideshow Collectibles’ screen-accurate and true-to-size recreation of the character. If you, like Werner Herzog, would like to see the baby, this is how to make it happen.
Star Wars merchandise has been around for decades and old collectibles fetch crazy prices on the secondary market. While new merchandise is almost indisputably of higher quality that that which was produced by Kenner back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, there’s definitely a draw in seeing what Star Wars merchandise looked like back in its infancy. If you don’t have the money to blow on an original, check out this reproduction of one of the original Star Wars board games.
LEGO Falcons are always pretty top-tier as far as Star Wars collectibles go. This one, which comes in at over 7,500 pieces, is the best (and most challenging) of them.
Leave your screen-printed Target tees at home and show your fandom in style. This Heroes & Villains-produced bomber jacket is a truly killer bit of Star Wars apparel that looks more like something from your favorite street-style Instagram account than a piece of Star Wars clothing.
Adidas Alphaedge 4D Star Wars ‘Death Star’ | $158-$555
Adidas’s Star Wars collaborations have ranged from classic (those Mace Windu Harden vol 4s remain hard as hell) to catastrophic misses. Consider this one of the former. A subtle colorway paying homage to the Death Star with a select few bits of iconography incorporated into the muted upper, it’s among the best the brand’s collaboration with Star Wars has to offer.
Do you need this? No. Does ANYBODY need this? No. Should you get it anyway? Absolutely. This thing rules.
Anyone who grew up in the era of arcades has likely fantasized about having an arcade cabinet in their home one day. Recently Arcade 1Up has made waves by finally making that dream accessible. Their scaled-down (slightly, that is) replicas of classic arcade cabinet games are affordable and easy to track down, meaning you can finally have a classic Star Wars cabinet game in your home, office, or even bedroom if your whole vibe is “rise and game”.