16 Ways to Celebrate the Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Philadelphia

Where to find the marathon screenings, costume brunches, bar crawls and other events catered to the most excited of Philly Star Wars fans.

Artwork by <a href="http://mikehagueillustrated.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Mike Hague</a>

Artwork by Mike Hague

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away … (cue the London Symphony Orchestra).

The force has stood idle for years and now Philadelphia is gearing up for its awakening. In anticipation of the latest Star Wars installment, The Force Awakens, some started lining up outside theaters over a week ago. Yet, there are other ways to respectfully celebrate the release. We’ve dispatched remote probes into the far reaches of space or, er, the city, to create a roundup of events that will leave you well prepared for the epic journey ahead.

Star Wars Quizo

Test your Star Wars knowledge at Slainte Pub. Channel your inner Jedi to recall scenes and details from the past six episodes for a few rounds of quizzo. If the force is strong, perhaps you’ll be able to pull off some mind tricks and take home the gold. Tuesday, December 15th, free,  9 pm, 3000 Market Street.


“Skytalk” podcast will record a live Star Wars episode at WHYY studios on Wednesday. Guest starring the Black Tribbles.

Holiday Tribbilee: The Force Hiccups

Travel at lightspeed to the WHYY studios. The station is inviting you to throw on your Star Wars best and join them for a live recording of Skytalk. The podcast will be recorded with the Black Tribbles, who will discuss the Star Wars Holiday Special with The Franklin Institute’s Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts and singer-songwriter Rachel Rota. Participants can compete in The Match Game and try to win fun prizes. Correction. Do or do not. There is no try. Light fare will be provided by D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats and Dreams Ice Cream Factory. Wednesday, December 16th, 6:30 pm, $10, 150 North 6th Street. 

Movie Movie Live: Star Wars Edition

Dan Scully and Garrett Lewis are celebrating the entire George Lucas saga with a live game show at PhilaMOCA. This month’s panel of talent includes graphic designer Steve Richards, film producer Amanda Frederick, and standup comedian Noah Houlihan. Wednesday, December 16th, 7:30 pm, $5, 531 North 12th Street. 

Return of the Jedi Screening at Atomic City Comics

Atomic City Comics closes out the last of its free weekly Star Wars screenings leading up to The Force Awakens with Return of the Jedi. This screening the night before TFA is released, will be followed by a discussion and Star Wars quizzo. Wednesday, December 16th, 8 pm, free, 638 South Street.

Star Wars: Episode VII Premiere With H.A. Storage at Movie Tavern

H.A. Storage will turn to the dark side when they hit the lights for a screening of Star Wars: Episode VII at Movie Tavern. Engineer professionals will host a two-hour event leading up to the anticipated film. Attendees can expect to be served dinner and enjoy presentations from H.A. partners. Thursday, December 17th, 6 pm, free, Movie Tavern Providence Town Center, 140 Market Street, Collegeville.

Franklin Square hosts a Star Wars night on TK, with its Electrical Spectacle as the backdrop. | Photoshopped image by Jeff Fusco

Franklin Square hosts a Star Wars night on Friday, with its Electrical Spectacle as the backdrop. | Photoshopped image by Jeff Fusco

Franklin Square Star Wars Night

Darth Vader and Baba Fett are joining the Franklin Square holiday celebrations this year. Yet, have no fear; their dark forces are bound to be overpowered by the over 50,000 lights on display in the Square. Take a break from the lights to peruse the Holiday Market for gifts, warm your belly with some hot beverages and indulge in some comfort foods offered by local vendors. Friday, December 18th, 5:30 pm, free, 200 6th Street.

The Force Awakens in IMAX at The Franklin Institute

See the epic space opera the way JJ. Abrams intended it to be seen. The series continues on the large IMAX screen at The Franklin Institute. The museum is home to only one of 20 theaters worldwide that is showing the movie in 70 mm IMAX film format, which is as impressive as it sounds. Be sure to act out all your favorite fight scenes at home. Weapons of any type, including lightsabers, blasters and any other space toys will not be permitted. Yes, we’ve come to that. Thursday, December 17th, 4 am, 7 am, $15 for Non-Members, $14 for Members, 222 North 20th Street.

South Philly Goes to the Movies Bar Crawl

Watching Han Solo maneuver in and out of comets in a Millennium Falcon seems a lot more impressive when you’re buzzed. This year South Philly Movies will take you out of this world, but not before a pre-game pub crawl at the Pub on Passyunk East and Industry Bar. Afterward, head over to United Artist Riverview Plaza for the midnights premiere of The Force Awakens. The ticket (available at either bar) covers your first beer at each bar and admission to the movie. Thursday, Dec 17th, $ 25, 1501, Pub on Passyunk East, East Passyunk Avenue, Instustry Bar, 1401 East Moyamensing Avenue, UA Riverview, 1400 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard.

Craft Your Own Star Wars Regalia at Free Library Of Philadelphia

Bring the adventures of all your favorite intergalactic heroes home. Visit Whitman Branch in South Philadelphia to create your very own light saber and other cool Star Wars crafts. While amidst the stacks be sure to check out the hundreds of Star Wars titles offered in multiple forms, including printed books, e-books, audiobooks and DVDs. This event is for children and families. Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 4 p.m. free, 200 Snyder Avenue.

You could make your own Yoda at a craft session TK at Free Library of TK. | Photo by TK / Flickr

You could make your own Yoda at a craft session Wednesday at the Whitman Branch of the Free Library. | Photo by Rob Sayer / Flickr

Star Wars Marathon at Neshaminy 24 (Sold Out)

AMC is taking its guests on a nearly 17-hour journey to a galaxy far far away. The theater is screening all seven movies back-to-back. Sadly, tickets for the event are sold out but you can still catch the epic awakening on the big screen, in 3D and on IMAX, starting 7 am on Thursday. Keep your eyes peeled for marathon tickets on Craigslist and other classified advertisement sites. Just be willing to pay much more. Thursday, December 17th, various times, $11.89 regular, 3D – $15.39, IMAX $17.79, 660 Neshaminy Mall, Bensalem, PA.

Star Wars Week at Aloosh Hookah Lounge

If you missed out on the marathon tickets there’s always the half marathon. Come blow some smoke at Aloosha Hookah Lounge while viewing the original trilogy back to back. Themed hookah and drinks will be served to get guests hyped for Thursday’s premiere. Anyone wearing a Star Wars related costume gets 20 percent off their hookah. Tuesday, December 15th to Thursday, December 17th, 6 pm, $ 6.27, 3604 Lancaster Avenue.

Jedi Journey: Dinner and Movie Outing for Special Needs Dads

Join MyGOAL Autism and take dad on an interstellar excursion through the Market Fair Mall. The journey includes a TGIF dinner that could satisfy Jabba the Hut followed by the exciting feature presentation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Be sure to register here. Friday, December 18 th, 6 pm, pay as you go, Market Fair Mall, 323 US-1, Princeton, NJ.

Star Wars Art Show

Bucketheads will be placed on pedestals at the 12 oz. Studio art show this weekend. Artists from across the region have been invited to showcase their Star Wars themed art. Over 15 artists have already signed up to participate. Each artists at 12 oz will also paint vinyl storm trooper helmets to be sold and raffled off at the end of the night. Sunday, December 20, 2 pm, free, 300 Crescent Boulevard, Brooklawn, NJ.

City Tap House hosts a Star Wars brunch on Sunday.

City Tap House hosts a Star Wars brunch on Sunday.

Star Wars Brunch

How does Darth Vader eat with that mask on?! Perhaps you’ll find out at the City Tap House this Sunday. Our favorite heros and villans of the galactic saga will grace the Bar & Grill with their presence during a costume brunch followed by a private viewing of The Force Awakens. Tickets include admission to both the brunch buffet and the private screening. Sunday, December 27th, 11 am, $25 for adults, $15 for kids, 3925 Walnut Street. 

Live Star Wars Nativity Scene

On Christmas Eve, there will be a living Star Wars nativity scene at all five locations of Liquid Church in New Jersey. A rep from the church says Princess Leia will stand in as Mary, Han Solo will represent Joseph, Chewbacca will be all the animals in the manger and R2D2 will rep the wise men. What about baby Jesus, you ask? Sadly, it’s not Yoda. “We have a wooden cresh with swaddling clothes to represent Jesus, but no Star Wars character will be in the cresh.” Thursday, December 24 th, 2pm and 4 pm, free, register and look up various locations here. —Josh Middleton

Catch Up on All Six Previous Films in 2 Hours

Want to do a quick refresher on all the other Star Wars films, but don’t have hours and hours of time to devote to it? This clever YouTube user has whittled down all the films into a breezy two hours that hit all the crucial moments, and forget about the ones that aren’t (ahem, Jar Jar Binks). Enjoy!

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