Major holidays in springtime: Mother’s Day, Easter Sunday…Star Wars Day? Over the past few years, the fan-created holiday of May the Fourth (get it?) has grown to intergalactic renown. Celebrations, events, even a May 4th-themed sitcom—all in support of our love of Star Wars. And Oregon is at the center of “The Wars,” being the home base for Dark Horse Comics, which has published the Star Wars comic line for the past 24 years, and many authors of Star Wars–related books. We reached out to a few of the writers to get their take on Star Wars and the holiday surrounding it.
We've also rounded up a couple of May 4th events, or, for those of you who would rather spend your Sunday afternoon at home with a six-movie marathon, we’ve got a special Star Wars–inspired cookie recipe to keep your sugar levels up!
Why do you think Star Wars has endured for so long?
“Star Wars fulfills the role myths used to play in our lives. It lets us see the heroes overcome their obstacles in a way that we the viewer’s think, ‘Yeah, that’s what I would’ve done.’” —Randy Stradley, Senior Editor of the Star Wars division at Portland-based Dark Horse Comics, author of Star Wars: Dark Times
“Star Wars has endured because it appeals to the best qualities inside of all of us. It’s a story of aspiration and redemption—that anyone, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can leave the farm on Tatooine and find their destiny among the stars…and that no matter how far a person’s fallen into the abyss, love and family can always bring them back toward the light. Those are some pretty powerful and very human themes that resonate with everyone.” —Jeremy Barlow, author of Darth Maul-Son of Dathomir and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, published by Dark Horse Comics
When it came time to write your Star Wars works, was there any part inspired by or influenced by living in the Pacific Northwest?
“I got the initial idea for the book while attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, right after I rewatched the original trilogy with my old high school friends on a geek weekend.” —Ian Doescher, author of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars (read our interviews with Doescher about Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope and The Empire Striketh Back, as well as an excerpt from his first book)
“I created a whole planet of Central Oregon high desert for an arc of Star Wars: Dark Times. I grew up hunting east of Prineville and wanted to include some of that country in Star Wars. The planet’s name? Prine.” —Stradley
“I set a Clone Wars graphic novel called The Enemy Within—about a Clone Trooper squad lost on a doomed mission—on a planet that was very much inspired by Pacific Northwest terrain. That’s part of the fun of writing Star Wars, you can create any sort of worlds you want!” —Barlow
Do you have any fond memories of the first time you saw Star Wars?
“I saw it first on a week day, first run, on my day off. The theater was mostly empty, and when Darth Vader went spinning off into space at the end, I did a fist pump and said, ‘Sequel!’” —Steve Perry, author of Shadows of the Empire
“For those who remember that time, 1977 was the first year that the Moyer Theatre chain (now defunct) offered discount coupons in a booklet called Fun-Pak. I used every single coupon going to see Star Wars over and over at Beaverton’s Westgate Theater.” —Stradley
“I’m not old enough to have seen A New Hope on its first release, but I remember some kids at school—must’ve been around first grade—spoiling the Vader-is-Luke’s-father reveal before I could see Empire Strikes Back. And I didn’t believe them! So even though I don’t remember seeing A New Hope for the first time, I must’ve had enough Star Wars knowledge at age 6 to still argue about it.” —Barlow
How are you going to spend your May 4th Star Wars Day?
“Are you kidding? Since I took over Dark Horse’s Star Wars line thirteen years ago, every day has been Star Wars Day! This year I might try to sit it out.” —Stradley
“This year I plan to kick back and play some LEGO Star Wars on the ol’ Xbox.” —Barlow
Now that you got the events out of the way, the only thing left to do pop in your copy of the film, and enjoy some Wookiee Cookies. These delectable morsels are the perfect accompaniment for your Star Wars holiday (or any other day for that matter).
Reprinted from The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes by Robin Davis, with the permission of Chronicle Books.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the ocean to 375°F.
- Put the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir with the wooden spoon until well mixed. Set aside.
- Put the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in another mixing bowl. Using the electric mixer set on high speed, beat together until well blended and creamy, about 3 minutes. (You can do this with a wooden spoon, but it will take longer.) Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir with the wooden spoon until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop up a rounded tablespoonful of the dough and drop onto a baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all the dough. Be sure to leave about 1 inch between the cookies because they spread as they bake.
- Using pot holders, put the baking sheets in the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Again, using pot holders, remove the baking sheets from the oven. Lift the cookies from the baking sheets with a spatula , and place on cooling racks. Let cool completely.