It’s no secret Star Wars has one of the biggest fanbases in the world, with its iconic lines, bizarre creatures, perilous planets and epic love stories transporting viewers into its intergalactic universe. Whether it’s the much-loved baby grogu that led to you binge-watching the entire franchise in a day, or you’ve been a stalwart fan since the first time that yellow text scrolled through a starry night sky to the sound of John Williams’ trumpeting war drums; you’ll no doubt feel the force pulling you to London when you hear about these Star Wars-related events and experiences.
What better place for Star Wars fans to visit than The Fans Strike Back? Opening April 19, the Star Wars fan exhibition plunges you into the epic space opera with an extensive collection of costumes, photos, sculptures, lego starships and life-sized figurines, all collected and displayed by fans. Make sure to scrub up on your lightsaber skills beforehand, as you might just get the chance to channel your inner Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Darth Vader if you’re feeling particularly moody, in front of a green screen. There’s also the chance to step through the screen in the VR experience, where you’ll be transported into a new galaxy in seconds, no hyperdrive required. The fans’ uncanny replicas will have you looking twice, especially when you lock onto the hazel eyes of a certain green-skinned Jedi Master. Love it, you will.
2. Meet all your favourite Star Wars characters at Madame Tussauds
If uncanny models of beloved characters are what you’re after, Madame Tussauds can deliver. The waxwork connoisseurs have carved out an entire section for Star Wars fans to live out their intergalactic daydreams in, collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney to ensure it’s as authentic as possible. You can explore the misty swamps of Dagobah, square up to the cloaked figure of Darth Vader, practise your best Stormtrooper stalk in the Imperial battle station and even get behind the controls of the Millenium Falcon alongside Chewbacca himself.
3. Relive a scene from Rogue One in the Canary Wharf underground station
If you really want to follow in the footsteps of Star Wars heroes and villains then you could always make a stop at Canary Wharf underground station. Where, with its futuristic look – think brutalist architecture, shiny chrome features, strips of bright white lights and geometric shapes – it was an ideal setting to bring a scene from Rogue One to life. Specifically, a chase scene in a secret Empire facility where Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and K-2S0 ran from stormtroopers. The sleek, clinical vibe of the modern station, paired with the dim lighting thanks to its underground location, was the perfect base for the cold, villainous Empire.
4. Watch the action unfold on the big screen at Kew the Movies
In a botanic garden far far away – well, at the end of the District Line (which is far enough for me), you can sit back and relax whilst watching Star Wars: A New Hope on the big screen. Luna Cinema is bringing their iconic outdoor cinema back to Kew Gardens for their annual Kew the Movies extravaganza and for one night only (September 3), you can stuff your face with popcorn and watch all of that magical Star Wars action play out whilst being, quite literally, under the stars.
5. Join the dark side at The Cocktail Club in Clapham
All this intergalactic adventuring can be thirsty work so we don’t blame you if you fancy toasting to Star Wars with a cocktail or two. Luckily, you can do this at the film-themed Cocktail Club in Clapham, where there’s a dedicated section for laserbrains and nerfherders alike to sip otherworldly concoctions. Decked out with lemon-yellow neon writing welcoming you to the Dark Side (fun fact: yellow is a rare lightsaber colour that we first see on the big screen when it is wielded by Rey in ‘The Rise of Skywalker‘, the colour is thought to reflect a change in identity), hexagonal grey panelling and cantina-style booths you can pretend you’re joining Han Solo for a drink after a successful smuggling mission.
6. Embark on an eye-opening adventure at the Science Museum
Part of the magic of Star Wars is the otherworldly adventures that unfold in the fascinating, mysterious and often beautiful, realm of space. Science fiction has the power to transport viewers into galaxies far, far away with mesmerising visuals and compelling characters, and, as one of the most iconic film franchises ever, Star Wars is a testament to that. If watching the films makes you want to explore the solar system and the role it plays in TV and film today you’ll want to check out ‘Science Fiction: Journey To The Edge Of Imagination’. The wondrous exhibition at The Science Museum takes you on a journey through the cosmos, looking at how science fiction creators build new worlds to better understand our own. Tickets are £15.
7. Stock up on galactic goods at Forbidden Planet
One place that should be at the top of any merch-loving fan’s list is Forbidden Planet. Brimming with toys, collectables, posters and comics it is the biggest science-fiction, fantasy and cult entertainment retailer in the world. You can easily while away the hours perusing the shelves of its branch in central London, flicking through graphic novels, stocking up on Lego Star Wars and maybe even picking up a galactic storybook so you can pass on your passion for the films to your young padawan.