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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Garland Theater, with the help of Jedi Alliance, to host ‘Star Wars’ celebration on Saturday

The Garland Theater will screen "Rogue One" as part of its May 4 celebrations on Saturday.   (Disney)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

May the fourth be with you.

The historic Garland Theater will host a special event for “Star Wars” fans Saturday, serving themed food and beverages and hosting a showing of “Rogue One,” a 2016 prequel to the original “Star Wars” movie released in 1977.

People have been celebrating an unofficial Star Wars Day on May 4 for years, said Tyler Arnold, co-owner of the Garland Theater and the Jedi Alliance, an arcade and toy museum. All the original “Star Wars” films were released in May and the phrase “May the fourth be with you” is a play on the often-quoted “May the force be with you.”

“Since ‘Star Wars’ came out in 1977 it has become a cultural phenomenon,” he said. “It keeps growing more and more with each generation.”

Arnold has been hosting May 4 events at the Jedi Alliance for years. Last year, he put it on at the Garland in an effort to help the previous owner keep the theater afloat.

“Last year it sold out,” he said.

In addition to the “Star Wars” movies being fun to watch, they also changed the movie business. The original movie was the first to have a toy line tie-in and the invention of the VCR allowed people to buy a copy to keep and rewatch as often as they wanted.

“It really changed our society,” he said. “In 1977 they thought it was going to be a flop. Instead it was hugely popular.”

Those attending the Star Wars Day event are encouraged to come in costume and participate in a costume contest. The winner will be given reserved seating in the balcony for the movie of their choice, Arnold said.

Arnold made the decision to show “Rogue One” because lead actress Felicity Jones is in Spokane filming a movie. He’s made several attempts to reach out to her to invite her to the event.

“It’s a gamble,” he said. “Maybe we can get her to come in, maybe we can’t. How awesome would it be if we can get her to show up?”

Whether the actress comes or not, “Rogue One” is a great movie, Arnold said.

“It’s the best of the new movies,” he said.

The event will include a vintage poster display, photo opportunities with “Star Wars” characters and prizes. People can also silkscreen their own T-shirt.

“I’m trying to make a whole spectacle about it,” Arnold said.

Specialty food and beverages will be available for purchase. In honor of the event, Garland Brew Werks has created “Guava the Hopp,” a pink guava Hazy IPA. The drink is described as “a juicy, tropical Hazy IPA packed with more flavor than you can smuggle onto the Millennium Falcon.”

The menu also includes Bon Bon Lightsaber Bellinis, a mix of peaches and Prosecco. For a nonalcohol option, the Garland Brew Werks also created the “Blue Bantha” raspberry soda, dubbed the official drink of the Kessel run.

Also being served is Wampa Fur (fresh cotton candy), Salacious B. Crumbs (carrot cake cookie sandwich), Nien Num Nums (chocolate chip cooking sandwich) and scruffy looking nerf herders (hot dogs with a choice of toppings, including sauerkraut, relish and deli mustards).

Arnold said he expects to keep hosting Star Wars Day events at the Garland for the foreseeable future.

“We’re going to do this every year, as long as we’re involved,” he said.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and the film begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available online at Arnold said he expects the 500 seats for the event to sell out and said buying tickets in advance is recommended.