The tale of Star Wars takes place “in a galaxy far, far away.” But its roots in the San Francisco Bay Area are not so far off, making May 4—also known as May the 4th Be With You or Star Wars Day—a pretty special holiday for fans of the films in the city.
First off, the Presidio has been home to the Star Wars franchise ever since George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, moved his legendary production company, Lucasfilm, from the seclusion of the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County to the decommissioned Army base. The Palace of Fine Arts is said to have inspired the dome-shaped head of R2-D2. And Yoda is a permanent fixture of the fountain outside Lucasfilm’s Presidio headquarters.
San Franciscans can feel the force at a fearsome foursome of Star Wars-themed events today.
The Great Star Theater, 636 Jackson St.
The Empire Strips Back—the Unauthorized Star Wars™ Burlesque Parody hosts a boozy, 21-plus-only dance party with DJ Darth Vader and “Sexy Stormtroopers” while also revealing a peek of its summer show at the Great Star Theatre in Chinatown. An RSVP to this free party from 6 to 8 p.m. scores you one drink ticket and partygoers are encouraged to don their favorite Star Wars attire. Snag your spot here.
Oasis, 298 11th St.
If you’re in the mood for a starry (and maybe even sequined) sequel—what would Star Wars be without its multichapter sagas?—head to Oasis for “the queerest Star Wars celebration around.” Kochina Rude and the Sith Lords of Media Meltdown, Franzia Kafka & Piranha host a galactic-level drag show, starting at 11 p.m. Then boogie down in a Cantina-like atmosphere fit for Tatooine with go-go aliens and droids. Appearing in “High Republic” fashion is encouraged. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. (Though you’re encouraged to make like Yoda and do get tickets; don’t try.)
RecordBarSF, 163 Eddy St.
Close out or break up the night with drinks, dancing and underground house music at retro-themed karaoke bar and lounge RecordBarSF. DJs Lisa Rose, Miss Liv, Redgirl and Meikee Mangnetic keep the beats going for an “immersive video” dance floor with a plethora of projections and computerized dance lighting. You’re encouraged to bring your light sabers and cut a rug dressed as your favorite Star Wars character. Arrive before 11:30 p.m. to skip the cover fee (otherwise $10) and embrace the full bar. But the synths (or should we say Siths?) keeps going till 2 a.m. More info here.
May the 4th is also the perfect time to let out your primal inner Chewbacca call. Word on the street is that there’s a Chewbacca Roaring Contest happening through May 6. Call the mystery number listed on the poster below and do your best Chewbacca impersonation for a chance to win $1,000… at least that’s what the poster says. Roar, baby! Roar!
Christina Campodonico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org