Star Wars Day, Board Game Style

After the last 14 months, we could all use a trip to a galaxy far, far away right about now (though we would also accept a place from a long, long time ago). Luckily, the perfect day to reproduce this situation is arriving in just a few days. May 4th is Star Wars Day, as in “May the fourth be with you,” which presents a good excuse to fire up the photon blasters and spit-shine a few droid exteriors—so to speak. Here’s more on how to maximize the escapism of the upcoming Star Wars Day:

Transport your playgroup to new and exciting environments

There’s a reason why the games Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island are named as such: The locales are forbidden; trespass only if you dare. But these particular board games, and others taking place within various different biomes, are a welcome respite from a gaming world rooted in modern constructs such as capitalism (Monopoly) and a land of candy (Candy Land). Danger lurks around every corner, and even though deserts and islands exist in abundance here on Earth, most have already been explored—hidden treasures found, hidden beasts slain. Suspend disbelief and pretend you are on Tatooine for an afternoon or fight like heck to defend a fictional Jedi Temple from flooding.

Welcome the rise of the machines

While most board games operate without time limits, some choose to install small hourglasses and wind-up timers to keep things moving forward. Still others go beyond the obvious and offer accompanying soundtracks to be played simultaneously; these contain instructions barked by support characters and an ever-increasing sense of urgency as you approach the end of each audio file. (Space Alert and Escape leap to mind, though there are many games that fall within this category.) But place yourself in the world of Star Wars for a minute: Who knows better about impending doom than droids, aka beings who are set to survive it? Take the liberty to re-record these soundtracks utilizing your best C3-PO impression (we will accept a “Kid A” impression as well) or ask one of the other players to play the role of a droid—an actor still had to inhabit the R2-D2 suit, after all.

Use the force, or not

A true Jedi would never lose at dice. They would be capable of manipulating the roll as it’s being made, ensuring they will never be caught by surprise. Just think of the space credits they could accumulate! But outside of packing loaded dice, no mere mortal can foretell the future of a dice roll—or can they? Imagine rolling one dice 12 times, naming the number five each time. Your odds of accurately predicting the roll are one in six, which translates to a one in six chance you will be able to fabricate the use of the force to your friends. Increase the believability of the story by letting your friends know that you’re a new force-user, and that these kinds of things take time. We guarantee they will only remember the successes, though—better yet, if you fail, wave your hand over their heads and insist you are not the charlatan they are looking for.

Wear a mask

Yes, even though we are 14 months into lockdown, mask wearing remains a necessary precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19 among unvaccinated Americans, particularly indoors. Please, resist the temptation to appear maskless at a board game night for the health and wellbeing of our neighbors. Many Star Wars characters have come before you: Darth Vader, Boba Fett, The Mandalorian and even Kylo Ren, who went so far as to rebuild the mask he shattered for fear that he would unknowingly kick off an intergalactic pandemic. After all, he’s an evil, heartless overlord, but he’s not a monster. And above all else, let the Wookie win.

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