(Credit: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
May the force be with you. Though you will have to wait two more years before Episode VII hits theaters, Jedi masters and young Padawans alike can unite now to appreciate the classic films. While you might be tempted to sit at home and host a movie marathon, check out these local events and sites instead to truly celebrate everything Star Wars.
Related: Famous Fans Of Star Wars
Maryland Science Center
601 Light St.
Baltimore, Md. 21230
Price: Free Fridays; free with purchase of museum admission Saturdays
You may not be able to glimpse Tatooine, Naboo or the Degobah system, but the observatory at the Maryland Science Center still offers a view that is out of this world. Attend Stargazing Fridays from 5:30 to 9 p.m. where a computer-controlled telescope allows you to see the planets and stars of our own universe. While there, go ahead and insist that “that’s no moon, it’s a space station.” Also gaze upon our amazing sun on Sungazing Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather as the observatory is outdoors.
Star Wars Toy Museum
811 Camp Meade Road
If you thought you were obsessed with Star Wars, prepare to meet the guy who gives George Lucas a run for his money. The private home of Thomas G. Atkinson
recently became an official nonprofit museum dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of Star Wars memorabilia. The collection began when a 13 year-old Atkinson saw Episode IV: A New Hope and immediately purchased a T-shirt and poster. Thanks to generous donors, it has now grown to more than 13,000 pieces, bedecking the home from floor to ceiling. There are Star Wars-themed toys, trading cards, action figures, clothing, posters and traditional household objects. You will find replica light sabers, Yoda decorated soda cans, a life-sized R2D2, Millenium Falcon models and even a Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head. Please keep in mind that this is a private home, so visitors must make an appointment before stopping by.
(Credit: Getty Images)
Maryland Jedi Order
Catonsville, White Marsh, Hanover, and Rockville
The force is described as “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” It is even recognized as an official religion. If you want to learn the ways of the force, join the Maryland Jedi Order. Members meet in various locations throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia. This is not a role-playing group or fan club, but rather one’s personal spiritual exploration among like-minded people in an open and inclusive environment. Since its inception in 2008, the group has brought into practice the theory introduced in Star Wars, as well as its connection similar real world approaches. May the force be with you, always.
(Credit: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Hunt Valley Inn
245 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley, Md.21031
Dates: May 24 to May 27, 2013
Presented by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, the 47th annual Balticon is perfect for any Star Wars fan looking to learn more about the sci-fi genre. Though the four-day convention occurs later in the month, use this extra time wisely to review all the special guests and events, and maybe even work on your own costume to attend the steampunk ball, medieval dance or masquerade. Visit Artists’ Alley to purchase sci-fi inspired art. There will also be live action role-playing games, film festivals, music, children’s entertainment and writing workshops.
Pam Smith graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in English and a passion for writing. Her adaptive nature led her to work in the scientific, energy supply and business industries while writing on a multitude of topics for various online media. Pam currently resides in Baltimore County. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.