The idea of Screen-Free Week (May 2-8, 2022) intrigues me. This “annual invitation to play, explore, and rediscover the joys of life beyond ad-supported screens” essentially exists as a method for re-evaluating habits. As somebody who does everything from shopping to gaming to reading predominantly via one screen or another, this seems like a good thing for me to explore. The only hitch? Screen-Free Week encompasses May the Fourth!! I can’t possibly do justice to Star Wars Day without using screens. Or….can I?  

This IS Star Wars we’re talking about, after all. What other franchise spans such a rich range of media? There are movies and tv shows and games….sure. But there are also fantastic novels and short story collections, graphic novels and full-cast audiobooks. And more! That kind of content diversity is in fact what sucked me into Star Wars fandom in the first place. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Screen-Free Week and Star Wars Day do in fact come together just fine! Here are a few of the ways I’m considering spending a Screen-Free Star Wars Day this year.

Perusing Obi-Wan Kenobi Graphic Novels

The first issue of a new, Obi-Wan-centric graphic novel series is releasing May 4, 2022. Written by Christopher Cantwell, each issue of the series will reportedly focus on a different part of Obi-Wan’s life. The unifying thread between issues will be Kenobi himself, reflecting back over his past from Tatooine, recording his thoughts in a journal. What better way to celebrate May the Fourth than to begin a journey like this with one of my favorite characters? (And it’ll help pass the time while I count down the days to the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus show, featuring Ewan McGregor, too. Waiting on that has been rough!)

Two graphic novel covers, both featuring Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, back-to-back with lightsabers in hand. On left, Obi-Wan is a young teenager. On right, Obi-Wan is in his early-twenties. Background on right  is monster with red eyes.

Cover images courtesy of Marvel (c) 2022

Doing Some Star Wars Cooking

Every May the Fourth, I have ambitions to cook all sorts of fancy Star Wars-inspired food. And, because I’m not the world’s most patient cook/baker, I invariably end up making Blue Milk and calling it a day! If I’m not sitting down to a movie, though, I have some time on my hands. Wookiee Cookie Brownies, anyone? Maybe some Crait Fox Scones?

Listening to a Doctor Aphra Adventure

Doctor Aphra is just as fun a character in her full-cast audiobook, written by Sarah Kuhn, as she is in any of her graphic novels. Maybe even more – because the actress voicing her, Emily Woo Zeller, does a great job. Besides the appeal of Aphra herself, the full-cast aspect of this audio experience makes for such rich listening. And perfect for a Screen-Free Star Wars Day. 

Cover image of Doctor Aphra full-cast audiobook, by Sarah Kuhn. Aphra faces the camera, hand on hip, with Vader and two droids in the background.

Audiobook cover art courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing (c) 2020

Exploring the Star Wars: High Republic Period

The High Republic period, which runs about two hundred years before the events of the movies, is currently being fleshed out by the likes of Charles Soule and Claudia Gray, among others. That alone makes me interested in learning more! As yet, the only way to get to know the High Republic is via novels and graphic novels. This makes the High Republic period a great focus for anyone doing a Screen-Free Star Wars Day.

Three covers, all three featuring young Jedi holding lightsabers, poised for action. On left, The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray. In middle, Light of the Jedi, by Charles Soule. On right, Adventures: Volume 1, by Daniel Jose Older and Harvey Tolibao.

Cover art courtesy of Penguin Random House, (c) 2021-22

Listening to Some Star Wars Music 

If I’m going to be spending Star Wars Day without movies and video games, that means I can fill the aural space with some of the amazing music of this franchise. This concert, performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, is one of my favorites. (And yes, it’s on YouTube….but I think if I’m just listening, that can still count as screen-free!) 

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Finishing E.K. Johnston’s Padme Trilogy

Queen’s Hope is the third in author E.K. Johnston’s Padme trilogy – and I’ve been waiting for this one. As a Padme fan, I’ve never been completely satisfied with the development of her movie character. The differences between the Padme (Natalie Portman) of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and the Padme of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith are just too different for me to reconcile! In the first two books of her trilogy, Johnston has done a great job of fleshing out Padme’s character. With this third installment, we’ve reached that very place – between Episodes II and III – that I believe most needs some expansion. Screen-Free Star Wars Day seems like the perfect moment to settle back and let an author like Johnston work her magic for me.

Three book covers, featuring Padme Amidala, books by E.K. Johnston. On left, Padme is in profile, dressed as Queen. In middle, Padme looks to the side, her hair in curls. On right, Padme is featured at three-quarter length, in white attire from Star Wars: Episode II.

Cover art courtesy of LucasFilm Publishing and Disney Books, (c) 2019-22

Getting in Some Star Wars-Inspired Meditation

“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” ~Yoda (in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

If you’re like me and you love your Yoda quotes – and Jedi philosophy in general – you will enjoy books like The Dharma of Star Wars, and The Zen of R2-D2, both by Buddhist scholar Matthew Bortolin. There are additions to this particular genre of contemplative Star Wars writing, like The Jedi Mind, by Amy Ratcliffe, that have been on my TBR pile for a while. I’m thinking that a Star Wars Day that revolves around a thoughtful, screen-free approach might just be a perfect moment to pull one of these out and get a little introspective.

An artistic rendering of Yoda in a tan Jedi robe against a blue background. He sits serenely, in meditative pose.

Cover art courtesy of Chronicle Books (c) 2020

Engaging in Some Star Wars Crafts/Cosplay

My sewing skills are….well, let’s just call me VERY MUCH A BEGINNER. But creating something to cosplay in, or for Halloween, has been a goal for a long time. If, like me, you don’t have the skills to whip up something quickly and easily, Star Wars Day – five months before the Halloween deadline! – is a perfect time to finally get started on a project. If I could fabricate a Princess Leia look for my dog, my Halloween would be just about perfect!

How about you? Do you have a favorite piece of screen-free Star Wars media or activity to add to this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below and on social media!

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