Toward the end of the school year, Liam received an invitation to a classmate’s birthday party to be held over the summer. It was to be a Star Wars themed party held for Liam’s classmate and his two younger brothers (who also have birthdays around the same time). I should have known from the invite that this was no simple kiddie party.
The invitation included photoshopped pictures of the kids as Star Wars characters, the characteristic Star Wars font, and the text laid out in that “scrolling into the void of space” way that begins all Star Wars films. This missive was delivered inside a paper towel tube that was dressed up to look like a light saber.
That was just the invitation.
Yesterday was finally party day. Costumes were encouraged so we pulled out Liam’s Luke costume from a couple of Halloweens ago, threw his Jedi robe over the top, and grabbed one of his play lightsabers. I accompanied him to the soiree.
I am beyond mad at myself that I forgot my good camera leaving me only my iPhone for documentation because it was so over the top it had to be seen to be believed.
We walked in to find life size cardboard cutouts of C3PO and R2D2. A photographer was waiting to take Liam’s picture with them. That done, we headed to the REGISTRATION TABLE (for a kid’s birthday – like it was some international conference on human rights) where we picked up our name tags, checked in, and got a light stick for use during “Jedi Training.”
We went on into the hall where the party was being held to find multiple tables of food and drink set up. Everything was labelled as to what it was but using Star Wars themed names – ie “Mace Windu Mac N Cheese.” All of the signage (of which there was plenty) had been lovingly printed out and affixed to stiff boards to make it look as professional as possible.
Liam was instantly overwhelmed.
He went to sit with one of his other classmates while I found the Mom to say hello. She was dressed as Leia from Return of the Jedi.* Dad was Han Solo. Grandma was Queen Amidala. Grandpa was C3P0. The boys were Obi Wan, Luke, and Yoda – wearing costumes that could have walked off the set of the films.
I tried to get Liam to eat something but he was feeling too overwhelmed by it all to even think about food. He seemed very uncomfortable so we just sat together for awhile while he took it all in and got comfortable with everything that was going on. Eventually, it was time to get the festivities rolling and it was like a flashback to Kindergarten Carnival. The kids were divided into small groups. Each of those groups was led by an adult. They took the kids outside and rotated them through a number of party games that had been set up in stations. This took around an hour or so. I don’t know because I was inside talking with other parents where it was cool.
Then they came inside and it was time for the stage show.
Yes, as I stated earlier, there was as stage show.
Two dudes dressed as Jedi got up on the stage and, with microphones (so it was EXTRA loud), they proceeded to lecture the kids on the ways of the force, give them a demonstration of Jedi skills, and then lead them through some basic Jedi training.
And then Darth Vader arrived.
We’re not talking just any Vader here, either. This guy had a primo costume. It was not flimsy. It was not cheap.
So he shows up on the stage and the kids got to battle him one by one with their newfound Jedi skills. Liam, the young padawan, learned his skills well.
Now, all of this took at least another 45 minutes. After the kids did their thing with Vader, they got goodie bags (backpacks with the Jedi logo on it) and homemade lightsabers made out of pool noodles, craft paper, and tape. They went back outside for a Jedi obstacle course and a Death Star shaped piñata that they each got 3 whacks at before it finally broke and there was a grand melee for candy. While this was going on, the parents were given a slip of paper telling us that our child’s photo from their arrival (you know, the one with the droids) was now ready for pickup.
They brought a printer just to print out these pictures.
Finally the kids came back inside. It was now 7:00 pm. The cakes had not yet been cut or served. I told Liam it was time to go, we gathered up our stuff, and went home.
I leave you with a few of the (crappy) pictures I took. I hope it gives you a sense of the completely out of control nature of this party. The kids had a great time and that’s wonderful but the amount of work and money that went into this thing was almost obscene.
There were three cakes (one for each kid) but my picture of the third one is all blurry.
These were kites that they hung from the ceiling as decoration.
Entirely edible Jawa cupcakes.
*After a question from a Twitter friend, I feel compelled to clarify that Mom was dressed as the ass kicking Leia during the Endor raid, not the metal bikini clad Leia during her captivity with Jabba.