Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Star Wars Birthday Party (w/ many photos!)

The littlest Clone Trooper.

I meant to post about my son's STAR WARS party a while ago, but never got around to it.  I'm now determined to do so!

When I started planning my son's party, I knew my mother would be more than happy to jump on board.  She loves planning themed events.  There was a time while we were living in NJ when the running joke was that if there was a "holiday" to celebrate, she'd have a themed dinner for it.  Chinese New Years were always awesome, as were her many other events.  It's one of her creative outlets, me thinks.  But since the move to MD, the themed dinners seemed to tone down a bit, which is nice, but also something I miss.  I wanted this party to be easy to prepare without being skimpy.

This also being my son's first fully themed birthday, with games and party invites, made it just that little bit more special.  Sadly, three of the 6 kids we invited (only one being not related) couldn't attend, but I took this as a nice treat for the others and him, and a good practice run for his next birthday.  He's starting daycare next Tuesday, so there's a higher chance of more non-relative kids being invited.

My mother, husband, and I worked up many ideas, and in the end the party was a success.  We didn't get through all the games... the kids were worn out quickly all but my son and my youngest niece ended up taking naps!  :-p

The Invites

I altered the original images to use for the invites.
Original images from http://www.wallchan.com/ (left) and blogonsushine.blogspot.com (right)

As the invite shows, this party is more of a "Dark Side" or Empire themed Star Wars party.  My son was hooked on all the Star Wars films and the Clone Wars cartoons... but he mainly seemed to like Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the Clone Troopers (and Storm Troopers by default).  I do see the irony thus far in calling him a Padawan in the invite.

The Dinner Menu

We scoured the internet and our own recipes to come up with ideas for party foods.  We came up with names for each item and my mother had tiny images printed out that we could attach to the food-name cards.  (She definitely thinks of details I completely forget about!)


Now for the menu details!!!

Death Star Cantaloup:  2 Cantaloups, one carved as the Death Star, the other being the remains of Alderaan.
Boba Fett-uccine:  Gluten-Free noodles w/ olive oil, butter, herbs, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
Obi-Wan Fruit Kabobs:  Strawberries, grapes, and marshmellows on skewers
Dagobah Salad:  Cold pea salad with cubes of cheeses
Bantha Ribs:  Ribs slow cooked (crockpot) in Bone Suckin' BBQ Sauce
Ewok Salad:  Salad greens with nuts, shredded carrots, raisons, and dried berries.  Mom made a homemade raspberry dressing.
Tusken Raider Taters:  Just some oven baked tater tots
Yoda Soda:  A green party punch with seltzer (for bubblies) and lemon sorbet on top
Chalmun's Canteena Coffee:  unsweetened vanilla flavored iced coffee (sugar on the side)

The Dessert Menu
Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like clones heads on pikes over bloody mounds of dirt!
Dark Side Birthday Boy Cake: Gluten Free chocolate and vanilla (dyed red) cake batters, marbled, with chocolate frosting Clone Ration Cakes: same batters as above, spooned into mason jars and cooked as cupcakes.  Topped with Clone Trooper Candy Pops, following this instructable with personal alterations.  May use a different method next time, as the kids loved the look but didn't like the taste of them.  (We also made Rex for the birthday boy, because Rex rocks!)
Cloud City Floats:  Rootbeer or Sprite topped with vanilla ice cream
Chewie's Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:  Cookies (some with and some without chocolate chips) cut into Star Wars shapes using these cookie cutters.

Vader says, "Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies."

Entertainment / Games
There were no prizes for "winning."
The idea was just to have fun!  It worked!
Star Wars Marathon:  We had all the Star Wars movies and the Clone Wars cartoons available.  I believe we started with the cartoons, and then switched to the movies after the kids started winding down (some having fallen to sleep).
Make A Light Saber:  Using foam swimming noodles (cut in half) and duct tape, the kids made their own light sabers to use for other games.
Jedi Vs. Sith:  Basically, we just let the kids beat on eachother using the foam light sabers they made.  No hits to the head and no tackling (except the kids tackling the adults).  Who were the Jedi and who were the Sith?  Who knows?  The point was just to have fun.  My brothers even joined in this one.
Feed The Rancor:  We took a large moving box (leftover from our move) and cut a hold in it.  My husband took some moving paper leftovers and drew a Rancor beast on it (from Episode 6: Return of the Jedi) and attached it to the box (with a whole for the mouth).  The kids threw bean bag type balls at it to see who could get the most in.
Death Star Scavenger Hunt:  Party favors wrapped in aluminum foil and hidden.  Each with a child's initial on it.
Light vs. Dark Balloon Pop:  Small party favors inserted into balloons.  Several clusters of balloons are tied to chairs and marked with a child's initial.  (These serve as place markers for the seats too!)  The children then pop the balloons, using toothpicks, to find their favor.
Jedi Training:  We didn't get to play this one, but the idea was that we had a bunch of small balloons blown up.  The kids would use their foam light sabers and try to keep the balloons off the ground.  They can keep trying until their balloons pop on the grass.  Sadly, the kids were worn out, so we didn't bother pulling the balloons out.
Birthday Boy Recruitment:  My husband pulled out the costume he made for a convention years ago, complete with voice changer.  It was a character he made up.  He threw it on so he could have an Empire type character give my son a Clone Trooper suit of armor which he made from cardboard and packing paper leftover from our move, which he sculpted and painted.  It turned out great and matched the Rex helmet we got him perfectly.  The best part was the look on my son's face when my husband appeared.  He thought my husband was "Boba Fett"!!!

If cookies weren't enough, the Dark Side also will send
some of their celebrities and a free set of custom made armor!

My mother hate streamers, so we avoided those (this time!), but we hung up a bunch of Star Wars images, mostly in the style of WW1 and WW2 wartime propoganda posters.  The adults enjoyed reading them and getting the humor of them.  We also had balloons tacked and tied around the house and outside.

Overall Review
In the end, the party was a success.  The children and the adults had a good time.  The preparations were easy enough, but were definitely not lacking.  The food was delicious, the games fun.  The children were well occupied until they started running low on energy, and the adults were entertained with inside jokes, little bits of irony ("Your son will remember how Daddy was never around for his birthday cake." and "Great.  The Padawan turned Empire."), and movies that transcend age.
Image from http://www.joecorroney.com/

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