Dec. 15 is marked on every Star Wars fan’s calendar — the date when the new saga film The Last Jedi hits theaters.
But this Friday is also a hallowed day, especially for those who love Star Wars stuff, since it’s Force Friday II. The sequel of sorts to the original Force Friday two years ago — which began the merchandising blitz for The Force Awakens — is like Black Friday for hardcore Star Wars nerds, with fans hitting stores looking for new action figures of Daisy Ridley’s Rey and the other heroes, or T-shirts starring Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and the rest of the villainous First Order.
We’re not saying take a day off and just go on a shopping spree, but we’re not not saying that either. Here are five ways to get in the spirit of Force Friday:
1. Go on an augmented-reality treasure hunt.
Taking a page from the Pokémon Go crowd, Star Wars has launched a Find the Force AR event that lets shoppers scan graphics at thousands of retailers worldwide and unlock Last Jedi characters — 15 in all over the weekend. And if you’re visiting Central Park, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hollywood Sign, point your phone to the sky to see a scene unfold involving a Star Destroyer hovering overhead alongside a couple of strafing TIE Fighters.
2. Take R2-D2 for a spin.
There are plenty of things to snag for the young ones: A littleBits droid inventor set ($99.95) marries electronic blocks with Star Wars droids, Hasbro's electronic plush Porg ($49.99) flaps, waddles and chirps, and Radio Flyer is unleashing a Landspeeder ($499.99) like Luke Skywalker had in the original movie (though his didn’t have big wheels). For adults who want to splurge on themselves, there’s a Sphero R2-D2 ($179.99) where you can control the famous astromech droid with a smartphone and interact with Artoo's bleeps and bloops while watching Star Wars films.
3. Build Legos with your kids.
While haven’t seen them in action yet in the movie, a few of the neat new Last Jedi vehicles are available in Lego form — and just waiting to be a Labor Day weekend building project with youngsters. You can find Rey and John Boyega’s Finn battling bad guys in the First Order Heavy Assault Walker ($149.99) set or meet Laura Dern’s character Vice Admiral Holdo onboard the Resistance Bomber ($109.99).
4. Tuck into a good book.
At bedtime, share what happened to fan-favorite droid BB-8 in The Force Awakens between leaving Poe (Oscar Isaac) and finding Rey in the new children’s book BB-8 on the Run by Drew Daywalt (of The Day the Crayons Quit fame). For those wondering more about the backstory of Gwendoline Christie’s mysterious Captain Phasma, the helmeted First Order military lady takes center stage in Delilah S. Dawson’s Phasma. And if you’re a young-adult fan who’s missing Carrie Fisher, Claudia Gray’s Leia reveals for the first time how the princess came to join the Rebel Alliance.
5. Watch the movies (again).
Finish off the day by revisiting one or more digitally, or drag out an old VHS tape or Blu-ray — maybe watch The Force Awakens for the 132nd time to get psyched for The Last Jedi. For those who haven’t seen a lot of director Rian Johnson’s other works, though, perhaps now’s the time to give Brick, The Brothers Bloom and Looper a go.