Idea No.

12610

Star Wars Party -6yr- Darth Vader Cake

Award

Date

January 2006

From

Julie in Richmond, VA

Runner Up

Star Wars Party

For my son's 6th birthday all he wanted was the ultimate birthday party.  His expectations were high, and we set out to meet them.  Preparations began 2 months before the actual party.  It was quickly made known that he would like his entire class to be invited and that meant finding a new location as our house wasn't going to cut it.  There are tons of party places, but finding a space that I could work around for my own party proved a task and we finally settled on renting the aerobics room and a small classroom at a local YMCA.  Having identified the time and place it was time to brainstorm what we were actually going to do at this party.  I searched the web, found several things on this site of interest here and there, and you'll see some of those ideas in the final plans, but no where could I find a truly great Star Wars party.  So my husband and I set out to piece together the few things we liked and create our own ultimate birthday party! 

The invitations.  The idea came to us quickly, the reality was a bit harder to grasp, but in the end we pulled it off.  Using card stock, Paint Shop Pro, and a good photo quality printer we created our invitations.  On the front in scrolling tilted tradition Star Wars intro format on a starry black sky was our story:  Padawan Birthday  In a galaxy far, far away on the morning of December 19th in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, a baby boy was born.  He was named Roman and he was strong with the force.  With the rise of a Sith Lord upon them, the jedi council agreed to hide the boy on a little known planet called Earth.  Today, 6 years later, Anakin Skywalker has turned to the darkside, the future of the Jedi is now in jeopardy.  With the rise of Lord Vader, Master Obi Wan Kenobi and master Yoda are being forced into hiding, but not before signaling young Padawan Roman to seek out and train other younglings that show great power in the force.  The light and goodness of the Jedi Order is the only hope to stop the darkness of the Sith.  These new Jedi must be trained.  Now Roman calls together all future Jedi in hopes of saving the galaxy from the Dark Side.  Then on the inside were the party details using a Star Wars font in traditional invitation fashion telling the location, date, time, RSVP information, and inviting the families of said Youngling to join us. Parents and siblings are invited to stay and join in the fun.  Please feel free to dress as your favorite Star Wars character, but know that all blasters and lightsabers may be checked at the door.  Training sabers will be provided.  Come prepared to battle Darth Vader and face the Trials of the Jedi Knights.  And a few lightsaber graphics thrown in for decorations.   

Next was the food.  I really liked a previous entry I read on here about the light vs dark sides theme, especially with the food, so I ran with that, planning food accordingly.  Because this was an afternoon party, only snacks, cake and ice cream were provided.  I made a Darth Vader Cake using a vintage Wilton cake pan, but because of the number of people, I needed more.  I liked the idea of the long saber cake, but that would have been too much, so I modified it and baked 1 standard 9x13 cake and cut it in half.  Each half was shaped to look like a lightsaber, then iced about a with black and grey icing on the handle and the rest in red for darkside and yellow (my son's fav lightsaber color) for the lightside.  In the final presentation it was Darth Vader's head with a lightsaber on either side and came out much cuter than I had even hoped for! 

Other foods included chocolate and vanilla ice cream cups, chocolate dipped pretzel sabers (chuncky pretzel rods partially covered with aluminum foil and the other end dipped in either blue or red icing), Jedi mix and Sith mix M&M's, cheese and crackers, yellow cheeses with wheat crackers on the darkside and white cheeses with club crackers on the lightside, chips and dips black tortillas with salsa and hamburger queso dip on the darkside and white tortillas with guacamole and white cheese dip on the lightside. 

At the end of each side was a corresponding punch - red or green.  Everything was placed in clear rubbermaid containers with lids ahead of time to make it easy for transport.  On the big day the table was setup using a black tablecloth with silver star confetti sprinkled around.  The cakes in the middle with all the jedi snacks and drink to the left and all the sith snacks and drinks to the right.  All the paper products were in solid black except the napkins which were Star Wars III themed napkins fanned out below the Vader cake.  Above the Vader cake on the wall were the Jedi and Sith posters that match up to show Anakin/Vader split face.  And along the walls above the rest of the table were various Jedi or Sith vehicles printed from pictures off the internet.  Oh, and the punch was served in clear plastic cups with glow in the dark straws to light them up.  These were very cool and a HUGE hit with the kids!   

For activities we tossed around a lot of ideas.  In the end we settled on only 3, but they were a lot of work ahead of time.  First I needed something that would keep the kids occupied while everyone was arriving, so I purchased small multi-colored battery operated light swords about 13 long from OrientalTrading.com and we blew up about 50 balloons.  The object was for the kids to come in, be handed a lightsaber, and take a balloon and use the force (well, the light sword at least) to bounce the balloons up and down and keep them off the floor.   The aerobics room provided tons of space for them to run around doing this and everyone had a blast. 

The second activity was dueling practice, and except lining up a few volunteers and renting a few costumes we had very little prep work for it.  Lastly we let them each build their own custom lightsaber!  This took a LOT of preparation.  We used PVC pipe cut into 8 handles and spray painted in a few different colors, then used various piping pieces, household items, and arts/crafts stuff we had several buckets of parts for them to customize their handles.  We also bought smaller pipe, cut into 2 foot sections and spray painted in a variety of fluorescent colors to make the blades.  The blades were prefit to connect to the handles, so on the big day all we really had to do was insert the blade.  For the kids it ended up being a fairly simple project that they could handle, but for us ahead of time it really was a lot of work.     

When the big day arrived we had 10 volunteers and divided into 5 teams each with a different objective in mind…. Decorations, food, activities, crafts, and camera crew.  Each team had 1 box fully prepared for everything they needed.  This was excessive planning on my part, but we had a small window for setup and a lot to be done.  It worked perfectly!  Within 20 minutes the entire place had been transformed into party time. 

As guests began arriving (18 kids ranging in age from 2 , 10 and mostly in the 6 year old range, the adults didn't get counted, but there were a lot of them!), they were greeted by Padme and a Jedi Knight in costumes and given their light swords and taught what to do with the balloons.  Once everyone had arrived and the last kid had a little time with the balloons, we had them put the balloons back in the box and take a seat on the floor forming a big circle. 

At that point Obi Wan came in with a Jedi friend to do a demonstration of how to battle with a lightsaber.  Both were fully dressed in costume and battling with EL lightsabers so the effect was incredible and the kids were in awe.  But then, Darth Vader came in and force pushed the Jedi friend aside and my brother-in-laws Obi Wan and Darth Vader - in their costumes did a mock battle for the kids.  After that the birthday boy came up and was used to demonstrate some techniques with Obi Wan using a regular toy lightsaber (we had bought 3 of them to use just for this, but not for take home stuff), before heading over to Darth Vader to try to defeat him. 

Each child in turn (and a few parents that snuck in line) got a lesson from Obi Wan and a battle with Darth Vader.  The characters were a huge hit with the kids!  In total we had Padme, 2 generic Jedi, Obi Wan, Light Luke, Dark Luke, Darth Vader, and Jango Fett (a Storm Trooper was planned, but couldn't come at the last minute), and the birthday boy was also dressed in full Jedi gear.  After that they were escorted to the smaller class room and told they would be creating their very own, custom made lightsaber handle.  They were very excited and busily started glueing things here and there to customize their handles. 

They were told to leave them there to dry while we went back to the main room for cake and ice cream.  While we were eating and being overall silly, I had a team in the other room quickly assembling the blades to the lightsabers. 

Immediately following cake and ice cream was time to open the presents.  We had a chair up front next to the gift table decorated for the birthday boy and Obi Wan and Darth Vader stood next to him.  When he opened a present and the child's name who brought it was called out, we asked the child to come forward and Obi Wan presented the young Padawan with his/her fully assembled lightsaber!  We then took a picture of the 4 of them (birthday boy, guest child, Obi Wan, and Darth Vader) to later use for thank you notes.  The kids were shocked to see the colorful blades and thrilled to have an actual lightsaber that they made themselves and of course this lead to a bit of craziness towards the end.  Once all the lightsabers had been handed out and the presents opened, daddy presented the birthday boy with his lightsaber. 

There was an immediate look of disappoint on his face when he saw a white blade appear from the bag.  What he didn't know was that his dad had secretly fitted his lightsaber handle with a real electronic board days before and had attached a real EL blade to it (a kit we bought on the internet to create your own lightsaber).  The look on his face when daddy lit it up was priceless and definitely got the attention back of the straggling Padawan's busy dueling in the back. 

Now with lightsabers in hand, we had our young Padawan's take turns using them to beat at a Darth Vader pinata filled with goodies.  They were given bags to pick up their loot and that concluded our party.  Well, officially that ended it, in reality all the kids turned on the characters, especially the real Darth Vader and it took a good half hour to slowly drag everyone away.  No one wanted to leave they were having so much fun.  Each child took home a goodie bag filled with stuff from the pinata and the light sword they used at the beginning of the party, and of course, their own custom made lightsaber!   It was a huge hit that is still being talked about non-stop a month later!

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