Star Wars Jedi Party -5yr- Secret Jedi Training
Cindy in Minneapolis, MN, USA
I started planning my son's 5th Star Wars birthday party two months in advance, using some of the ideas on this and other websites and using some of my own.
Invitations: Using Adobe Photoshop, I created a 5x7 image using a night sky background. Then I added the standard text in a dark yellow font that many have used on this site, inviting padawans to his JEDI TRAINING ACADEMY birthday party. I used Photoshop's Warp Text function to make the text scroll vertically across the invitation like in the movie intro. I added images of a Tie-Fighter and the Millennium Falcon that I found from various sources. I sent them off to snapfish.com for printing because I didn't want to use all the black ink required for the starry space background. When I received them in the mail, I then used white card stock and glued the pictures to the cardstock so that the invitations would not feel flimsy.
Decorations: Because of the February winter weather, we had an indoor party. We have an in-house gym that I transformed into a Jedi training facility. I printed clip art from Star Wars biggest villains on 8x11 sheets and taped them to one side of the gym as targets, labeling them The Rebel Alliance's Most Wanted. I used black and blue table cloths for the various tables with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black streamers. I printed various character masks that I got off the starwars.com website and used them as wall decorations.
Activities: Upon arrival, guests entered with signs leading them to the Secret Jedi Training Camp. I was in a full Padme Amidala costume and my husband was in a full Obi-wan Jedi costume that I had sewn for him. The 20 padawans were directed to our theater room that has stadium seating, where they were instructed to put on their Jedi Robes, Utility belt, and Padawan Badge. Prior to the party, I asked all of my friends to give me their old white T-Shirts, which I cut a slit down the front and dyed chocolate brown for the boys. This took a lot of dye!
For the girls, I used Men's Med white shirts, which fit them like robes. I made black utility belts for the boys out of 1 nylon strapping with 1 strap adjusters as the belt buckle. I then made a large pocket and some short, narrow 1 loops that they could hang their blasters or light sabers. For the girls, I used white 1 strapping, white 1 adjusters, and pink pouches that I outlined with gold and silver glitter. The Padawan badges hung around their necks and were 4x5 cardstock that I had reinforced. Each badge had an image of R2D2 and Yoda with a Star Wars logo in the center and listed the 3 challenges that they would be facing: Lava Pit Challenge, Blaster Target Training/ Force Training, and Light Saber Training. After all the padawans were given their training materials, I welcomed them to the training academy and explained the 3 main events. Then I had them all line up and follow me to the training facility(gym).
1st Event: I tied a very thick rope to the basketball hoop backboard and doubled it up and put a knot in it where they could hold on to. I attached an 8 high lava water fall to the face of the backboard. The waterfall was made out of ¼ long shiny red strips. At the starting point was a 2 tier step stool that they climbed. They had to grab the rope, and swing across the lava and find a path to safety. On the floor I had taped two red table cloths and I cut out of brown paper bags big stepping stones that I had painted brown. I used red Christmas garland and shiny gift bag filler to fill the lava pit.
2nd Event: We split the kids into two teams green and blue, because we only had 10 blasters. The green team first did the blaster target training using the nerf blasters. I had put 5 darts in the utility belts for each padawan. Their goal was to hit the targets on the wall. In hindsight, I would do this event only with the simple nerf blasters because the kids had a hard time cocking the big fancy multi-chamber blasters. The blue team used a light saber to strike a small plastic ball that we hung from the ceiling. At first the blue team padawans hit the ball without a blind fold, and then once they got the hang of it, they used a blind fold, to 'use the force' to find the ball. (This mimicked one of Luke Skywalker's training activities.)
3rd Event: The Final Event was the light saber training. To prepare, I wrote a script using ideas off of the Jedi Training Academy at Disney world. I recruited friends to be Darth Maul and Darth Vader. I sewed the Maul costume and purchased a full latex Darth Maul mask on eBay. I used a Vader costume that my husband purchased for the previous Halloween. Because not all the padawans have light sabers, I made 6 extra sabers and 2 double-ended light sabers for Darth Maul and his opponent. I went to Home Depot and I used ½ PVC pipe and other ¾ fittings to make the sabers. I then sanded them and painted them and finished the handles off with shiny duct tape and ½ pipe insulation.
Our Darth Maul studied Ray Park's Maul YouTube video and other YouTube light saber tutorials to learn the Maul spinning moves. During practice, I thought it was so much fun, I learned them alongside him. And in the end, we decided that not only would Vader and Obi-Wan fight, Padme and Maul would duel as well. The actual event began with us gathering all the padawans to one side of the gym behind a 3 high barrier. I played the Star Wars Jedi music and Obi Wan entered and started spinning his light saber and did some dramatic moves. He then began with the Who Wants to be a Jedi? script.
He called the green team to the floor to predetermined spots labeled with blue tape. He taught them a three move combination. Then, he taught the blue team. After he was done, I cued up the Darth Vader entrance music as he entered. He tried to seduce the padawans to join him and the dark side. Then I cued up the Darth Maul Fates music as Maul entered and did a spinning combination that really mesmerized the kids. Obi-Wan instructed the kids that they must confront the dark side and each padawan battled Vader and/or Maul using the combination that they had learned.
After all the kids were done, then Vader once more tried to seduce the padawans bragging about the power of the dark side. Obi Wan mocked Vader and told him that Padme could beat his Maul. Padme and Maul performed a choreographed duel where Maul beat Padme. Padme then called out to the birthday boy to use the force to banish Maul.
After that, I turned down the lights and turned on the Fates music once more. Vader and Obi Wan then battled using real light sabers that glowed in the dark. Obi Wan was victorious and banished Vader. Obi Wan then called all the Padawans to celebrate with birthday cake. The padawans then enjoyed a Darth Vader birthday cake and had free play for the rest of the party. Before leaving, the padawans extracted their party favors using metal thongs from a large inflatable death star.
Everyone enjoyed the party, although a few of the younger padawans were intimidated by some of the activities at first. The events were scheduled to be 2 hours long, and ended up taking only 1.5 hours, so we had some free play. We've left some of the activities set up because the kids don't want to take them down. My costs for the party totaled $250 for 20 guests, including costumes/sabers which we will reuse. It was all worth it.