StarWars - The Empire Strikes Back in Lights: Star Wars Takes Over New York City with March to May the 4th Event

By Mulder, 22 march 2024

In an unparalleled celebration that has captured the imagination of New York City and Star Wars fans worldwide, the March to May the 4th campaign, dedicated to heralding the arrival of Star Wars Day on May 4th, officially commenced with grandeur and spectacle on March 21, 2024. The Empire State Building, an emblem of New York’s skyline, served as the focal point for this stellar event, marking a significant moment in the countdown to the globally celebrated Star Wars Day.

As dusk settled over the city, fans and spectators were treated to an extraordinary light show on the façade of the Empire State Building, a display that combined technological wizardry with the timeless appeal of the Star Wars saga. Set to the ominous tones of John Williams’ The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme), this five-minute light show was a choreographed spectacle of scenes celebrating the saga's most iconic villains, including Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and the ubiquitous stormtroopers. The highlight of the evening was the participation of Hayden Christensen, the actor behind the mask of Darth Vader, who led the lighting ceremony, infusing the event with authenticity and a deep connection to the Star Wars lore.

The Empire State Building's transformation into a beacon for Star Wars fandom was marked by several interactive experiences designed to engage fans of all ages. Notably, the 86th Floor Observatory hosted a life-size Funko POP! Darth Vader figure, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the New York City skyline, offering fans a unique photo opportunity. In a nod to the 25th anniversary of LEGO® Star Wars, the LEGO Group unveiled a museum-quality display on the building’s 80th floor, featuring six-foot tall, brick-built recreations of Darth Vader and Darth Maul, further solidifying the Empire State Building's role as a pilgrimage site for fans.

The celebration of Star Wars was not confined to visual displays; the building’s iconic Fifth Avenue Lobby windows were adorned with a special Star Wars display, showcasing imagery of Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and stormtroopers amidst an array of Star Wars merchandise. These installations, alongside select activations throughout the building and within the Observatory Experience, are open to the public through April 29, inviting fans to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe.

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Hasbro and Amazon have teamed up to create an immersive Star Wars experience on the first floor of the Empire State Building. This activation offers visitors the chance to interact with costumed characters, including Darth Vader himself, and explore photo backdrops featuring iconic scenes from the films. The experience is designed to showcase the latest in Star Wars collectibles, including Hasbro Black Series helmets and FX Elite or Kyber Core LIGHTSABER™ collectibles, blending the excitement of retail with the immersive world of Star Wars.

The March to May the 4th campaign is not just a celebration of the Star Wars legacy; it's also an opportunity to unveil a broad range of new products that cater to fans of all ages. Paul Southern, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Commercialization at Lucasfilm, Disney Experiences, shared his enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, We’re excited to unveil a broad range of new products...creating a moment only fit for one of the strongest entertainment brands and most enduring franchises in the world. Among the new products announced are Star Wars dark side timepieces from Citizen Watch, innovative LEGO sets, and collectibles from renowned brands like Just Play and Panasonic.

As the March to May the 4th campaign progresses, fans can look forward to a slew of activities and product launches leading up to Star Wars Day on May 4th. This includes limited edition collections from the Disney Store, such as the Darth Maul Legacy LIGHTSABER™ Set, and a tribute to the 25th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Furthermore, the event also heralded the upcoming theatrical re-release of The Phantom Menace, along with exclusive previews of The Acolyte, the latest addition to the Star Wars streaming universe.

The March to May the 4th campaign represents a unique fusion of fandom, cultural celebration, and commercial innovation, showcasing the enduring appeal of the Star Wars saga. As fans around the globe prepare for Star Wars Day, this event in New York City has set the stage for a global celebration of one of the most beloved franchises in cinematic history. For the latest updates and product reveals, enthusiasts are encouraged to visit, ensuring they remain at the forefront of all things Star Wars

You can discover the official photos in our Flickr page

Photos : Getty Images for The Walt Disney Company