“Can we play Star Wars?”
At some point, it’s a question that nearly every parent will hear. It’s also a question that doesn’t really have a clear answer. What exactly does it mean to ‘play’ Star Wars? It’s a vague concept and despite the unparalleled popularity of the movie franchise, there isn’t really a single make-believe game ⏤ there are plenty of board and video games ⏤ that revolves around Han, Chewie, and the rest of the ragtag crew that makes up the Star Wars universe.
So rather than let you disappoint your little Padawan, we came up with four fun ways to ‘play Star Wars‘ with kids that don’t involve buying a ton of toys or lopping off their hand after boldly declaring that you are, indeed, their father.
Escape the Sarlacc Pit
The Sarlacc is one of the most fierce and horrifying creatures in the Star Wars universe. It’s a massive carnivorous beast that spends 1,000 years painfully digesting its victims. Now kids can find out if they have the skills to escape the Sarlacc’s dangerous clutches.
The game is similar to a scaled-down ‘Sharks and Minnows’ but with a Star Wars twist. One person is designated the Sarlacc while everyone else is a captive of Jabba the Hutt. The only thing needed to play is a good amount of space, preferably a backyard or a park, designated with two “safe areas.”
For the captives, the object of the game is to get from one designated safe area to another without being tagged by the Sarlacc. For the Sarlacc, it’s all about tagging as many people as possible. Once someone is tagged, they join the Sarlacc and the game gets more deadly for those still trying to escape. The last person to remain untouched successfully escaped the dreaded Sarlacc Pit and is declared the winner. (If there are two people, just play until someone is tagged.)
Note: If a parent or older kids are playing, put a few handicaps in place (playing on their knees, having to walk instead of run, counting to “Three Bantha fodders” before running, etc.) so that the younger kids have a chance.
Every great Star Wars adventure begins with a group of rebels trying to steal some top-secret orders from the Empire or First Order. So it stands to reason that basing a kids game around the concept would result in a similar level of action-packed excitement.
‘Rebel Raid’ is sort of a one-sided version of ‘Capture the Flag.’ Divide the players into two teams: The rebels and the stormtroopers. The Empire has to protect their top-secret plans (usually a towel or shirt, really anything that is easy for one person to carry) from the rebel scum. If a rebel is able to successfully steal the plans from the stormtroopers, they win. But if the stormtroopers are able to capture all of the rebels, they maintain dominance over the galaxy.
Note: There should be a safe zone around the “plans” to ensure that the Empire team isn’t puppy guarding. Also, make sure there are more rebels than stormtroopers since they have the harder task.
I Have the High Ground
One of the great Star Wars memes gets the game it so clearly deserves. In all honesty, ‘I Have the High Ground’ is really just ‘King of the Hill’ dipped in a bit of Star Wars mythos. Designate a couch as the ‘High Ground’ and then pick someone to control it. Then the other players do what they can to remove take them down. Anakin may have been a damn fool who lost most of his limbs by trying to take back the high ground in his epic duel against Obi-Wan, but a living room couch is decidedly more forgiving than the lava river of Mustafar.
Note: This game involves a bit of roughhousing, so make sure to establish ground rules in advance to save yourself from an unexpected trip to the hospital. Obviously, don’t designate stairs or a wobbly chair or anything dangerous as the High Ground.
A tried-and-true Star Wars classic, ‘Lightsaber Battles’ are exactly as they sound ⏤ epic swordfights using anything from a broomstick to a plastic toy lightsaber to one of these badass Kyberlight custom sabers. There can be as many or a few rules you see fit and the game doesn’t require any winners or losers ⏤ it’s all about the fun. Whether your kid wants to relive Luke facing off against Vader in Empire or go on a daring rescue mission with a young Obi-Wan, there is no shortage of adventures that can’t be re-enacted with a fake lightsaber and a prolific imagination.