The Empire State Building is illuminated with red lights, outlining an image of Darth Vader, against the backdrop of New York City’s skyline at night.

Star Wars Takes Over the Empire State Building with Product Reveals, a Light Show, and More! 

By Jennifer Chalifoux

It’s almost time again for the Star Wars fan-favorite holiday: May the 4th.

Hayden Christensen sits beside a large sculpture of Darth Vader inside the Empire State Building. He wears a black sweater, pants, loafers, a dark gray blazer, and coat. Above the sculpture is a black arch adorned with "Star Wars," "THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING," and a Lucasfilm trademark, against the backdrop of the New York City skyline.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust

We kicked off the official March to May the 4th last week, as Disney Consumer Products and Lucasfilm took over the Empire State Building with product reveals, activities, and news spotlighting the villains of the Star Wars galaxy—all commenced by Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen.

Darth Vader, wielding a red lightsaber, stands before a red circle featuring a mountain in a poster promoting the 2025 Star Wars Celebration in Japan. Surrounding the circle is a branch adorned with purple flowers, while small gray planes dot the background. The bottom of the poster displays the text: "JAPAN 2025 STAR WARS CELEBRATION."

First on the list of exciting announcements: We have an update about Star Wars Celebration, the Ultimate Star Wars Fan Event, taking place April 18–20, 2025, in Japan. Tickets for Star Wars Celebration 2025 will go on sale Thursday, May 2, at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET.

The key art for the event has been created in the traditional black-ink painting style known as sumi-e, with Darth Vader placed in the foreground. Brush strokes extend from the Sith Lord to the branches of a cherry blossom tree, leading to AT-ATs, X-wings, and TIE fighters. The Rising Sun of the Japanese flag balances the image, with Mount Fuji featured in its center. For more information, visit

In a poster for the movie Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn (left) and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (right) stand back-to-back, holding green and blue lightsabers respectively, dressed in brown Jedi robes. Above them, Natalie Portman as Queen Padmé Amidala wears a red and gold velvet gown with draped sleeves and a gold and red headpiece, her black hair wrapped around it, seated on a metallic throne with orange velvet. Behind Padmé Amidala, Darth Maul's piercing eyes loom. The poster features text from top to bottom: "25th ANNIVERSARY," "EVERY SAGA HAS A BEGINNING," "STAR WARS EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE RETURNS TO THEATERS MAY 3RD, 2024," "WITH AN EXCLUSIVE LOOK AT THE UPCOMING DISNEY+ STAR WARS SERIES THE ACOLYTE," followed by credits for talent and creatives.

Next, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is celebrating its 25th anniversary! Fans can soon experience a limited-time re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in theaters beginning May 3, to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary. In addition, fans will also be treated to an exclusive look at The Acolyte, the upcoming Disney+ series set during the High Republic era, following all The Phantom Menace screenings. The upcoming Disney+ series, set approximately 100 years before The Phantom Menace, launches exclusively on Disney+ June 4.

On May 4, in honor of both the film’s anniversary and the Star Wars fan holiday, fans will have the opportunity to see all nine episodes of the Skywalker Saga in theaters for a premium marathon event. Those attending will receive a limited-edition poster. Tickets are on sale now.

A collectible Salvaged Stormtrooper Helmet Bucket served with popcorn is pictured on muddy terrain.

Planning a visit to Disney Parks? From April 5 to June 2, 2024, Disneyland Park guests can enjoy new experiences and limited-time Star Wars offerings during Season of the Force, including Hyperspace Mountain, themed food and beverages, merchandise, and more.

For a limited time beginning May 4, while supplies last, guests can purchase the collectible Salvaged Stormtrooper Helmet Bucket at select locations—served with popcorn, french fries, or Galma Garlic Puffs, depending on location—throughout Disneyland Resort. Also debuting during Season of the Force, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will provide a fresh perspective on the fireworks above Disneyland Park on select nights, with galactic music sweeping through the spires. For more information, visit

Coming in May, for a limited time while supplies last, the Salvaged Stormtrooper Helmet Bucket will also be available for purchase at select locations throughout Disney‘s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. You won’t want to miss it!

In a poster for the Star Wars Season of the Force event, a young girl is holding a green lightsaber. From top to bottom, the poster reads: “Star Wars Season of the Force,” “4.5.24-6.2.24.”

During select nights in April and May, Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite will grant guests of all ages special after-hours access to Disneyland Park with the purchase of a separate event admission ticket. Enjoy Star Wars character sightings, event-themed menu selections, and exciting entertainment—including lightsaber instruction and a costume cavalcade, a celebration that invites guests dressed in Star Wars costumes to join in a march down Main Street, U.S.A.! Plus, discover special Star Wars-themed photo opportunities, merchandise and more!

The ticket to this event also includes admission to Disneyland Park as early as 6:00 p.m.—that’s 3 hours before the party begins—on the valid date of your ticket. Guests with a ticket to this event do not need to make a theme park reservation to enter Disneyland Park at 6:00 p.m. or later.

In a kitchen, a TruMoo Star Wars Blue Milk product (left) is on a table. To its right is a Stormtrooper Cookie Jar holds two cookies, resting on two books.

New products across a variety of categories were also recently revealed, including exciting first-time collaborations for Star Wars with Fisher-Price for their Imaginext® Star Wars Darth Vader Bot and Dairy Farmers of America for their TruMoo Star Wars Blue Milk, coming in April.

The future-predicting Force N’ Telling Vader toy from Hasbro is pictured inside and outside of its box.


A Darth Vader holiday animatronic from The Home Depot, holding a candy cane instead of a lightsaber.

Additional new reveals include the future-predicting Force N’ Telling Vader toy from Hasbro, the first of three new Star Wars dark side timepieces from Citizen Watch – STAR WARS™ | Citizen Imperial Stormtrooper, collectibles themed to Star Wars starships from Jazwares, and Darth Vader- and stormtrooper-inspired holiday animatronics from The Home Depot.

A boy standing outside the “THE STAR TRADER” store is wearing a white T-Shirt that reads “MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU 2024.”

Two boys are sporting Star Wars hoodies in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The hoodies, black in color, proudly display "25 Star Wars Episode I Phantom Menace" on their backs. In the backdrop of the photo, a haze of red fog sets the scene.

Plus, Disney Store unveiled collections launching in the weeks leading up to May the 4th, including May the 4th Be With You 2024, Star Wars Artist Series by Will Gay, a thrilling collection created in honor of the 25th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and a refresh of Star Wars roleplay apparel and accessories.

A boy wearing a black Darth Vader hoodie with red detailing is holding up the Darth Maul Legacy LIGHTSABER Set inside a box with neon yellow details.

Disney Store also announced The Sith Apprentice: Darth Maul Legacy LIGHTSABER TM Set – Limited Edition, complete with light and musical effects, launching on May 4, 2024, at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET.

The cover of the book "Star Wars Icons: Darth Vader" displays the text "STAR WARS ICONS: VADER" against a backdrop of a red circle divided diagonally into four equal parts, then further sliced horizontally into unequal parts. In a preview of the book's contents, a red-hued photo featuring Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters is visible in the background.

Readers can unmask one of the most memorable characters of all time and discover the incredible story behind the creation and the legacy of the galaxy’s most complex character, Darth Vader, in Star Wars Icons: Darth Vader. This new book, coming soon by Insight Editions, covers the character’s journey, from his genesis in George Lucas’ first drafts of Star Wars to Anakin Skywalker’s tragic fall to the Dark Side in the prequel trilogy, and beyond.

The Empire State Building illuminated, depicting two Star Wars characters engaged in combat with blue and red lightsabers. The building is adorned with hues of red, blue, and purple. The nighttime skyline of New York City forms the background of the photo.

Closing out the festivities at the Empire State Building takeover was a 5-minute dynamic light show featuring fan-favorite scenes from Star Wars films and streaming series—with a special focus on villains including Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, stormtroopers, and more. The spectacle was synched to John Williams’ “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme),” which was played simultaneously on iHeartMedia’s Z100 New York radio station and on the iHeartRadio app.

A life-size doll of Darth Vader (left) and Hayden Christensen (right) is about to pull a lever that lights up the Empire State Building. Christensen is wearing a black crewneck sweater and a dark gray coat.

Beloved Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen, who portrays one of the most recognizable antagonists of all time, Darth Vader, was on-hand for a special lighting ceremony to announce the launch of the campaign.

As the March to May the 4th continues, for the latest product reveals and updates, visit

May the Force be with you!