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Fri, 3 May ’13

May the Fourth Be With You: Star Wars in Japan

Hey – it’s based on “Hidden Fortress” after all.

Sale Wars – Remember VW’s adorable Star Wars-centric Superbowl campaign? People love having goods sold to them by Sith, Jedi and all manner of droids. With its near-ubiquitous celebrity-laden commercials, Japanese TV makes sense as a source of Star Wars-filled commercials for everything from “sea chicken” to Cup Noodles to cell phones and beyond. By the way, do you know any Japanese mouse trap manufacturers that need a new spokesman?

Costumed (in)Vaders – We would be remiss in our duty as Asian pop culture mavens if we didn’t include a gallery of the best Star Wars-inspired cosplay from this galaxy and beyond. These are definitely the (costumed) droids you’re looking for. Want more awesome cosplay coverage? Join us at Nerdist.com for our weekly Cosplay Friday feature!

Forbidden Fruit – Did you know that we published Star Wars manga anthology that was only released in Japan? Unfortunately, you’ll need a bounty hunter like Boba Fett to track down one of these bad boys.

Padawan Learner – At this point, the Star Wars mythology is so complex and richly-woven that explaining it in plain English can be a Sisyphean task for even native speakers, let alone ESL speakers. Perhaps that’s why it’s so adorable when Mika, a Japanese woman, explains the famous films in English after seeing them for the first time. We’re also curious to hear her theories on whether or not Greedo shot first.

Consume, You Must – Japan may use George Lucas’ iconic characters to advertise other companies’ goods, but there’s a wide range of Star Wars-themed products as well. From Kotobukiya’s ever-popular lightsaber chopsticks to their ARTFX Yoda vs. Emperor Palpatine statue to soy sauce bottles to umbrellas to carbonite ice cube trays to, well, you get the picture. While you’re at it, why not enter to win this Han Solo in Carbonite business card holder from Kotobukiya too? We’ll be honest, most of these just involve putting various liquids inside of R2-D2, but we’re okay with that.