Star Wars Takes Over the Empire State Building in New York City

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Star Wars Takes Over the Empire State Building in New York City

The Star Wars “March to May the 4th” campaign kicked off yesterday with an array of exciting product announcements. Fans were treated to a diverse range of new offerings, including toys, apparel, accessories, collectibles, and more, all celebrating the beloved Star Wars universe. The festivities began with a spectacular takeover of the iconic Empire State Building, where a grand lighting ceremony marked the start of this galactic celebration.

Throughout the day, fans enjoyed immersive fan experiences, captivating window displays showcasing the latest merchandise, and other engaging activities. The highlight of the event was a breathtaking dynamic light show that illuminated the façade of the world-famous New York landmark, capturing the imagination of Star Wars enthusiasts and onlookers alike. The electrifying display served as a fitting start to the countdown leading up to May the 4th, a date cherished by Star Wars fans worldwide.

Related – The Dark Side is Strong with New Star Wars May 4th Merch

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Disney)

The takeover of the Empire State Building includes interactive photo moments, which highlight new Star Wars consumer products in window and observatory deck displays. On the iconic 86th Floor ObservatoryStar Wars fans can pose with a life-size Funko POP! Darth Vader figure with a backdrop of unmatched New York City skyline views. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of LEGO® Star Wars™, the LEGO Group is featuring a museum-quality display of life-sized Star Wars villains built from LEGO bricks, including six-foot tall, brick-built recreations of Darth Vader and Darth Maul on the building’s 80th floor. The building’s iconic Fifth Avenue Lobby windows feature a special Star Wars display that depicts imagery of Darth Vader, Darth Maul and stormtroopers amid an array of Star Wars merchandise. Select activations throughout the building and within the Observatory Experience will remain open to the public through April 29.

Empire State Building Lucasfilm Photo Opps (DAY)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 21: <> attends the Empire State Building Lucasfilm Photo Opps at The Empire State Building on March 21, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust)

Additionally, Hasbro and Amazon have teamed up to create a Star Wars experience with something for every Star Wars fan on the first floor of the Empire State Building. The immersive fan activation offers visitors photo opportunities with costumed characters, including Darth Vader, and photo backdrops featuring iconic scenes inspired by the films. Visitors will be able to check out the latest Hasbro Black Series helmets or wield their favorite character’s FX Elite or Kyber Core LIGHTSABER™ adult and kid collectibles. The Hasbro and Amazon experience will remain open to the public through Saturday, March 23. On March 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, the Dairy Farmers of America will treat guests to samples of the new TruMoo Star Wars Blue Milk, which will be available for purchase in April.

“We’re excited to unveil a broad range of new products for fans of all ages with our extensive roster of licensees and retailers as we all march to May the 4th,” said Paul Southern, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Commercialization, Lucasfilm, Disney Experiences. “We really brought the power of the Empire to the Empire State Building with this Star Wars takeover, creating a moment only fit for one of the strongest entertainment brands and most enduring franchises in the world.”


New products across a variety of categories were revealed today at the Empire State Building, including 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. Additional new reveals for today 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. Plus, Insight Editions announced a new book titled Star Wars Icons: Darth Vader, which 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. Products from Displate, Fantasy Flight Games, BioWorld’s Heroes & Villains, Joffrey’s Coffee, Just Play, Panasonic and PopSockets were also featured in activities today.


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. 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.  These reveals and products follow a lineup of new items announced earlier this month on


This evening, the Empire State Building debuted a five-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. 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 program.

In addition to new consumer products offerings, more Star Wars news announced today includes:

  • Season of the Force at Disneyland Park: 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 beverage, 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. 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.
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 25th Anniversary Theatrical Re-Release: 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 screeningsOn 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. Finally, those attending will receive a limited-edition poster. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, March 22.
  • Star Wars Celebration 2025: Star Wars Celebration, the Ultimate Star Wars Fan Event, is 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 was revealed earlier today and is 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

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


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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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