May the Fourth be with you! It’s a sentiment that was used not long after Star Wars first came out in 1977, with the first alleged reference coming from England in 1979 after Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. An advertisement was released stating "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.
It seems like an odd way for this phrase to be recorded for the first time, but I’m sure it had been bandied about before that. It wasn’t until 2011, however, that the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day on May 4th took place in Toronto.
But I’m not here to talk about Star Wars Day in particular. Many people are going to be writing about it and celebrating today. What I would like to share with you is one of the most fascinating and fun places I’ve ever been to, Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop.
When my wife, Jen, and I decided to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest last year, we knew that we had to pass through Aberdeen, WA, one way or another. Best known as the hometown of Kurt Cobain, going to Aberdeen would be like a pilgrimage for Jen since Nirvana is one of her favorite bands. We were driving from Seattle to Portland, which normally would take about three hours, but I was happy to take a three-hour detour too. It would give me an excuse to head over to the coast and get a chance to drive along US Hwy 101, one of the most scenic drives in the country. It is also led us to one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences we had on the trip or any that I’ve taken for that matter.
While Aberdeen may be known as the birthplace of Nirvana, it is also the home to Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop. I only found out about it after I had decided to make the drive to Aberdeen anyway, but it soon became the focal point for my journey there.
Aberdeen is a rather unassuming town, so the Star Wars Shop really stands out, but it probably would no matter where it was. When we pulled up, Darth Vader and Chewbacca were guarding the entrance and there was a huge mural painted on the side of the store.
We went inside and were a little overwhelmed by it all. Obviously the Star Wars Shop is going to be filled with everything Star Wars, but it takes a minute or two to adjust to the sensory overload. We were soon greeted by the owner of the store, Don Sucher, who was very friendly and spoke with us throughout our visit as we browsed the collection.
Mr. Sucher first started collecting Star Wars memorabilia along with his two sons. What started as a summer hobby soon turned into an obsession and their collection grew so large over the years that they decided to turn part of it into a store. Inside and out, you’ll find everything Star Wars and more! There’s the expected, like action figures, but there’s also rare, one-of-a-kind items. One of my favorites was a custom-made playset of the compactor scene that used real garbage! There is even a section for other fandoms like Ghostbusters and The Simpsons and it is also the home to the “official Kurt Cobain information center.
After spending some time exploring the shop and speaking with Mr. Sucher, we bought two things: a Han Solo figure to replace one that Jen had lost years ago and napkins made during the release of Return of the Jedi from 1983, the perfect accessory for both of our 30th birthdays that year.
Aberdeen may be a little out of the way, but it’s definitely worth the trip to visit Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop. If you make the journey, May the Fourth be with you!