5 ways to feel the Force of new Star Wars movie

Change your Google experience with Star Wars light and dark side themes.
Change your Google experience with Star Wars light and dark side themes.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE.COM/STARWARS

Bring out the lightsabers and send in the Stormtroopers:  The much-anticipated movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in Singapore on Wednesday (Dec 16).

But are you up to warp speed on the previous instalments of the epic space saga and now all ready to awaken the Force?

Here are five things you can do to immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe before you catch the blockbuster in cinemas.

1. Change your Google experience with Star Wars light and dark side themes

Watch as your browser aligns itself with the Force with two Google themes to choose from.

Some of the changes include:

  • A Star Wars background for Gmail and Chromecast
  • A full-page themed wallpaper upon opening a new tab in Chrome.
  • A lightsaber replaces the progress bar on YouTube videos, and a you can hear a lightsaber hum by mousing over the volume icon.
  • Star Wars-related events appearing on Google Calendar
  • Icons and markers on Google maps are replaced with Star Wars vehicles according to your alignment.

Sign in with your Google account on Chrome for the full experience.

This affects Gmail, Inbox, Google Translate, Android Wear, Google Search, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Chromecast and Waze, and will stay in effect until Feb 1, 2016, or until you turn it off manually in google.com/starwars. You can also switch between sides anytime.

2. Lightsaber Escape

Experience the thrill of holding a lightsaber with Lightsaber Escape. This game links your smartphone to your Web browser to simulate combat.

Sounds will emanate from both your smartphone and your computer, so it's probably not a good idea to play this at work.

To set your phone up, go to https://lightsaber.withgoogle.com/ and follow the onscreen instructions.

An updated version of Google Chrome is required for the full experience.

3. Race across the Jakku Desert

Explore the sandy expanse of the Jakku Desert in an immersive 360° experience.

Click and drag on the video to move the camera around, and try to catch a glimpse of BB-8 if you can.

4. Add a lightsaber to your Facebook profile picture


Posters for Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Finn (left) and Kylo Ren (right). PHOTOS: DISNEY

Facebook's temporary profile picture feature has two new Star Wars-themed templates to choose from, which adds a lightsaber of your choice to your profile picture.

Click here for Finn's blue lightsaber, or here for Kylo Ren's red lightsaber.

5. Wear your fandom like these celebrities

Celebrities attending the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles on Dec 14, 2015, were suitably dressed for the occasion, with Star Wars themed looks.

So just like these Hollywood stars, you too can show how big a fan you are by dressing up. Pick a character, bun up your hair, smear on some face paint, grab some merchandise and you're good to go. 


Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara arriving for the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a Princess Leia-inspired hairdo on Dec 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. PHOTOS: EPA