The countdown is on.
Sorry, Santa. This year, instead of tracking the time until Christmas, “Star Wars” fans are dashing off the days until “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hits theaters Dec. 18.
“The Force Awakens” is the first new film in the fabled franchise in a decade, and advance ticket sales have almost broken the Internet.
If you’re as “Star Wars”-obsessed as we are, keep this calendar on hand in case you find yourself wringing your hands, wondering what to do until the movie premieres.
Dec. 1: Get December diets started off right by heading down to your local bakery, grabbing a couple of large cinnamon rolls, slapping one on each side of your head and having the befuddled baker take an Instagram-worthy photo. Extra points for wearing a white robe to complete your semi-organic Princess Leia Organa costume.
Dec. 2: Settle into a comfortable chair in your Emperor’s throne room and read KC comic book scribe Jason Aaron’s recent Star Wars comic books, which detail what happened after Luke blew up the Death Star in the first film from 1977.
Dec. 3: Perform Jedi mind tricks for friends. If the Force is not with you, you should at least be able to tell a few “Star Wars” jokes. Here is an oldy-but-goody to help get you going: Q: Where do Gungans store things? A: In Jar Jars.
Dec. 4: Celebrate “Star Wars Day” five months early by stopping everyone you meet and saying “May the fourth be with you.” You may get some strange looks, but what are you supposed to say on May 4, “Live long and prosper”?
Dec. 5: WinterCon, taking place Dec. 5 and 6 at the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, N.Y., is hosting a number of events in anticipation of the new film. If you have enough credits to commission a ship to get you there, tell the original Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) and young Boba Fett (Daniel Logan) we said hello — they’ll be there as guests, meeting fans and signing autographs. For more info, check nywintercon.com.
Dec. 6: It’s Sunday, a day of rest, even for the rebellion. Invite some fellow rebels over and watch all six “Star Wars” movies in order, playing “Star Wars” bingo as you go. Find free printable cards at MomEndeavors.com.
Dec. 7: Read the new graphic novel “Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Shattered Empire,” which was written by Greg Rucka with art by Marco Checchetto. For the first time in the new “Star Wars” canon, readers discover what happened after “Return of the Jedi,” making for a good tie-in to “The Force Awakens.”
Dec. 8: Makeup artist Rick Baker, who worked on “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope,” was born this day 65 years ago. Celebrate his birthday by giving yourself an otherworldly makeover with CoverGirl’s new Star Wars makeup line. She-3PO would approve.
Dec. 9: Build your own empire — make that your own Empire — with one of the many “Star Wars” Lego sets available, such as an AT-AT Walker or an Imperial Assault Carrier. If you want a Death Star (believe us, that’s no moon), you’ll have to order one on Lego.com, as supplies are running low.
Dec. 10: Laugh like Salacious B. Crumb by taking in one or more of these parodies: “Star Warp’d,” “Hardware Wars,” “Thumb Wars” or, best of all, “Spaceballs,” the Mel Brooks classic. For a film that pokes fun at both “Star Wars” and “StarTrek,” try “Fanboys.”
Dec. 11: Christmas is just two weeks away. Even if you already have a traditional tree in your living room, add a second, smaller tree to the dining room or game room, decorating it with nothing but “Star Wars” ornaments, which you can purchase at Hallmark and Wal-Mart.
Dec. 12: Book passage to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, which has undergone a Season of the Force makeover in anticipation of “The Force Awakens.” Among the many changes, Space Mountain has become Hyperspace Mountain, complete with X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter imagery. If you can’t make the trip to California, watch the video on YouTube.
Dec. 13: Remember Lobot, the headphones-wearing bald guy from “The Empire Strikes Back”? Maybe he was future-listening to one of the many “Star Wars” podcasts, such as Full of Sith (fullofsith.com), Coffee With Kenobi (www.coffeewithkenobi.com) or RebelForce Radio (www.rebelforceradio.com). You can listen to them, too — for free!
Dec. 14: Spend the evening at a local bar or coffee house, discussing the mythology of “Star Wars” with your significant other or impressing potential love interests with your Wookiencyclopedic knowledge of the franchise. If he or she is not a fan, you’re looking for love in Alderaan places.
Dec. 15: If it’s as cold as Hoth outside, you’ll be safe and Lukewarm inside your house (or Tauntaun), playing the “Star Wars” edition of Risk, the popular war-based board game. Or try Star Wars Battleship, which includes vessels from “The Force Awakens.”
Dec. 16: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in two days. Instead of pacing the house and climbing the walls, pick up a couple of Hasbro toy lightsabers and challenge the nearest half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder to a backyard duel. Just be careful, as he or she may be armed with a blaster — as we all know, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.
Dec. 17: With costume on, ticket in hand and phasers set on fun (oops, wrong sci-fi franchise, plus some theaters won’t let you bring weapon props or wear masks), get in line for what many believe will be the best “Star Wars” movie yet. To stay entertained while you wait, play games on your smartphone or tablet, such as “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic,” “Star Wars: Uprising” and “Angry Birds Star Wars II.”
Dec. 18: Behold! The wait is over, and the Awakening has begun! The Super Bowl of science-fiction films has finally arrived. Enjoy, and may the Force be with you!