May the 74th Annual Hunger Games Begin

Bust out your bow and arrow and grab a loaf of bread, because The Hunger Games premieres tonight. If you’re not familiar with the books written by Suzanne Collins, they follow 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in a dystopic future version of America called Panem, where the annual Hunger Games pit 24 teenagers against each other in a battle to the death (while the rest of the country watches on giant screens). There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the film and now that it’s finally arriving, we want to make sure you’re well prepared for the pop culture storm that’s about to hit.

The whole thing makes more sense if you read the books, trust me. While there’s a pretty long waiting list to take them out of Lau, ask around to see if you can borrow the books – at least the first one – before you see the movie. They’re aimed at a young adult audience, so they’re a pretty quick read (you can finish the entire trilogy in a day if you forsake all work and social interaction).

Already read all the books? Twice? It’s safe to assume that you’re going to the midnight premiere tonight, so why not go all out and dress up as your favorite character? For a subtle homage, here’s a tutorial on how to recreate Katniss’ signature braid. If you’re looking for something a bit more flashy, consider dressing up as someone from the Capitol – check out Capitol Couture for inspiration.

Find out where you would fall in the nation of Panem by registering for your District Identification Pass with the Capitol.

The movie’s soundtrack, featuring new songs by The Civil Wars, Kid Cudi and Maroon 5 among many others is available already. Check out Billboard’s track-by-track review. Some personal favorites are “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars and “One Engine” by The Decemberists.

Feeling inspired by Katniss’ archery skills? D.C. Archers offers introductory archery lessons. If Peeta’s baking and cake decorating is more up your alley, think about taking a cake decorating class in the city. Who knows, maybe your cake decorating skills will be able to save your life, too.

If you’re still not sure what exactly this whole phenomena is about or if the conversation about which of your friends would win the Hunger Games makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ease yourself into the world of Panem. Check out the trailers that have already been released here and here, and read some reviews of the movie – The Hoya’s own Katherine Foley reviews it for this Friday’s edition of The Guide.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Photo: Lionsgate

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