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Star Wars Day: what's its meaning and why is it celebrated on May 4th?

Thanks to a play on words in the late seventies to celebrate an election victory, fans of the Star Wars franchise were given a day to celebrate everything about it.

Star Wars Day: what's its meaning and why is it celebrated on May 4th?

The advent of Star Wars Day was purely an initiative of those who love the galactic saga brought to the silver screen by George Lucas in 1977. Upon purchasing Lucasfilm, Disney has happily supplied fans with annual events and celebrations to for the 4 May occasion.

This year Disney Plus will be dropping the first season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch and the “Star Wars”-themed “Simpsons” short “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Force Awakens From Its Nap,’” as well as two bundles of virtual artwork for fans to enjoy.

“May the fourth be with you...” creates Star Wars Day

Which came first the chicken or the egg? In this case a pun "May the fourth be with you," instead of the Jedi phrase “May the force be with you,” started what has now become an official holiday the world over, and even officially recognized in California.

Back in 1979, on 4 May Margaret Thatcher first took office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and The London Evening News published a congratulatory advertisement by the Conservatives, her political party. The advert read “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This was the first recorded time that the phrase had been used, now its the catchphrase for 4 May Star Wars fans.

Star Wars Day grows

Since then, the use of the phrase and the fanfare around the day has snowballed. In 2011, the first large organized event for Star Wars Day took place at the Toronto Underground Cinema where fans gathered for an original trilogy trivia game show, a costume competition and a screening of films. After the Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas, starting in 2013, the company began to officially recognized the holiday with Star Wars themed events and festivities at its amusement parks.

Still the fans continue celebrations of their own around the world to celebrate Lucas’ creation with new celebrations having yet to get a solid foothold. The day after on 5 May, a Sith themed holiday "Revenge of the Fifth" is a play on the Star Wars: Episode III The Revenge of the Sith title. The day celebrates the Dark Side or the Sith lords in the Star Wars Universe. Others have chosen 6 May as "Revenge of the Sixth", a slightly better play on the title. Where there is one Sith, there is always another.