Star Wars Day: what’s its meaning and why is it celebrated on May 4th?
If you’re in the dark as to why the Star Wars fan in your life says: “May the Fourth be with you!”, we have you covered. How 4 May became Star Wars Day…
You may be wondering why on 4 May, the Star Wars fan that you know is going around saying “May the Fourth be with you!” The simple explanation is that that date is Star Wars Day. But it wasn’t invented by George Lucas, nor as a marketing gimmick by the now owner of the highly successive and money-churning franchise.
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, fans can get the full big screen experience of ‘Return of the Jedi’ which was re-released in theaters in honor of its fortieth anniversary. But 4 May will be your last chance, for now.
However, Disney is releasing two Star Wars spin-offs on its streaming platform to celebrate the informal holiday. ‘Star Wars: Visions Volume 2′ and ‘Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures’ are now streaming on Disney+. If you are looking for more ways to enjoy Star Wars Day, Disney has provided deals, DIY projects, drinks/food ideas and more that you check out.
“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.