Star Wars fans rejoice! For today is indeed national ‘Star Wars Day’. Now I’m sure, most of you are reading this and thinking: but isn’t everyday Star Wars day? Well, yes, Star Wars should be celebrated in some fashion every day of every year, but May 4th is the day where Star Wars fans can band together, express their pride, and bring new fans into the fold. So just how did this holiday come to be?
May the 4th is actually a fan-made-holiday. It is not a Lucasfilm creation and Disney only recently embraced it. The first reported reference to the holiday’s catch phrase, May the Fourth Be With You, was said to have occurred in 1979 when UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher first took office. Her party placed an ad in the London Evening News which read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.” While this was not the start of Star Wars Day, it serves as a testament to the influence that Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope had on the world.
After that brief turn of phrase, it took 32 years before the first organized Star Wars Day event took place. On May 4th, 2011 fans gathered at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Ontario, Canada to celebrate this great saga. The event featured a trivia game show, a costume contest, tribute films from the web, and more. The event was held again on May 4th, 2012.
In 2013, Disney officially recognized May 4th as Star Wars Day featuring special events at its theme parks. This year, fans attending one of their parks can pick-up an exclusive Rogue One: A Star Wars Story t-shirt. Disney isn’t the only company offering deals on Star Wars merchandise. You can check out the official Star Wars site for a list of participating companies offering Star Wars Day specials.
There are, of course, many other ways to participate in Star Wars Day other than shopping. You can hop on social media and interact with other Star Wars fans using the official hashtag #StarWarsDay. You can read a comic or novel, or watch any of the films. If you are in the giving mood, you can participate in the current Force for Change charity event to support UNICEF.
I’m planning to treat myself to Bloodline, the new novel by Claudia Gray. It’s said to be quite good. I’ll also be watching Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Mostly I plan to spend the day reveling about what a great time it is to be a Star Wars fan. What are your plans for Star Wars Day?
May the Fourth Be With You!
The Cantina Cast
The wretched hive your Jedi Master warned you about!