Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day
Star Wars Day May The Fourth.png
Lucasfilm's official marketing logo for Star Wars Day
Observed by Star Wars fans
Type Secular
Significance Celebrating Star Wars
Date May 4
Frequency Annual
First time 2011
Related to Geek Pride Day

Star Wars Day is an informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4 to celebrate George Lucas' Star Wars media franchise. Observance of the day spread quickly through media and grassroots celebrations since the franchise began in 1977.[1][2]

The date originated from the pun "May the Fourth be with you", a variant of the popular Star Wars catchphrase "May the Force be with you". Even though the holiday was not created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans across the world have chosen to celebrate the holiday.[3] It has since been embraced by Lucasfilm and parent company Disney as an annual celebration of Star Wars.

History

The first recorded reference of the phrase being used was on May 4, 1979, the day after Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement in the London Evening News saying "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."[4][5][6]

In the 1988 episode of Count Duckula, "The Vampire Strikes Back", a space-faring superhero, Tremendous Terrance, asks Duckula the date and is told, "May the Fourth". As Terrance departs, he tells all below, "May the Fourth Be with You."[7]

The saying was used in a UK Parliament defence debate on May 4, 1994.[8]

Astrophysicist and author Jeanne Cavelos used the saying on page 94 of her 1999 book The Science of Star Wars.[9]

In 2008, the first Facebook groups appeared, celebrating Luke Skywalker Day, with the same catchphrase.[10]

In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Produced by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn, festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web's best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday, May 4, 2012.[11][12][13]

Fans (even government officials, such as Boris Johnson[14]) have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways in social media and on television.

Since 2013, The Walt Disney Company has officially observed the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.[15][16] Disney had purchased Lucasfilm, including the rights to Star Wars, in late 2012.[17] The finale of The Clone Wars was made available on Disney+ on May 4, 2020.[18] Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as an eight-episode documentary series titled Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, were also made available on Disney+ the same day.[19][20] An animated series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch also premiered on Disney+ on this day in 2021.[21]

Minor League baseball teams such as the Toledo Mud Hens[22] and the Durham Bulls[23] have worn special uniforms as part of Star Wars Day promotions.

On Star Wars Day 2015, astronauts in the International Space Station watched Star Wars.[24]

Also in 2015, the carillon bells inside the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada played "The Imperial March" theme from Star Wars, among other space-related tunes.[25]

Additional dates

Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth

Some recognize the following day, May 5, as "Revenge of the Fifth", a play on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and celebrate the Sith Lords and other villainous characters from the Star Wars series rather than the Jedi.[26] Others celebrate this one day later, on May 6, citing "Revenge of the Sixth" as a better play on "Sith", while others refer to the 6th as "Return of the 6th" as a play on the trilogy aspect of the Star Wars films.[27][28][29]

May 25

The Los Angeles City Council declared May 25, 2007, as Star Wars Day, in honor of the 30th anniversary release date of Star Wars.[30] A separate initiative for observing Geek Pride Day on May 25 is based on the Star Wars connection along with ties to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Towel Day) and Discworld.[31][32] Solo: A Star Wars Story was also released on May 25, 41 years after Star Wars.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ Painter, Alicia Gray (May 4, 2009). "May the Fourth Be With You". NBCUniversalMedia, LLC. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Star Wars day: May the 4th be with you". My Fox Chattanooga. May 4, 2010. Archived from the original on May 8, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  3. ^ "Star Wars Day: May the 4th". Starwars.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Whalen, Andrew (May 3, 2019). "Star Wars Day 2019: How Margaret Thatcher Launched 'May the Fourth Be With You' Holiday". Newsweek. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  5. ^ Chan, Tim; Anderson, Sage (April 30, 2020). "May the 4th Be With You: The Best Merch, Toys and Collectibles for 'Star Wars' Fans". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  6. ^ Iervolino, Stephen (May 4, 2017). "May the Fourth be with you: Everything you need to know about 'Star Wars' Day". ABC News. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "The Vampire Strikes Back". Count Duckula. Season 1. Episode 14. December 6, 1988. ITV.
  8. ^ "Hansard, Column 786". UK Parliament Hansard, Column 784. May 4, 1994.
  9. ^ * Jeanne Cavelos (May 5, 2000). The science of Star Wars. ISBN 978-0312263874.
  10. ^ * Dylan Bates (April 30, 2008). "Luke Skywalker Day: May the Fourth". Facebook. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Evan Annett (May 4, 2015). "Star Wars Day: What's going on today in a galaxy not so far, far away". The Globe and Mail.
  12. ^ "May the Fourth Be With You". Global News.
  13. ^ "It's Star Wars Day! May the 4th Be With You". O.canada.com.
  14. ^ "Boris Johnson's acceptance speech in full". ITV News. May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  15. ^ "May the 4th Be with You!". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  16. ^ "May the Fourth Be With You! Two New Star Wars-Themed Character Dining Experiences May 4 – June 15 at Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for Star Wars". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  18. ^ "Star Wars: The Clone Wars Finale Coming To Disney+ Early On Star Wars Day!". What's On Disney Plus. April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Watercutter, Angela (April 27, 2020). "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is Coming to Disney+ May 4". Wired. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Go Behind the Scenes in the New Disney+ Series Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian". StarWars.com. April 15, 2020. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray; Ramos, Dino-Ray (February 24, 2021). "Disney+ Sets Premiere Dates For 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' And Marvel Studios' 'Loki'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 24, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "Toledo Mud Hens will wear Chewbacca uniforms for 'Star Wars' weekend". Daily News. New York. April 28, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  23. ^ Andrew Kenney (March 25, 2014). "Durham Bulls to dress as R2-D2 from 'Star Wars' on May 4". The News & Observer. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  24. ^ Jeffrey Kluger (May 5, 2015). "A Week on the Space Station: Tacos, 'Star Wars' and Mice". TIME.com. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  25. ^ "Star Wars music played on Parliament Hill carillon bells". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  26. ^ Alex Zalben (May 4, 2017). "A Brief History of 'Star Wars' Celebration May The Fourth". MTV News.
  27. ^ Levine, Daniel S. (May 6, 2017). "Revenge of the Sixth 2017: See the Best Funny Sith Memes". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  28. ^ "Brainiac wants to get nerdy with you for 'Star Wars' and free comic books". Orange County Register. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  29. ^ "'A New Hope.' Jon Ossoff backers embrace 'Star Wars' attack ad". Political Insider blog. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  30. ^ Jan Perry (May 1, 2007). "Resolution: Star Wars". Los Angeles City Council.
  31. ^ Lauren Orsini (May 23, 2013). "Geek Pride Day Is May 25: Here's How To Celebrate". Say Media, Inc. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  32. ^ "Geek Pride Day". ThinkGeek, Inc. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  33. ^ Riesman, Abraham. "Breaking Down the Fast, Furious Solo: A Star Wars Story Trailer". Vulture.com. Retrieved May 3, 2021.

Further reading

External links

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