Star Wars Day quite often takes a bit of a knock these days, maybe unfairly, as a cheesy day of the year but what are its origins? Did it come from a galaxy far far away?
What is Star Wars Day?
Star Wars Day is celebrated on May the 4th each year by Star Wars fans all over the world.
Not only is it a time of celebration for fans but also a time for marketeers and creatives across the globe to showcase their creativity. On May 4th the internet is filled with Star Wars related memes, jokes and puns.
Many are based on the phrase “May The 4th Be With You.” This is, of course, a play on the words of Alec Guinness’s character Obi-Wan Kenobi, “may the Force be with you.”
Although these words have been attributed to wise old Obi-Wan since the start of the saga in 1977, he didn’t actually say them until many years later. Making it a famous misquote
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When does Obi-Wan say “May the Force be with you”?
He says it to Anakin Skywalker in both “Attack of the Clones” in 2002 and “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005.
I was 12 when Star Wars first hit the big screen, which was the only way you could watch films back then and I’ve loved it since.
What are the origins of Star Wars Day?
The origins of Star Wars Day can be traced back to May 4th, 1979, when Margaret Thatcher was elected as the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. To celebrate her victory, the Conservative Party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
At 14 I didn’t really take much notice of politics, in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter. So, this would have been lost on me at the time and it wouldn’t be until many years later that I came to know this story.
Fast forward to 2008, when a Facebook group called “Students for a Free Tibet” used the phrase “May the Fourth Be With You” in a post about a planned protest against the Beijing Olympic torch relay. The post went viral, and the phrase started to gain traction on social media.
The first organised Star Wars Day celebration took place in Toronto, Canada, in 2011. The event was hosted by the Toronto Underground Cinema and featured a Star Wars film marathon, a costume contest, and a trivia competition.
Since then, Star Wars Day has grown into a global phenomenon, celebrated by fans all over the world.
What is the future of Star Wars Day?
In more recent years, Disney, which now owns the rights to the Star Wars franchise, has embraced Star Wars Day and has used it as a way to promote new movies and merchandise.
There it is, a brief history of Star Wars Day.
Fan or not, you can’t underestimate the power of Star Wars and what it did to the world of film, the internet and merchandising.
However, you chose to celebrate this iconic day, “May the Force Be With You.”