May the 4th is just a couple of weeks away, and as most Star Wars fans know, that is the day where we celebrate our love for the greatest franchise ever created! To help spread the word about May the 4th, and to encourage more people to join in on the fun, Lucasfilm has sent us some ways fans can celebrate on this day, as well as the details of how this Star Wars holiday first came to be.
Why is May the 4th Called Star Wars Day?
Say “May the 4th Be With You” out loud and you’ll hear the pun that Star Wars fans worldwide have turned into a rallying cry to proclaim their love of the saga. It’s the worldwide day to say “May the Force be with you” to all, and celebrate the beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together.
One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture is in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:
Friday, May 4th
Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,” further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.
Once the Internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it “Star Wars Day.”
While the idea of May the 4th did not start with Lucasfilm, the film company that created Star Wars has fully embraced the spirit of fandom that makes the day so special. The official blog at StarWars.com as well as the official Star Wars social media channels on Twitter (@starwars #MayThe4thBeWithYou) and Facebook (facebook.com/starwars) help spread the word and showcase fan activity. More and more official partners have offered sales, giveaways and exclusives, and have hosted parties and other activities to mark the day.
May the 4th kicks off a season of celebration, particularly since the month of May has always been important to Star Wars fans. The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original Star Wars on May 25th, 1977) and this year, May 25th marks the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. The month of May includes George Lucas’s birthday (May 14, 1944), and has been the traditional start date of the popular Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort (this year, the fun begins on May 14th).
With the exciting launch of a new trilogy of movies beginning with Star Wars: Episode VII coming in the near future, this day to celebrate the saga and its amazing fans is certain to become even bigger each year.
And here the top ten things fans can do to celebrate May the 4th:
1. Have a Star Wars movie marathon with friends and family! But do you start with the prequels or the original trilogy? Do you mix in some episodes of The Clone Wars? Better decide before your guests arrive, or you may spend the day in a heated debate.
2. Dressing up for special occasions is important, and May the 4th is no different. Wearing anything from your favorite Star Wars shirt to full-on Stormtrooper gear is completely acceptable. (It’s okay to dress up your pet, too. Bounty hunter bulldogs are especially encouraged.)
3. Food is an essential part of any holiday. Death Star Popcorn Balls or Wookiee Cookies, anyone? Find a variety of recipes on StarWars.com!
4. Toast the saga with the ultimate Star Wars-themed beverage: blue milk, just like Aunt Beru used to make! (Fortunately, unlike Aunt Beru, you don’t own the droids the Empire is looking for.)
5. Feel the Force with Star Wars crafts: turn old socks and rocks into awesome Star Wars keepsakes! Learn how to make a Chewbacca Sock Puppet, Star Wars Snow Globe, and more at StarWars.com!
6. You know that Rebel Alliance symbol tattoo you’ve been thinking about getting? Today’s the day.
7. Have you Vadered anyone yet? Now’s the time to give it a try…and be sure to Tweet your photo to @starwars!
8. Sometimes people use holidays to travel to new places. Why not go to Disneyland or Disney World and ride Star Tours? There are over 50 separate mission possibilities…so don’t plan on eating lunch beforehand.
9. As Yoda said, “Pass on what you have learned.” Introduce a younger sibling, family member, or friend to Star Wars!
10. Do you have any Star Wars toys that you don’t need any more? Donate them and make May the 4th really memorable for children in need.
There are many other activities fans can do on May the 4th to show there love of Star Wars, and you can check this out in the video below of Bonnie Burton, who writes for the official Stars Wars Blog, asking how fans plan on celebrating on May the 4th, as well as several images of fans showing their passion for Star Wars on this day!