There is no question social media has helped make Star Wars a day of worldwide celebrations, but how did this come about?
May 4th is known in the geek world as Star War Day, a time to celebrate and bring out the nerd in fans of the massively successful franchise. As a new trilogy is to come out this December 18, with the release of The Force Awakens, fans are more excited than usual to party. Not that they need an excuse.
The origin of the date has nothing to do with the movie, just the allusion to the famous line from the franchise, “May the force be with you.” However, that’s were the link to George Lucas’ creation ends.
According to the Star Wars website, author Alan Arnold talked about “May the 4th be with you” while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm, emphasizing the influence the movies have on people of all walks of life.
“Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister (in 1979). 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.”
While the idea of Star Wars Day surprisingly didn’t come from Lucasfilm, George Lucas’ production company took full advantage and promoted the fan celebration as much as possible. May is after all, a special day for the franchise as the six main films have all been released during this month.
Not only is May important to Star Wars fans because of the different release dates. It is also the month in which creator George Lucas celebrates his birthday (May 14). Disney and J.J. Abrams are starting a new tradition with a December release for The Force Awakens and the new chapter in the saga. To top it all, new images came out on Monday, courtesy of Annie Leibovitz and Vanity Fair.
Social media has allowed fans to truly celebrate Star Wars Day in a global way and the hashtag has been trending all day. May the fourth be with you!
[Image via Lucasfilm]