Star Wars Day is an informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4 to celebrate the Star Wars media franchise created by filmmaker George Lucas.[1] Observance of the day spread quickly through media and grassroots celebrations since the franchise began in 1977.[2][3]

Star Wars Day
Lucasfilm's official marketing logo
Observed byStar Wars fans
TypeSecular
SignificanceCelebrating Star Wars
DateMay 4
Next timeMay 4, 2025 (2025-05-04)
FrequencyAnnual
First time2011
Related toGeek Pride Day

The date originated from the pun "May the Fourth be with you", from the Star Wars catchphrase "May the Force be with you."[1] Even though the holiday was not created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans have chosen to celebrate the holiday.[4] It has since been embraced by Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Company as an annual celebration of Star Wars.

The release date of the original Star Wars movie, May 25, 1977, is celebrated by some as Geek Pride Day.[5]

History

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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 Evening News saying "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."[6][7][8][dubiousdiscuss]

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."[9][10]

The phrase was used in a UK Parliament defence debate on May 4, 1994.[11]

Astrophysicist and author Jeanne Cavelos used the saying on page 94 of her 1999 book The Science of Star Wars.[12]

In 2008, the first Facebook groups appeared, celebrating Luke Skywalker Day, with the same catchphrase.[13]

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.[14][15][16]

Fans (including government officials, such as Boris Johnson[17]) have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways in social media and on television.

Major League Baseball, association football, and college sports teams have paid tribute to Star Wars in different ways.[18][19] Minor League Baseball teams such as the Toledo Mud Hens[20] and the Durham Bulls[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

In June 2021, it was announced that Carrie Fisher would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022. She received the star on Star Wars Day, May 4, 2023.[24][25]

Disney

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Since 2013, The Walt Disney Company has officially observed the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.[26][27] Disney had purchased Lucasfilm, including the rights to Star Wars, in late 2012.[28]

The finale of The Clone Wars was made available on Disney+ on May 4, 2020.[29] Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as the documentary series Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, were also made available on Disney+ the same day.[30][31] On Star Wars Day 2021, the animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch also premiered on Disney+, along with the short film Maggie Simpson in "The Force Awakens from Its Nap".[32][33] The second trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi was released on May 4, 2022, as well as Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett. The second volume of Star Wars: Visions, the short film Maggie Simpson in "Rogue Not Quite One" and Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures were all released May 4, 2023, on Disney+.[34][35][36] The second installment of Star Wars: Tales, titled Tales of the Empire, premiered on May 4, 2024.[37]

Additional dates

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Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth

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Some recognize the day after, 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.[38] Others celebrate this one day later, on May 6, citing "Revenge of the Sixth" as a better pun on "Sith", while others refer to the 6th as "Return of the 6th" as a play on Return of the Jedi and the trilogy aspect of the Star Wars films.[39][40][41]

May 25

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In honor of the 30th anniversary release date of Star Wars on May 25, 1977, the Los Angeles City Council declared May 25, 2007, as Star Wars Day.[42] 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.[5][43] Solo: A Star Wars Story was also released on May 25, 2018, 41 years after the original Star Wars.[44]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b Deb, Sopan (May 3, 2024). "How Rebel 'Star Wars' Fans Saved the Original Movies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 3, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024. George Lucas wants them to fade into oblivion. But some fans spent more than a decade digitally restoring the original 'Star Wars' trilogy, preserving the movies as they were shown in theaters.
  2. ^ Painter, Alicia Gray (May 4, 2009). "May the Fourth Be With You". NBCUniversalMedia, LLC. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Star Wars Day: May the 4th". Starwars.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Lauren Orsini (May 23, 2013). "Geek Pride Day Is May 25: Here's How To Celebrate". Say Media, Inc. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "The Vampire Strikes Back". Count Duckula. Season 1. Episode 14. December 6, 1988. ITV.
  10. ^ "Vampire that hates the sight of blood!". Derby Daily Telegraph. August 26, 1988. p. 16. Count Duckula is in the tradition of the brilliant one-liners. In The Vampire Strikes Back in which he himself and Nanny lost in space and he asks someone for the date. On being told: 'May the fourth' he replies: 'May the fourth be with you.' The programme will go out on Tuesdays at 4.45 pm starting from September 6.
  11. ^ "Hansard, Column 786". UK Parliament Hansard, Column 784. May 4, 1994.
  12. ^ Jeanne Cavelos (2000). The science of Star Wars. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0312263874.
  13. ^ Dylan Bates (April 30, 2008). "Luke Skywalker Day: May the Fourth". Facebook. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "May the Fourth Be With You". Global News.
  16. ^ O'Rourke, Patrick (May 4, 2013). "Today is May the 4th and this means it's international Star Wars day! | canada.com". Archived from the original on May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  17. ^ "Boris Johnson's acceptance speech in full". ITV News. May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  18. ^ "May the Fourth Be With You: Sports teams and stars celebrate Star Wars Day". ESPN.com. May 4, 2022.
  19. ^ Share (May 4, 2022). "Star Wars Day: BYU Football Celebrates With Stormtrooper Helmet". Kslsports.com. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  20. ^ "Toledo Mud Hens will wear Chewbacca uniforms for 'Star Wars' weekend". Daily News. New York. April 28, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Jeffrey Kluger (May 5, 2015). "A Week on the Space Station: Tacos, 'Star Wars' and Mice". TIME.com. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  23. ^ "Star Wars music played on Parliament Hill carillon bells". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  24. ^ Prudom, Laura (May 4, 2023). "A Force to Be Remembered: Mark Hamill Praises Carrie Fisher's 'Star Wars' Legacy Ahead of Walk of Fame Honor".
  25. ^ Diaz, Eric (June 17, 2021). "Carrie Fisher to Receive Hollywood Walk of Fame Star". Yahoo!. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  26. ^ "May the 4th Be with You!". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  27. ^ "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. March 28, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  28. ^ "How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for Star Wars". Bloomberg Businessweek. March 8, 2013. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  29. ^ "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.
  30. ^ Watercutter, Angela (April 27, 2020). "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is Coming to Disney+ May 4". Wired. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Earl, William (May 3, 2021). "'The Simpsons' Meets 'Star Wars' in First Look at Disney Plus Short 'The Force Awakens From Its Nap'". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  34. ^ Team, StarWars com. "Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 Release Date, Studios Revealed". StarWars.com. Retrieved May 2, 2023.
  35. ^ Peralta, Diego (May 2, 2023). "'Rogue Not Quite One' Poster Puts Maggie Simpson in a Star Wars Adventure". Collider. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  36. ^ Leite, Marcelo (March 18, 2023). "Disney Bumps Up Star Wars Animated Series Release Date". ScreenRant. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  37. ^ Complex, Valerie (April 4, 2024). "'Star Wars: Tales Of The Empire' Trailer: Disney+ Unveils Dave Filoni's Animated Follow-Up To 'Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 4, 2024. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  38. ^ Alex Zalben (May 4, 2017). "A Brief History of 'Star Wars' Celebration May The Fourth". MTV News.
  39. ^ Levine, Daniel S. (May 6, 2017). "Revenge of the Sixth 2017: See the Best Funny Sith Memes". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  40. ^ "Brainiac wants to get nerdy with you for 'Star Wars' and free comic books". Orange County Register. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  41. ^ "'A New Hope.' Jon Ossoff backers embrace 'Star Wars' attack ad". Political Insider blog. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  42. ^ Jan Perry (May 1, 2007). "Resolution: Star Wars". Los Angeles City Council.
  43. ^ "Geek Pride Day". ThinkGeek, Inc. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  44. ^ Riesman, Abraham (February 5, 2018). "Breaking Down the Fast, Furious Solo: A Star Wars Story Trailer". Vulture.com. Retrieved May 3, 2021.

Further reading

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