Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be with You Explained

Famous actor Mark Hamill wrote on Twitter on May 4, 2021, something that many people may not have fully understood: "I'm beginning to accept the fact that I'll probably never do another movie that gets its day." A redesigned version of the original Star Wars poster with the caption "May the FOURTH Be With You" was included in the tweet.

Hamill alluded to May 4th, known as "Star Wars Day." It's likely already clear that this particular date on the calendar wasn't chosen randomly. Its origin stems from resembling the most well-known expression connected to the Star Wars world: "May the Force be with you."

Star Wars Day: What is it? As an enthusiastic supporter, are you expected to do something special on May 4th? Examining the beginnings and development of Star Wars Day may be helpful as the calendar's magical date draws near once more.

The Origin of “May the Force Be With You”

Most fans know that the term originated with A New Hope, the 1977 film that was the first in the Star Wars series to be released in theaters. They are unaware of the precise origin of it or which character utters these now-famous lines for the first time. Many individuals, including many ardent fans, credit Obi-Wan Kenobi with coining the phrase. This isn't correct, believe it or not.

In A New Hope, Kenobi discusses the Force many times. However, he says, "The Force will be with you—always." At no moment in A New Hope does Obi-Wan utter the well-known quotation.

General Jan Dodonna is credited as the actual creator of the expression—at least as far as being the first character to speak it in a major motion picture. Dodonna tells the gathered Rebels about the Death Star's flaws before the Battle of Yavin, and he ends by telling them to "crew your ships, and may the Force be with you."

Han Solo repeats the line as a good-luck blessing to Luke Skywalker shortly afterward. And ever since, the line has become an instantly identifiable part of Star Wars mythology.

The Origins of Star Wars Day

People quickly began to associate "may the Force" with the eerily identical vibe of "May the 4th." Ads from 1978 touting "May the Fourth be with you" sales events have been discovered in newspapers (albeit in this case, the Fourth of July).

In 1979, in an odd turn of events, the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom cited the phrase "May the 4th" significantly. The Party advertised in the London Evening News on May 4th to celebrate winning the nation's general election on May 3. "May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie," the advertisement said. "Congratulations," the statement refers to Margaret Thatcher, the newly appointed prime minister.

Over the following few decades, there were rare appearances of "May the Fourth" jokes and references, including:

  • In a 1988 episode of the animated TV series Count Duckula.
  • Mr. Harry Cohen used the term in a 1994 debate in the UK Parliament, referring to Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" defense strategy.
  • During a 2005 German TV interview, George Lucas said, "May the Force be with you," but his words were awkwardly translated as, "On May 4, we are with you."
  • In 2008, when a group of Star Wars fans on Facebook celebrated “Luke Skywalker Day” on May 4th.

The idea behind Star Wars Day started to take off in 2011. At that time, the Toronto Underground Cinema hosted a live event under the same name featuring Star Wars movie screenings and fan-only activities like a costume contest and quiz game.

With the establishment of The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of Lucasfilm, and the first annual Star Wars Day celebration in 2013, May 4th finally became somewhat official. Since then, fans of this trendy property have been treated to various Star Wars-themed events on May 4 at Disneyland and Disney World.

2019 saw a move by the California Legislature to designate May 4 as Star Wars Day, which gave the holiday even more momentum.

Incidentally, Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC has formally registered as the trademark holder of the phrase "May the 4th Be With You."

How to Celebrate May the Fourth

It's not a formal occasion, May Fourth. To properly observe the date, nothing special has to be done. Saying "May the Fourth be with you" to anyone in earshot is a common pastime for many fans today. "And also with you," a response derived from Catholic tradition, is generally accepted as suitable. "May the Force be with us all" is how some people would instead answer.

When May Fourth arrives, you usually notice a lot of "May the Fourth" activity on Twitter. Search for hashtags such as #StarWarsDay, #Maythe4thBeWithYou, and #MayTheFourth. Many fans also revisit one or more Star Wars movies to commemorate the day. Others view it as a day to honor the movie masterpiece that has inspired countless others worldwide, in whichever way they see fit.

Revenge of the 5th?

On the day after May 4, some supporters celebrated "the Revenge of the Fifth." Naturally, the name of this "holiday" is derived from the third episode, Revenge of the Sith. Therefore, May 5th is for fans to be more inclined toward the dark side of the force.

It should be noted that May the Fourth is a considerably more generally recognized holiday than the so-called Revenge of the Fifth, and neither holiday has any proper "official" recognition. This is partially because the concept of a dark side day is relatively young. Furthermore, many fans would like to have a day devoted to the evil side.

It's debatable if May 5th is the ideal day for this kind of celebration. Since "Revenge of the Sixth" sounds more like the movie's title that inspired it, some fans suggest moving it to May 6.

Regardless of how you want to commemorate the Star Wars universe in May, it would help to consider getting an actual, battle ready lightsaber to assist you in marking the event. The best lightsabers in the galaxy, both single and double bladed, are available from UltraSabers. Please do not hesitate to contact LaserPointerWorld with any inquiries on their merchandise.