The Star Wars fan holiday is on May 4th each year. Also, it is like anything that comes from a collection of people’s collective devotion. Similarly, it has no exact point of birth. There is no formal dedication or commencement year. It’s become a grassroots phenomenon that’s outgrown the English language pun that started it all. “May the 4th Be With You” is more often known as “Star Wars Day” around the world.
Star Wars Day: The phrase “May the 4th Be With You” appears in print for the first time in 1978, one year after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope.
By that time, it had become “like a handshake” in American popular culture. Moreover, as Professor Leo Braudy would later say in the documentary Empire of Dreams. During the summer of 1978, clever newspaper writers used the phrase as a gimmick to commemorate the Fourth of July celebrations.
For months, the phrase “May the Force be with you,” as heard in A New Hope, had been appearing on legal (and unauthorised) buttons, posters, and other products. Moreover, convincing the writers that their readers would enjoy the humour.
More than a decade ago, fans began using the phrase for their own online celebrations. According to Steve Sansweet of StarWars.com, the internet and media coverage created a feedback loop, and “May the 4th” just “exploded… and it kept growing.” He was chief of Lucasfilm’s fan relations department for 15 years and is still an adviser. Additionally, he currently runs Rancho Obi-Wan, a Star Wars memorabilia museum.
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As “May the 4th Be With You” doesn’t have the same witty punch when translated into other languages, this day is to give the yearly worldwide celebration a global meaning.
The day celebrated informally for decades until 2019. Afterwards, California lawmakers voted to establish May 4th Star Wars Day in honour of the opening of Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge.
May is a significant month for the popular franchise: the first Star Wars film released on May 25, 1977. Moreover, George Lucas, the franchise’s creator, celebrates his birthday on May 14.
Fans all over the world have already started spreading Star Wars joy on Twitter this year.
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