May the 4th Be With You!
Hannah Brennan, student, University of Wisconsin-Madison | May 4, 2023 in Pearson Students
Just before writing this, I was slouching comfortably on my couch. I had a sparkling water, orange flavored, of course, and a bowl of extra buttery popcorn beside me. The TV was on max volume and my eyes were peeled as I watched the intense final moments of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.
At the start of every summer break, I dedicate a few days to rewatching the entire Star Wars saga in order of release date. (For my fellow fans out there, I felt this was important to note.) I have done this for the past 5 years, and each time I ask myself why I only do it once a year.
From the first film released in 1977 and onward, Star Wars has become an integral part of pop culture. It is the culmination of iconic costumes, characters, fight scenes, background stories, and jaw-dropping family drama that fans like myself adore so much. What better way to honor the franchise than for it to have its own day?
A long time ago…
For those who do not know, “May the 4th be with you” is a play on the phrase “May the Force be with you.” After being said twice in the first film, the movie version of the phrase immediately became an iconic salutation, and the pun version soon followed.
According to a blog by Lucas Seastrom on none other than starwars.com, newspapers began using the phrase as a way to celebrate the Fourth of July in their headlines. But it attached itself to May 4th when The London Evening News displayed “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!” on the day Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s prime minister– which took place on May 4th, 1979.
Randy Thom, who was a location sound recordist on the Star Wars movie crew, is also credited with launching Star Wars Day. It was on May 4th, 1982 that the pun came to him. He then shared it with the crew and would continue to celebrate it every year going forward.
Once I turned 18, I started planning to get a tattoo. After telling my big brother and cousin this, we decided we would all get one together. I was already on board, but the idea really won me over once they told me they would pay for it.
We threw around ideas for about 10 minutes. I said jokingly, “let’s just get lightsabers.” Next thing I knew, I was in the chair going on hour number two with a needle to my calf.
I have a green lightsaber, my brother has purple, and my cousin has blue. (I’ll let the Star Wars fans decide for themselves which they prefer, though I think we all know purple is the best one.)
So why get this fictional weapon tattooed on me?
Aside from the fact that the tattoo looks cool, it is a reminder to me of how much we love the franchise and why fans still celebrate it every year on May 4th.
Enjoy, We Must [in Yoda voice]
Star Wars fans are truly like no other. We are a global community with a shared love of stories that have withstood the test of time. We find entertainment, adventure, inspiration, and solace in them. And we love finding a fellow fan in a crowded room.
Whether you are a diehard fan or new to the fan club, this may just be your sign to watch them all as we celebrate Star Wars Day today!
Thank you for reading, and May the 4th be with you.
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