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“May the Fourth Be With You” Today is Star Wars Day

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“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

“You’re my only hope.”

I am your father.”

“It’s a trap!”

“I love you.”

“I know.”

Ladies and gentlemen, put your hair into Leia buns, dust off that Storm Trooper mask, and brush up on your Yoda-speak, today is May the fourth, or as Star Wars fans call it; “May the fourth be with you.” A pun on the famous quote “May the force be with you,” the line has inspired an unofficial holiday amongst fans of the franchise, and today fans everywhere are remembering the sci-fi saga and celebrating the vast culture the films has inspired.

The resemblance between the date and the phrase has been acknowledged since the first installment of the epic space opera, A New Hope was released in the late seventies, but it was not introduced by fans.  Legend has it that the reference first appeared in a 1979 London Evening News ad that read “May the Fourth be With You, Maggie. Congratulations” in response to Margret Thatcher’s election as Prime Minister. (Entertainment Weekly)

A New Hope was released in 1977 to mixed reviews. But it and the subsequent Star Wars films have since gathered an immense cult following, and are considered a cornerstone of the science fiction genre as well and have achieved a permanent spot in the American film canon. The three prequels to the series were released in the early 2000s and the original trilogy was re-released in 1997.

Although the Los Angeles city council has declared May 25th(its original release date) as official Star Wars day, fans are still observing the holiday, and paying homage to their beloved franchise.

San Diegans are no stranger to the ubiquitous influence of Star Wars, San Diego being the home of Comic Con, the convention that serves as holy ground for all lovers of science fiction and pop culture.

In observance of May the Fourth, LucasFilms announced today that all six films of the Star Wars series will be released on Blu Ray in September. The nine disc set will also include 40 hours of special features and rare footage and will be available September 12th internationally and September 16th in North America.

But with the release still months away, fans should try celebrating 5/4 by indulging in a screening of the original, delightfully untouched version of the films. Perhaps on VHS or the predecessor of Blu Ray, laser disc.

However you choose to celebrate this pop culture event, just remember:

May the Fourth be with you. Always.

2 Comments

  1. inaejones

    May 5, 2011 at 3:12 am

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  2. Richard Fu

    May 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Great article this is!

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