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May the 4th Be With You

Destiny Short, Sports Editor

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Star Wars Day is observed on May 4 every year. The date was chosen for the pun on the phrase “May the Force be with You.” Although the holiday was not created by LucasFilm, so many people have chosen to celebrate the unofficial holiday that it has been embraced by LucasFilm as an annual celebration. The first reference of the pun on the phrase was used on May 4, 1979 when Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her political party, the Conservatives, placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that read, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” The phrase was also used in a United Kingdom parliament defense debate on May 4, 1994. Astrophysicist Jeanne Cavelos used the phrase on page 94 of her 1999 book The Science of Star Wars. In 2008, Facebook groups began popping up, celebrating Luke Skywalker Day with the same tagline. Initially the observance of the day did not grow, but it eventually spread to some college campuses a few years later. In 2011, the first organized celebration took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Organized by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn, the festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show, a costume contest with celebrity judges, and the internet’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes. Since 2013, after their purchase of LucasFilm and the rights to Star Wars in late 2012, The Walt Disney Company has officially observed the holiday with several events at Disney Land and Walt Disney World. Now every May 4, there is almost a completely guaranteed chance that any given person will hear the phrase, “May the Fourth be with You.”

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