Have you wondered why May the 4th is called Star Wars day? I know I have. I mean, I have covered the Star Tours weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (see my fun video below), and I grew up a fan of the movies, but I guess I just never really thought why. Well, here’s the answer.
Why is May the 4th Called Star Wars Day?
Say “May the 4th Be With You” out loud and you’ll hear the pun that Star Wars fans worldwide have turned into a rallying cry to proclaim their love of the saga. It’s the worldwide day to say “May the Force be with you” to all, and celebrate the beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together.
One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture is in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:
Friday, May 4th
Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,” further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.
Once the Internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it “Star Wars Day.”
While the idea of May the 4th did not start with Lucasfilm, the film company that created Star Wars has fully embraced the spirit of fandom that makes the day so special. The official blog at StarWars.com as well as the official Star Wars social media channels on Twitter (@starwars #StarWarsDay) and Facebook (facebook.com/starwars) help spread the word and showcase fan activity. More and more official partners have offered sales, giveaways and exclusives, and have hosted parties and other activities to mark the day.
May the 4th kicks off a season of celebration, particularly since the month of May has always been important to Star Wars fans. The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original Star Wars on May 25th, 1977) and this year, principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII will commence in May. The month also includes George Lucas’s birthday (May 14, 1944), and has been the traditional start date of the popular Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort (this year, the fun begins on May 16th).
Interesting right? I am excited to be celebrating May the fourth in LA at a Star Wars event. Make sure you are following along as I cover the STAR WARS REBELS trailer launch!
“STAR WARS REBELS” TRAILER DEBUTS WORLDWIDE ON STAR WARS DAY — SUNDAY, MAY 4TH
The rebellion begins this Sunday. The trailer for the upcoming animated series “Star Wars Rebels” will premiere in a global, multiplatform debut on Star Wars Day, SUNDAY, MAY 4th — also known as “May the 4th Be With You,” the unofficial fan-driven holiday celebrating Star Wars.
In the U.S., Disney XD will feature the “Star Wars Rebels” trailer during its premiere of LEGO’s “Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles” at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT. Additionally, the trailer will air on Disney Channel, ABC, ABC Family, Fusion, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 at varying times throughout the day.
The trailer will also debut on Disney XD and Disney Channels in countries spanning across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Australia — reaching approximately 105 million households in over 50 countries, across six continents and over 20 time zones!!!
On Sunday, May 4 (12:01 a.m., PT), the trailer will be available across multiple sites including www.StarWars.com, www.ABC.com, www.ESPN.com and www.Disney.com. Below, please find an advance link and embed code to the “Star Wars Rebels” trailer:
“Star Wars Rebels” continues the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with all-new exciting, action-packed adventures. It is a dark time in the galaxy, as the evil Galactic Empire tightens its grip of power from world to world. As the series begins, Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet, ruling with an iron fist and ruining the lives of its people. The clever and motley crew of the starship Ghost is amongst a select few who are brave enough to stand against the Empire. Together, this ragtag group will face threatening new villains, encounter colorful adversaries, embark on thrilling adventures and become heroes with the power to ignite a rebellion.
Scheduled to premiere in the fall as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
Follow @DisneyChannelPR and @StarWars for the latest news on #StarWarsRebels.
Here’s the video I mentioned when I covered Star Tours Weekends last year. Watching, I can’t help but to get excited for this event and sharing the release of the clip on May the 4th!