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Why Is May The 4th The Official Star Wars Day?

Star Wars day has grown into something huge.

Why is May The 4th the official Star Wars Day? While the pun is certainly a good one (May the force be with you, May the fourth be with you), how did it become so globally recognized with organized events, sales on new Star Wars products, and new content being released for the galaxy far, far away? In recent years, May the 4th has made the transition from being a day for fan appreciation and has evolved more into a legit holiday. Here's how May The 4th began, as well as how it became such a large day of celebration for the pop culture phenomenon.

Funny enough, the first recorded official use of the "May the Fourth" pun was on May 4th 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher became the United Kingdom's Prime Minister. A congratulatory statement was placed in the London Evening News which read, "May the fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations." However, one can imagine that clever Star Wars fans with penchants for puns would have been saying the phrase in the two years prior since the original Star Wars movie hit cinemas in 1977. It should also be noted that Lucasfilm had nothing to do with the initial events/parties that were first held. In 2011, one of the first large organized events was held at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada, featuring film screenings, costume contests, and more. At its core, the origins of May the 4th lie with fan appreciation for the franchise.

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Related: The Bad Batch Shows Why Rogue One & Mandalorian Are Disney's Biggest Successes

However, Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 shifted the day into more of a legitimate holiday ever since 2013. Disney began hosting parties and events at their theme parks, and other companies started following suit, offering special discounts and sales on Star Wars products to the point where fans now eagerly await the day when new products are given special May 4th release dates in order to capitalize on the hype and excitement. Furthermore, Disney has lately used the holiday as a release date for new content, such as 2020's seventh season of Clone Wars on Disney Plus, as well as the upcoming Star Wars: The Bad Batch series coming this year's May the 4th.

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Additionally, some might not know that there's actually another official Star Wars day every year on May 25th. In 2007, the city of Los Angeles declared May 25 as an official Star Wars Day in honor of the 30th anniversary of the first film's release on May 25, 1977 – though it seems pretty clear that fans (and companies) are more drawn to the day with the epic pun. It's sort of hard not to, but the 25th does provide another great excuse to watch any Star Wars movies missed on the 4th. Also, for those wanting to celebrate the dark side there's always Revenge of the 5th the next day (like Revenge of the Sith...get it?)

At this point, there's multiple ways for Star Wars fans to celebrate the holiday in some way, shape or form, even if it's just sitting on the couch and marathoning favorite films and/or series from the massive galaxy far, far away. Furthermore, there's just something cool about there being an entire day dedicated to such a large pillar of global pop culture...it's also really fun to tell people, "May the Fourth be with you."

More: Do You Need To Watch Clone Wars Before Bad Batch?

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Kevin Erdmann (1199 Articles Published)

Kevin Erdmann is one of Screen Rant's staff writers. With a major in Cinema Studies and a minor in Comics and Cartoon Studies from the UofO, Kevin is pretty sure he's writing for the right site. While Kevin is a huge Marvel fan, he also loves Batman because he's Batman and is a firm believer that Han shot first. Disney also shares a big part of his fan patronage. Previously, Kevin was a writer for ComicsVerse.com. Kevin lives in Oregon with his wonderful wife and sinister cat who is no doubt currently plotting his demise.

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