May the 4th be with you: What is Star Wars Day and how did it start?

4 May 2022, 10:03

May 4th is celebrated every year by Star Wars fans
May 4th is celebrated every year by Star Wars fans. Picture: United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

By Jenny Mensah

As 'May the fourth' comes around again we look at the day made famous by Star Wars' "may the force be with you" quote and why it's still celebrated.

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4 May 2021 is like any other May 4th has been for decades. It marks the day when Star Wars fans unite from across the world to celebrate the famous franchise.

The series of films, which are the brain child of George Lucas, started in 1977 and are still going strong today with Disney at the helm. But what does May 4th mean, why is it so important to Star Wars fans and how is it celebrated?

Find out the answer to this and other Star Wars-related questions here.

READ MORE: Watch Carrie Fisher nail her Star Wars audition with Harrison Ford...

In the cockpit for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.
In the cockpit for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca. Picture: Glasshouse Images / Alamy Stock Photo

What is May the 4th be with you and why is it celebrated by Star Wars fans?

May the 4th became a popular pun due to its similarity to the iconic Star Wars quote: "May the force be with you".

According to gadgets.ndrv.com, the first use of the May the fourth pun was in May 4th 1979 when Margaret Thatcher became UK Prime Minister and an article in The London Evening News bore a congratulatory advert by her party, which read: "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."

4th May became dedicated to Star Wars and was started organically by its fans, but is now celebrated around the world. in 2011, the first last organised event saw the day officially celebrated in Toronto Underground Cinema.

An original UK poster for Star Wars, which carries the "May The Force Be With You" tagline
An original UK poster for Star Wars, which carries the "May The Force Be With You" tagline. Picture: Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo

Who says "may the force be with you" in Star Wars?

"May the force be with you" was was most famously first uttered by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker. However it was also used by minor character General Donna as he dismisses rebel troops before their attack on the Death Star.

Watch some of the moments its mentioned in the franchise:

What was the first Star Wars film and when was it released?

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in 1977.

Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford had a brief affair on the set of Star Wars.
Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford had a brief affair on the set of Star Wars. Picture: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Did Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have a relationship in real life?

Yes. After four decades of keeping the romance private, Fisher revealed in her final memoir, The Princess Diarist, that the pair did have a brief affair. Ford was then married to Mary Marquardt.

In a 2016 interview with Today, Fisher said the relationship with Ford was mostly a sexual one and was only “three-month one-night stand," but she became obsessed with Ford. She later shared her regret at sharing their secret affair with the world.

Carrie Fisher on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Carrie Fisher on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Picture: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

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