Some holidays are based on the anniversary of a date, such as the independence days of many lands, the birthday of someone culturally important, or, say, the infamous date of a terrorist plot in Britain on November 5 is remembered annually as Guy Fawkes Night. Other holidays are religious in nature, and/or connect with the rotation of the Earth and/or moon. Many holidays are seemingly picked as a random date to celebrate a concept or popular item. Very few are based on puns. “Star Wars Day” being on May 4 is one of those.
The joke, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is that “May the Fourth” sounds like “May the Force…” as in “May the Force be with you,” a Star Wars reference so popular that our word processing program autocompletes it.
Allegedly, this pun was first made in 1979, when Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The story has it that her party took out a newspaper ad coining the phrase:
Of course, it’s very possible that someone made the joke in 1978, and since this was a long time ago, before social media, cell phones, or even the internet, it could have been said and not remembered. If anyone made it for May 4, 1977, it would have been someone involved with the production of the original Star Wars Film (what we know now as Star Wars: A New Hope) since it didn’t actually premiere until May 25, 1977.
Since May 25, 2007, was the 30th anniversary of the premier, there was an attempt that year to make May 25 the official “Star Wars Day, “ at least in Los Angeles, but it wasn’t until a Facebook group announced “Luke Skywalker Day” on May 4, 2008. The holiday was still more of a niche thing until 2013 or so after Disney got in on the act and things got as official as a pun about how a date sounds like a pop culture catchphrase can get.
Of course, the sequel to May the Fourth is, depending on your focus on immediacy or phonics, “Revenge of the Fifth” or “Revenge of the Sixth.”
Would you like to celebrate May the Fourth by wearing something that says “May the Force be with you?” How about this spinner ring? Feel that’s too wordy? How about shorthand, such as this “MTFBWY” necklace set, which also includes Rebel logos?
As you can imagine, we have a huge selection of Star Wars Jewelry of all sorts! Some of our newest items, which we’re incredibly excited about and very proud of, include our featured comfort-fit rings: including our “Feel the Force” ring with Jedi symbol, as well as Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Jedi Master, Rebel Scum, and a Mandalorian ring with a Mudhorn skull and the words, “This is the way.”
For more background info, including what the Force was almost called, check out last year’s “May the Fourth be With You” blog!