"May the 4th be with you" went from a pun to a hashtag to a holiday
Fans celebrate the day worldwide in a number of ways
It’s not just a pun.
“May the 4th be with you” is the phrase marking a full-fledged unofficial holiday, Star Wars Day.
Actually, as far as Lucasfilm and Disney are concerned, it’s quite official.
So, why this day, and what is there to do other than watch it trend on Twitter?
As legend has it, and according to the origin story recognized by Lucasfilm, the phrase was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as UK Prime Minister. The Conservative Party reportedly placed an ad in the London Evening News that read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
It took off in the age of social media (there’s even a Star Wars Day Snapchat filter), and now events around the world celebrate the day.
There are online and in-store deals on “Star Wars” merchandise and gaming, “Star Wars” food galore, and other events, where fans are encouraged to dress up, play “Star Wars” trivia or just enjoy their favorite film franchise.
Vanity Fair is also getting into the spirit of things with an issue filled with new photos and revelations about December’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Here are five other things you can do on Star Wars Day:
1) Go watch a baseball game. Seriously. You’ll get some swag.
If you’re at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, the New York Yankees will give away an Aaron Judge Jedi bobblehead. ( If you can’t be in New York, some other teams are expected to celebrate Star Wars Day, too).
2) Get ready for the release of the Han Solo prequel by watching new content.
If you’ve watched the “Solo” trailer so much that you could navigate your way around Corellia, maybe you’re in the mood for something else for a while. Disney’s YouTube channel is expected to have seven animated shorts from the “Star Wars Forces of Destiny” series available.
3) Visit some of the spots made famous by the “Star Wars” movies.
Chicago’s Geek Bar Beta is hosting a cosplay contest in the Windy City. Again, this could be a great excuse to host your own costume contest if there are none in your area.
4) Roar like Chewbacca, for a good cause.
4) Be charitable
Lucasfilm and Star Wars: Force for Change invite fans to share their own versions of the Wookiee’s cry on social media. Through May 25, Star Wars: Force for Change US will donate $1 to UNICEF USA (up to $1 million) for each public post, like or share on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook that includes #RoarforChange.
And if you happen to be in Sydney, Australia, you can support Scott Loxley, a man who has been walking the country in a sandtrooper costume to raise money for charity. Participants can “walk a mile” in his boots by hopping on a treadmill.
5) Throw your own party – with “Star Wars”-themed food.