Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the 4th be With You

It’s hard to believe that a few years back, May 4th was a day that some folk mentioned but on the whole wasn’t a thing. “May 4th be with you” was a pun, but the day didn’t mark anything special. The fans have taken ownership, and this year it feels like it will be bigger than ever. Even Lucasfilm seem to be embracing the concept now.

The whole “May the 4th be with you” pun never seemed that great to me, although I will always remember that my final school History exam was to be on that date, and my teacher used the line a few weeks before. Hats off to him, it was very apt. I also recall seeing Eamonn Holmes discussing Revenge of the Sith on breakfast TV, and trying to make a joke by telling his co-anchor that the new film would be out on May 4th because May 4th be with you.... yeah, it really didn’t work since the film was due out on May 19th. 
But it’s not just a daft line anymore. Over the past few years it has become important to fan groups, websites and retailers. It started when Star Wars sites such as Jedi News started referring to May 4th as “Star Wars day”, gradually promoting it to “International Star Wars Day” and now it almost seems to be an official thing! The official Star Wars website makes mention of it these days. Retailers who specialise in Star Wars were the quickest to pick up on it, realising that there was money to be made – LEGO, for example, do annual promotions on their website and give away exclusive products with orders.

Events often take place on May 4th, it now seems a popular day for fan organised events as well as official ones. The 501st must do half of their annual trooping on May 4th! In the UK May 4th falls near a key bank holiday, which makes it all the more tempting for places such as LEGOLAND Windsor to use it for a Star Wars themed weekend. The Disney Theme parks are even set to have random Star Wars happenings this year to celebrate.

Particularly in non-movie years, it is nice to have a landmark day when Star Wars fans can share their passion with more casual fans and one another. For many of us, every day is a “May 4th”, with Star Wars never too far from our minds. But to be able to claim an actual day, and say that it is for us and our hobby, that’s a bit awesome. And with all of the marketing and hype that surrounds Star Wars, it’s nice to know that this grew from the fan community.

Have a great May 4th everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment