Today, May 4, 2015, is the annual “Star Wars Day” because of the easily made pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you” to “May the 4th be with you.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. It Began in 1979 With Margaret Thatcher
According to the Danish news DR TV, the pun was first acknowledged on May 4, 1979 by the London Evening News, who congratulated former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on her inauguration day by writing the headline “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie.”
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died in April 2013, served as PM from 1979 to 1990. She is recognized as not only being the only woman to have ever held the title, but also as the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century as well. She was nicknamed as the “Iron Lady” due to her uncompromising, conservative politics. The nickname would later become the title of a 2011 biographical film about Thatcher, starring Meryl Streep in the title role.
2. It Was Unofficially Celebrated After That
After the clever coining of the day by the the London Evening News, various celebrations were held for “Star Wars Day” around the globe. However, it was never officially recognized in the years to follow, even with the subsequent release of the two follow-ups to the inaugural Star Wars film A New Hope, May 25, 1977.
The Empire Strikes Back was released a year after the phrase was coined on May 21, 1980.
Return of the Jedi came out May 25, 1983.
3. Toronto Held the First Organized Celebration
The first organized Star Wars Day was on May 4, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. It now has a Facebook page which advertises the annual event.
The inaugural day was included trivia, a costume contest with celebrity judges, and other celebrations of all things Star Wars.
This year’s Star Wars Day in Toronto will take place at the Smiling Buddha, a concert venue.
4. Disney Officiated it in 2013
Disney purchased the film rights to Lucasfilm in late 2012, taking ownership of the lucrative franchise from its creator George Lucas. It quickly integrated the franchise into its theme parks, and since 2013, Disney Parks have celebrated the holiday festivities.
5. A New Film Comes Out This Year
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens in theatres on December 18, 2015. Watch the newest trailer above.