Lucasfilm has shared a history of today's festivities on the official Star Wars website:
Say "May the 4th Be With You" out loud and youíll hear the pun that Star Wars fans worldwide have turned into a rallying cry to proclaim their love of the saga. Itís the worldwide day to say "May the Force be with you" to all, and celebrate the beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together.
One of the earliest known records of "May the 4th" used in popular culture is in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:
Friday, May 4th
"Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britainís first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was 'May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,' further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all."
Once the Internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it "Star Wars Day."
While the idea of May the 4th did not start with Lucasfilm, the film company that created Star Wars has fully embraced the spirit of fandom that makes the day so special. The official blog at StarWars.com as well as the official Star Wars social media channels on Twitter (@starwars #MayThe4thBeWithYou) and Facebook (facebook.com/starwars) help spread the word and showcase fan activity. More and more official partners have offered sales, giveaways and exclusives, and have hosted parties and other activities to mark the day.
May the 4th kicks off a season of celebration, particularly since the month of May has always been important to Star Wars fans. The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original Star Wars on May 25th, 1977) and this year, May 25th marks the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. The month of May includes George Lucasís birthday (May 14, 1944), and has been the traditional start date of the popular Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort (this year, the fun begins on May 14th).
With the exciting launch of a new trilogy of movies beginning with Star Wars: Episode VII coming in the near future, this day to celebrate the saga and its amazing fans is certain to become even bigger each year.
Star Wars Origami Free May 4th Download
WeLoveFine Loves May The 4th
The Empire Circulates Propaganda Video
Zen Studios Celebrates May 4th With A Star Wars Pinball Sale
May The 4th Be With You At Coagula Curatorial
Star Wars At The Hangar Event In Denver, CO
Star Wars Day Approaches: Prepare For The Puns
Austin Fan Force Meeting
DK's Star Wars May The 4th Canadian Events
Topps Star Wars May The 4th Promotion
Disney Limited Time Magic Star Wars Event On May 4th
May The 4th R2-KT Charity Patch
Bonnie Burton's "May The Fourth" Video Blog
Return Of The Jedi Screening On May 4th
The ForceCast is our popular Star Wars podcast that features news, commentary, interviews, and discussion about the Star Wars saga! Listen Now!
Rebelscum.com provides the latest in collecting news. The site features up-to-the-minute news and images, coverage of Star Wars conventions, several product databases, countless reference galleries and archives, and more.Visit Now!
5/23 - Barrie Holland
5/23 - Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention (1987)
5/24 - Star Wars Celebration IV (2007)
5/25 - Frank Oz
5/25 - Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (1977)
5/25 - Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (1983)
5/27 - Christopher Lee
5/27 - Michonne Bourriague
Jedi Journals is the longest running Star Wars literature podcast in the galaxy. Listen Now!
Entertainment Earth was started in a garage in 1995, and has since become the "go-to" source and experts for the latest and greatest action figures, bobble heads, toys, gifts, and collectibles! Visit Now!
The IndyCast is the world's most popular Indiana Jones podcast! Ed Dolista and his team take a look at all the latest news, reviews and interviews! Listen Now!