A fandom has reached the pinnacle of popular culture greatness when a day is celebrated in its honor; however, it is an unprecedented phenomenon when a franchise has two days each year to celebrate its geekiness. While some enduring franchises of multiple decades do not have any globally recognized commemorative days, Star Wars is the singular franchise that has back-to-back celebratory days: May the Fourth and Revenge of the Fifth.
“May the Fourth” is a play on the Star Wars phrase first uttered by General Dodonna, “May the Force be with you,” prior to Death Star battle in the original Star Wars film according to ThoughtCo’s article, 3 Famous Star Wars Quotes (That Were Never Said), dated this past February. Han Solo also used the phrase in a follow-up scene between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker; however, in the same film, Obi-Wan Kenobi does not. Jedi Master Kenobi did finally use the famous catchphrase in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith when speaking to Anakin.
In the real world, this phrase has been appropriated by world leaders. It was back in 1979 as Margaret Thatcher took the office of Prime Minister in the United Kingdom in which the phrase was used in a congratulatory advertisement in The London Evening News. And during Ronald Reagan’s term as United States President, he used a derivative of the phrase. In fact, the Strategic Defense Initiative was associated with Star Wars as a result, much to his chagrin (Chicago Tribune article, The Force Is With Us, Reagan Says, dated March 30, 1985). And, in 2005, the phrases was listed on American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes, coming in at #8.
After The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars in late 2012, Disney celebrated May the Fourth in 2013 with officially organized events. It was also around this time that the evil forces were looking for their day in the limelight. As a result, Revenge of the Fifth (May 5th) had a familiar ring to it, referencing Revenge of the Sith. Darth Vader may have breathed a deliberate, exasperated moan, because he anticipated that his troops were going to ask for the day off.
Regardless of your predisposition for good or evil, May the Fourth Be with You and watch out for the Revenge of the Fifth!
And, don’t miss out on our new Fanbase Press content celebrating the Star Wars franchise:
And, from the Fanbase Press archives, have a read of a few of our favorites!