On May 4, 2011, the first organized “Star Wars” Day celebration happened in Toronto. The date for this occasion was selected for no reason other than the fact that “May the fourth” kind of sounds like “May the force” (be with you).
“Star Wars” fans have been perpetuating this pun since at least 1979. When Margaret Thatcher took office as the new prime minister of Britain on May 4, 1979, the London Evening News congratulated her with a front-page ad that read, “May the fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations.”
The phrase also came up in British Parliament during a defense debate on May 4, 1994. It eventually started making the rounds on social media through “Star Wars” fan groups and memes. For the first commercial “Star Wars” day celebration, the Toronto Underground Cinema showed screenings of the “Star Wars” movies. Other festivities included costume contests and a “Star Wars” trivia game show.
The annual party just keeps getting bigger. Even astronauts at the space station have celebrated “Star Wars” Day by watching the movies in orbit.
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