A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars Day was born. The month of May is a big deal for Star Wars fandom! It’s the day when the internet is flooded with may the 4th be with you meme.
If you are into Star Wars, you know all about it. However, if you need clarification about the day, we are here to help you out! By the end of this article, you can share may the 4th be with you memes with confidence!
We’ll look at the meaning behind Star Wars Day, its unusual origin story, its tradition, a brief history of the franchise, and a snippet of its fanbase.
Additionally, we have 50+ witty and may 4th memes to keep you glued this Star Wars Day! These memes are perfect to up your May the 4th social media game. Take the memes from our list and post multiple photos on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Finally, pair this article with our 300+ Hilarious Knock Knock Jokes for a laugh riot!
What is Star Wars Day?
Star Wars Day is the unofficial holiday to celebrate Star Wars. Festivities include re-watching Star Wars movies, dressing up in Star Wars-themed costumes, and sharing may the 4th be with you memes.
What makes Star Wars Day special is that it started as a ‘created by fans’ event. Unlike other commercialized holidays, Star Wars Day is not a making of the corporate world. In fact, fans celebrated this day on the internet till it became an actual event in 2011!
Fun Fact: The phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” is used in every Star Wars movie –
When is Star Wars Day?
Star Wars Day is celebrated every year on May 4th. It’s an unofficial holiday to celebrate all things Star Wars! Fans gather to share their love for the sci-fi franchise.
The month of May is big for Star Wars fans. Apart from Star Wars Day, the month also celebrates the birthday of its creator, George Lucas.
Lucas was born on May 14th, 1944. Moreover, the month also marks the release of the first movie – Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It was released on May 25th, 1977.
Those who don’t follow the series assume that May 4th celebrates the day the first movie was aired. But that’s not really the case.
Fun Fact: The South Pacific Island of Niue accepts limited collectibles as legal tender (i.e., money). Read More about it over here – Tiny South Pacific island to accept Star Wars coins as real money.
Why May the Fourth?
There is only one reason for celebrating Star Wars Day on May 4th. The reason is that “May the Fourth” rhymes with the most popular catchphrase in the franchise. It is a dialogue used by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope, “May the force be with you.”
In the franchise, characters often use this line to wish each other good luck. This usually happens when they are parting ways or going on dangerous missions.
In Star Wars, ‘force’ is what makes a Jedi powerful. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, force is “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.”
Are you still confused by what force means? Don’t worry! The creator of the franchise has explained the philosophy behind it.
In a 1977 Star Wars documentary, George Lucas says that force is “boiling down religion into a very basic concept. The fact that there is some deity or some power, some force that controls our destiny or works for good and also works for evil, is always been very basic in mankind.” Here’s the video where George Lucas talks about the Force –
So, why is May the 4th celebrated as Star Wars Day? We will get into the details in a bit, but for now, the best explanation for it is given by writer Alysia Gray Painter.
It will help you get a quick idea about the day! Here’s what she said:
“What’s so special about May 4, anyway…It’s based on “May” and “fourth,” and how much the word “fourth” sounds like the word “force”…well, you get the idea. May the fourth be with you. It’s wonderfully silly, it’s harmless, and we always welcome both of those things in a world that is too often neither.”Alysia Gray Painter
So, what is may the 4th be with you? In short, the play on words between “May the Force” and “May the Fourth” has given us Star Wars Day.
Since 2011, fans have popularized “May the Fourth” on the internet. In fact, some fans have extended celebrating the franchise to May 5th and May 6th.
These days are called “Revenge of the fifth and sixth,” where the villains of Star Wars are celebrated. It refers to the 2005 movie “Revenge of the Sith.”
Fun Fact: Sir Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Movie, apparently hated Star Wars.
In a letter obtained by Mashable, the theatre actor wrote to his friends, “new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wages of pink paper—and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable.” Check out the article here to learn more – Oscar Isaac reads brilliantly grumpy Alec Guinness letter from ‘Star Wars’ filming
List of May the 4th Be With You Images
May the 4th Be With You Baby Yoda
Here are a few Baby Yoda memes to brighten your day!
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The Legacy of Star Wars
If you’ve never seen Star Wars, we bet you’ve heard of it. The movie franchise has continued to dominate pop culture. Infact, you might even know all about the May 4th meme day!
However, probably, you are not a fan. Part of the reason might be that you don’t know where to start. The franchise has a bunch of mini-series, movies, and television shows. Also, not to forget its confusing timeline! It is no doubt a time-consuming venture. And you don’t have time for that sort of commitment.
If you can’t make heads or tails about Star Wars, it is okay. We are here to help you out! You can still participate in the upcoming Star Wars Day. We will give you a rundown on all things Star Wars!
In theory, the story of Star Wars doesn’t seem all that unique. So, what was its X factor? In part, it was the timing of its first release. The first movie in the franchise was released in 1977.
As journalist Bill Moyers notes about Star Wars, “Timing is everything in art….You bring it out just as the war in Vietnam is ending when America feels uncertain of itself, and the old stories have died, and you bring it out at that time, and suddenly it’s a new game.”
If you want us to summarize the entire story in a single line, it is this: A young boy destined for greatness defeats the evil empire and saves the world.
Star Wars World
We’ll give you a rundown of the Star Wars world. This is just a broad explanation of the story so that you are in the know-how of this cinematic universe.
This summary covers only the first three movies, namely, Star Wars: New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983). There’s a lot that happens in this franchise! But this overview should give you a fair idea about the Star Wars world.
1. Before Our Hero Was Born
Two knights, Qui-gon Jin and Obi-wan Kenobi, formed an order called the Jedi. We come to know that there is a prophecy in this order.
According to the prophecy, an individual who brings balance to the force will appear. When both the Jedis visit a planet called Tatooine for their mission, they find a boy who matches this prophecy.
The name of the boy was Anakin Skywalker. The Jedis offer to provide Anakin with training at an academy on the planet – Coruscant.
During this time, the Galatic Republic (the representative government in the Star Wars World) was fighting a civil war against a group of Separatists called CIS (or Confederacy of Independent Systems).
The CIS is a bunch of traders looking to secede from the Republic. During this civil war, Qui-gon Jin gets killed by the separatists.
After the death of Qui-gon Jin, Obi-wan Kenobi and the Jedi master, Yoda, take care of Anakin. They try to train him to be on the Jedi’s or the so-called good side. But, as the movies pan out, we find out that things go a bit haywire with Anakin.
As Anakin trains with Obi-wan, he also falls in love with Padmé Amidala. They both have a secret affair, as having such a relationship is forbidden by the Jedi order. The next few years see a clash between the Republic and the Separatists. This time is dubbed the “Clone Wars.”
After a few years, a chancellor named Palpatine gets kidnapped by the CIS. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker set out to find and rescue the chancellor. They find him and return to start their search for the commander of CIS, General Grievous.
However, rescuing Palpatine proves to be costly. As time passes, Palpatine and Anakin grow closer. The chancellor begins to persuade him to join the dark side, the evil counterpart of the Jedis called the Sith.
Unknown to the Jedis, Palpatine is a Sith Lord looking to take over the galaxy. He knows about Skywalker’s affair with Amidala and uses that information to his advantage.
Palpatine succeeds in his efforts to sway Anakin and gives him the name “Darth Vader.” Moreover, the chancellor also becomes the head of the Galactic Republic and goes on a mission to slaughter the Jedi order.
Anakin, who supports Palpatine in his mission, decides to kill Amidala. While he chases her down, Obi-Wan comes to Amidala’s rescue. He defeats Anakin and wounds him so severely that he has to wear a mechanical suit to survive.
On the other hand, unknown to Anakin, Amidala dies after giving birth to their kids. The two kids are named Luke Skywalker and Leia Skywalker.
Somehow, Yoda and Obi-Wan survive the attack on the Jedi and are tasked with ensuring the safety of the two kids.
2. The Birth of Our Hero – Luke Skywalker
While Luke is sent to the planet of Tatooine, Leia goes to the planet of Alderaan. Both are watched over by Obi-Wan and Yoda.
Fast-forward a few years, Leia becomes a leader of the rebellion against Palpatine and his Empire. She sends a message to Obi-Wan asking for his assistance in the fight against the Empire.
The Jedi knight sends Luke and a smuggler named Han Solo to save Princess Leia. At this point, Luke is unaware of his connection to Leia and doesn’t know his family history. Luke, Han Solo, and an alien named Chewbacca travel on a spaceship named Millenium Falcon to rescue Princess Leia.
We see Luke, Leia, and Han Solo put up a fight against the Empire. Luke returns to Yoda and continues training to become a Jedi Knight. During this time, Princess Leia falls in love with Han Solo.
Eventually, we see Luke come face to face with Darth Vader. Vader tells him that Luke is his son. When Luke is taken to the Death Star, he meets Darth Sidious, aka Palpatine.
Palpatine tries to convince Luke to kill Darth Vader and join him. When Luke refuses, he is electrocuted. Ultimately, Darth Vader grabs Sidious and kills him.
Luke takes off Vader’s mask and sees his father for the last time before leaving the station. Han Solo, Leia, and Luke save the galaxy and escape the war unscathed. Finally, Solo and Leia get married, and Luke commits to protecting the Jedi order.
3. The First Order Strikes Back
Is that the end of the Empire? Not quite. In the Revenge of the Jedi, we see the rebels fighting a reorganization of the Evil Empire called the First Order. Han Solo and Leia’s child Kylo Ren joins the dark side and kills Han. Another force-sensitive kid named Rey locates Luke Skywalker and undertakes training to become a Jedi.
The First Order defeat the rebels. Moreover, Kylo kills the leader of the First Order to assume his position. Ultimately, Luke Skywalker sacrifices himself to save Rey and her allies.
What Is the Timeline of Star Wars?
Folks who haven’t seen Star Wars have a common complaint. The timeline of the series is confusing, to say the least.
The countless movies, tv shows, and mini-series are no help either. The first movie in the series is Episode IV, and a couple of movies down the line, it is Episode I. This could leave any movie buff scratching their head!
If all the May the 4th meme has inspired you to watch this sci-fi drama, we can help you! Here’s a timeline of how things unfold in this world.
You can watch the movies in chronological order! In our list, we have ignored the release date of the movies. If you want to go from A-Z, it is best to start in this order. Here it is-
- Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi (2022)
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2020)
- Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
- Star Wars: Tales of The Jedi (2022)(Ahsoka Tano’s Story)
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021-Present)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)
- Star Wars Rebels (2014)
- Andor (2022-present)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
- Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
- Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
- The Mandalorian (2019-Present)
- The Book of Boba Fett (2021-2022)
- Star Wars Resistance (2018-2020)
- Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
- Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
- Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Here’s a chronological timeline of the Star Wars series:
Fun Fact: The original ending for the Return of the Jedi was to send Luke Skywalker to the dark side. Apparently, George Lucas contemplated the idea of Luke removing Darth Vader’s mask, putting it on, and saying, “Now I am Vader.” Read more about it here – Return Of The Jedi’s Original Luke/Vader Twist Would’ve Been Too Absurd.
Who Are the Fans of Star Wars?
It’s been 46 years since Star Wars first premiered.
Most people have a particular image of Star Wars fans. They consider fans to be a part of the geek or nerd culture. In fact, many say that Star Wars “created a paradise of nerds.” However, research suggests that fans of the franchise are actually a diverse group of people!
The franchise has a cross-generational fan base. This means that you’ll find these fans in every age demographic.
Even though the fanbase mainly consists of men, women aren’t far behind. In the figures, 27% of male internet users and 20% of women internet users are fans of the franchise.
According to a report by GWI, every one out of four users on the internet is a fan. Moreover, they are a cosmopolitan group, with most residing in North America.
Most fans also consider themselves to be cinephiles. Apart from Star Wars, these movie buffs also follow other sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero genre films.
These movies include Harry Potter, Marvel films, Spiderman, X-Men, and other Disney films. Out of these, Marvel films are followed by 56% of fans.
Also, these fans are a part of online communities like Reddit and Twitch. Infact, 2 in 3 fans say that the internet makes them feel closer to other people. Because of these fans, Star Wars is valued at $68 billion today!
If you want to read more about this Fan Profiling, here’s the report by GWI – The Fandom Menace: Profiling Star Wars’ Influential Fanbase
Fun Fact: The original name for Yoda was Buffy. It was changed to Minch Yoda and then shortened to Yoda. The name Buffy was decided during the initial stages of writing for The Empire Strikes Back. Moreover, the original plan was to have a monkey play Yoda. Read more about it over here – Yoda was originally named Buffy.
How Did the Tradition Start?
There is an assumption made by people who don’t follow Star Wars but know about May the 4th. They believe the 4th meme marks the release of the first movie in the franchise. The guess isn’t far-fetched!
Star Wars: New Hope hit the screens in the month of May 1977. But the film was released on May 25th, not May 4th. So, how did we arrive on May the Fourth?
1. The British Connection
Believe it or not, the May the Fourth pun has a connection to British Politics. Back in 1979, the UK’s Conservative Party (aka the Tories) paid for a newspaper advertisement that said, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!”
Confused? Don’t be! The then Prime-Ministerial candidate for the Conservative Party was Margaret Thatcher. Coincidentally, she assumed office as the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on, you guessed it, May 4th, 1979.
So, the UK’s Conservative Party gets the credit for the origin of the pun. However, other accounts say the pun was already used as early as 1978.
Apparently, American news publications would use the phrase to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day on July 4th.
The news publications were confident that the pun would be well received. Why? Because after the release of Star Wars: New Hope, the phrase was used regularly on posters and buttons to sell different items.
Strangely, British politics seemed to be fascinated with the Stars Wars pun.
In 1994, the phrase made its way back to the British Parliament. The opposition Labor party’s member, Harry M. Cohen, mentioned the term in the House of Commons.
During a discussion, Cohen sarcastically said that the Defense Budget should be discussed on May 4th. Why? He said that the day was appropriate since it was Star Wars Day.
Furthermore, Cohen added that he was talking about the movie Star Wars and not the name critics of President Regan gave for his missile defense plan.
In 2012, Boris Johnson used the phrase during his re-election acceptance speech as the Mayor of London.
2. Other Influence
Interestingly, StarWars.com mentions the influence of Randy Thom on the day. For the unaware, Thom was the location sound recordist for Revenge of the Jedi. For many years, he would use the phrase to write an annual message to the company.
3. The Internet Phenomenon
But, how does all this translate to the May the 4th be with you meme? Well, it took 20 years for the May the 4th meme to enter our mainstream pop culture. Like any other fad, finding evidence of its first use on the internet is challenging.
But, during the early 2000s, fans constantly mentioned the saying on social media. Soon, it caught the public’s imagination, and the phenomenon exploded.
When Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005, the franchise used the pun as a marketing tactic. They released a newspaper ad with Baby Yoda on it and the phrase “May the Fourth Be With You” as the heading of the poster.
It wasn’t long before we had the May 4th unofficial Star Wars holiday. Infact, Toronto Underground Cinema was the first to celebrate the day as a big event on May 4th, 2011. For its may the fourth be with you activities, they had themed festivities, a costume contest, and a movie marathon.
The grassroot fandom of Star Wars led to the initial rise of the pun. However, there is another player that commercialized the May the Fourth Be With You meme. And that is Disney.
4. Disney’s Hand in May the Fourth
In 2012, Disney acquired the film and television company, LucasFilms. For the unaware, the creator, George Lucas, owned LucasFilms. During its first year as the franchise owner, Disney used the pun as a marketing tactic.
The company turned May 4th into an actual event for fans. This event included invitations to its theme parks, Star Wars-themed fireworks, dance parties, and people dressed as characters from the franchise.
Disney even gave Star Wars merchandise at discounted rates. Over the years, Disney and LucasFilms have monetized the May 4th event. What started as a purely community-driven day has become a corporate phenomenon.
The news publication, The Verge, has called it a tale in “brand activation.” On every May the 4th, we see something new. During a particular year, we saw the International Space Station watching Revenge of the Sith from space.
In 2013, Disney celebrated the day by backing the evil empire. They released a ‘joke’ ad where we saw the empire declare, “Say No to May the 4th.”
Another year saw Star Wars team up with NASA to deliver a special message from the International Space Station.
Even though it is now a way to market the franchise, it didn’t start as one. It is unlike other corporate commercialized days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or National Enchilada Day. Star Wars Day was created by fans celebrating their love for the franchise.
Though it is an unofficial holiday, the California legislature voted to declare May 4th as Star Wars Day. Here’s a report – California votes to officially declare May 4 ‘Star Wars Day.’
May the Fourth is an important day for all Star Wars fans. As we mentioned, the popularity of this day has a connection to British politics, the Star Wars fanbase, and the now-owner of the franchise, Disney.
There is only one reason for choosing May 4th as Star Wars Day. It is because May the Fourth rhymes with the famous catchphrase in the series, “May the Force Be With You.”
Hopefully, our curated list of may the 4th be with you meme serves as a great starter pack for you to celebrate Star Wars Day. If you are looking to binge-watch movies, check out this list of 18+ movies about the life of Princess Diana.