“May the 4th Be With You”: the history behind “Star Wars Day”

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Stephen Colbert, J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Naomi Ackie

FILE – In this April 12, 2019, file photo, Stephen Colbert, from left, J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Naomi Ackie participate in the “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” panel on day 1 of the Star Wars Celebration at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Disney on Monday, Oct. 21, debuted the final trailer for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the ninth installment in the “Star Wars” film franchise that tells the story of the powerful Skywalker family. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)

May 4th may seem like just a normal day on the calendar, but if you ask any Star Wars fan, they’ll make sure to let you know it’s a special day.

May 4th is recognized as “Star Wars Day,” which became a holiday due to the spin on the movie’s famed tagline “may the force be with you.” The Walt Disney Company first recognized the holiday in 2013.

George Lucas is the man who started it all. He became fascinated with the idea of creating a “space opera” movie that was aimed at the teenage demographic, a move that was very different from the normal target audiences for sci-fi movies in the ’70s. The original story took multiple drafts and multiple years to craft into the universe that took over the world.

When the first movie, titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was released in 1977, it didn’t take long for 20th Century Fox to realize that it was sitting on a gold mine. The film cost the studio $11 million to create, and it grossed over $513 million during its general release.

Lucas originally planned to create nine films in the Star Wars universe, but soon after beginning the “prequel trilogy,” he insisted he would only create a total of six films – three that were already released and the three that he just began work on. He announced in 2012 that he would no longer be creating any new Star Wars films, which lead to the Walt Disney Company purchasing his company Lucasfilm and taking control of the development of the “sequel trilogy” to complete the original idealogy.

The first film under Disney was released in 2015, titled Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The next two episodes were released every two years after. The first two of the Disney iterations were a hit with fans and movie critics, but the third movie Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker was hit with much more criticism, with critics citing “a frustrating lack of imagination” that lead to mixed reviews from fans.

For fans looking to celebrate the day, Disney+ is providing some brand new content, releasing the first episode of “Star Wars: The Bad Batch,” the new, animated series that follows the elite and experimental troopers of Clone Force 99. The first episode drops May 4, soon followed by the second episode on Friday, May 7. Each new episode will drop on Fridays following the series premiere.

Disney+ will be releasing a flurry of new Star Wars content in the next few years. The Book of Boba Fett, Andor, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are all television series that will be released on the platform later this year or next year.

Happy Star Wars Day!!

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