May The 4th Be with You: The History of Star Wars Day Explained
May the 4th Be With You! Fanboys around the world are celebrating the annual Star Wars Day holiday, which kicked off with a trailer for the upcoming TV series Star Wars Rebels. But do you know how Star Wars Day came to be? Entertainment Weekly has a breakdown of the history behind this beloved holiday, which has origins that some fans may find surprising.
Star Wars Day was born through an ad in the London Evening News on May 4, 1979, which was taken out by the U.K.'s Conservative Party, to congratulate Margaret Thatcher on being elected Prime Minister of the U.K., which read, "May the 4th Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations."
The phrase didn't catch on until several years later. In 2011, Toronto Underground Cinema put together a celebration of this holiday and a film festival, and now several businesses are capitalizing on the event by offering special deals discounts for fans.
In the 1980s President Ronald Reagan was inspired by the beloved franchise's character Grand Moff Tarkin to create a Strategic Defense Initiative known as Star Wars. While it was never deployed, it did pave the way for strategic missile systems that are in place today.