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May the Fourth Be With You: 'Star Wars' fan holiday

Darth Vader on the Death Star in "Star

Darth Vader on the Death Star in "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi." (Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

It may not be recognized by the federal government or most workplaces, but Sunday marks "Star Wars" Day, a semi-official holiday celebrated by fans of George Lucas' popular science-fiction franchise.

Why May 4? Mostly, it makes for a good pun. The holiday's slogan is "May the Fourth Be With You," a nod to the famous phrase "May the Force be with you," from the original 1977 film.

According to StarWars.com, the official fan Website, that bit of wordplay probably first came from the Brits. The first recorded instance of it was on May 4, 1979, when Margaret Thatcher's political party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News to celebrate her becoming Prime Minister. The ad stated, "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."

Fans dressing up today as Chewbacca, Darth Maul or Bossk have plenty to celebrate. The cast of the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII" was recently announced, and will include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, from the original franchise, along with Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow and relative unknowns like John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is due in theaters Dec. 18, 2015.


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