Tuesday is May 4th, and thanks to a punny 1979 London Evening News headline and a legion of die-hard fans, it’s known the world over as “Star Wars Day.” The headline about the election of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations” — inspired a grassroots movement for Star Wars junkies to celebrate George Lucas‘ galaxy far, far away.
May 4, 2011 marked the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada.
ABC News’ parent company The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, and has officially observed the holiday since 2013, with events at Disney parks and other celebrations — however, the pandemic put a crimp in those plans both last year and this.
However, all is not lost: Disney is celebrating this year with the launch of the Clone Wars spin-off The Bad Batch, as well as debuting a Simpsons short called Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap. Both are available on Disney+, as is every film in the Star Wars saga, as well as the stand-alone films Rogue One and Solo, the Emmy-winning animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the Clone Wars microseries, all of the LEGO Star Wars adventures — and even the made-for TV Star Wars films The Ewok Adventure, and Caravan of Courage.
Disney+ is also debuting “Star Wars Biomes”, described as “a virtual vacation to some of the Star Wars films’ most iconic and beloved locations like Hoth, Tatooine, and more,” and “Star Wars Vehicle Flythroughs”, which will give fans peeks into the unforgettable starships of the franchise, including the Millennium Falcon and others.
Of course, you can also find both seasons of The Mandalorian on the streaming service as well.
The wonks at FinanceBuzz have crunched the numbers, and released these findings:
Here are the 5 highest-grossing Star Wars movies, at the time of their release:
- Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – $936,662,225
- Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – $620,181,382
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – $532,177,324
- Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – $515,202,542
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) – $431,088,295
Here are the 5 highest-grossing Star Wars movies, adjusted for inflation:
- Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) – $1,340,662,479
- The Force Awakens – $1,041,106,174
- The Phantom Menace – $682,414,475
- Star Wars: Episode V (1980) -The Empire Strikes Back – $673,343,092
- Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) – $669,547,048
If that’s not enough to keep you busy at home, check out some recipes at StarWars.com to find out how to make blue milk pudding, Yoda Pancakes, Kylo Ren-inspired sushi, as well as crafty Star Wars party favor ideas.
Oscar-winning director Ron Howard directed Solo: A Star Wars Story. Howard’s been friendly with Star Wars creator George Lucas since Lucas directed Howard in the hit 1975 movie American Graffiti, and he told ABC Audio that it was during downtime on the set of Graffiti that Lucas’ galaxy far, far away initially took shape:
“He described this thing as a kind of, ah, ‘You know. Sort of a, I don’t know from Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon kind of serialized movie, but you know instead of the low budget special effects that they had, I’d use like you know sort of like Stanley Kubrick and 2001 Space Odyssey, but fast! You know and not realistic, you know just action.’ And I thought you know, I thought it was a terrible idea!” Howard laughed. “I didn’t tell him that! But I really wondered! Because at that time, sci-fi was, you know, really was, it was a B movie genre.”
Anthony Daniels, who played the beloved protocol droid C-3PO in various forms throughout Star Wars‘ history, says told ABC Audio the community of fans warms his heart. “That’s one of the glorious things about Star Wars. It has the social kind of thing about it that allows people to come together for whatever reason. You know, football has the same effect, you know. But Star Wars has been major in that way.”
Big Shots star Yvette Nicole Brown is a massive — and proud — geek, and has been seen in Avengers: Endgame and many other projects. She told ABC Audio all about her affinity for that galaxy far, far away — and yes, she’ll be celebrating today. “May the Fourth is a federal holiday for me,” she says with a smile. “One of my proudest moments in life was getting to play Lieutenant Valeria in LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, my character, got to say, ‘May the Force be with you.’ I told myself when I was a kid and I was dreaming of acting, I was like, if I ever get to be a part of anything Star Wars…Yes, but I always wanted to be on the Jedi side. I don’t I don’t dabble in the darkness,” she says with a smile. “And so just the idea that she was able — I was able to say that line and it lives in the world with my voice?! Forget it!” she enthuses. “Forget it!”
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