04/05/2016 06:14 BST | Updated 04/05/2017 06:12 BST

Star Wars Day Explained

May the 4th. For many it will be remembered as the date of the Battle of Tewkesbury in the War of the Roses, the date that King Charles II ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, or for being Cesc Fabregas's birthday.

But for those with a touch of the inner nerd about them - or at least access to Twitter - will know that it's really all about Star Wars Day.


Did you know that the saying actually dates back to pre-Twitter times of 1979, and that late prime minister Margaret Thatcher is to thank for the tradition? Well, she sort of is. When she was elected on May 4, 1979, a headline in the London Evening News read, "May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations." Now I mention it, she did have a bit of the Darth Vader about her - she was pro death penalty, happily crushed rebellions, and blew up the planet Alderaan... but at the end of the day, much like Darth, she probably wasn't all evil. 

However, it wasn't until a number of years later that the phrase really took off. In 2011, the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada put together an organised celebration involving costume contests and a film festival. These days the hashtag is guaranteed to trend and businesses cash in with their special deals on Star Wars-related merchandise. It's essentially an unofficial public holiday, although I'm not sure many bosses would consider it a valid excuse to not turn up to work. It also happens to be the United Nations anti bullying day, so for more feeble nerds it really is win-win. 


May the 4th is all about celebrating the Star Wars franchise, but that doesn't mean you have to go splashing your cash on some lightsabre chopsticks, or a Jar Jar Binks tongue lollipop. Yep, that was actually a thing. And it was a pretty gross thing.


For some people everyday is Star Wars day, celebrating all year round in different ways (podracing, reenacting lightsabre battles, working on their uncles' moisture farms), I myself recently chose to celebrate by spending a whole portion of my adult life in a year-long mission to track down and spend time with the forgotten minor stars of the Star Wars universe. From Wrexham Comic Con to Darth Vader's shed, I left no rock unturned.

Check out my YouTube channel if you'd like to know which of the bounty hunters are still skilled marksmen, or exactly how many people were inside Jabba the Hutt >

But however you choose to celebrate the day, remember that Star Wars is for life not just for May The 4th Be With You day. In fact, Disney plan to release so many Star Wars movies that you won't live to see the final one. Unless you keep popping back as a force ghost, and even then you'd have to back Walt to outlast you with his body allegedly cryogenically stored in a secret lab deep beneath the Disneyland castle.

Anyway, whilst you ponder that slightly morbid thought, here's Verne Troyer (AKA Mini Me) explaining how he originally came up with the idea for BB-8, the beloved Star Wars ball droid from The Force Awakens, also featuring my Sephro BB-8 app enabled toy and my beloved late pug dog, Bertie...


Images blogger's own