Anywhere you go on the Internet today (May 4), chances are you'll see a strange phrase circulating around.
"May the 4th Be With You" is currently the No. 1 trend on Twitter worldwide, and Star Wars fans are using it to profess their love for the George Lucas-created franchise. Over the years, May 4 has become the official Star Wars day and the aforementioned quote is the fandom's mantra.
The fans view it as a holiday and wouldn't even spare Lucas if he appeared to steal the thunder on the one day they want the entire focus to be on them.
It makes the "May the 4th Be With You" concept even more intriguing. So what's the thought behind it and how was the phrase coined?
As per author Alan Arnold, “May the 4th” was first used on May 4, 1979, when former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher first assumed office for the first time. To commemorate the Iron Lady's premiership, her Conservative Party put an ad in a local paper with the message:
"May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations."
Star Wars fans adopted it almost instantly, but it didn't take off until the Internet arrived and provided the fans a platform to gather on. Social media made it even bigger and soon "May the 4th" transitioned into real life with fans organizing commemorative events on the day.
While Lucasfilms may not have taken it seriously earlier, it too had to buckle and recognize May 4 as the official Star Wars day. What had begun as a simple fan fad has now developed into a worldwide event and the franchise's official partners see it as a great opportunity to create some marketing buzz.
The next movie of the series – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – is scheduled for release later this year after a gap of seven years. And with two more installments to follow, it's clear that May 4 will be celebrated with even greater enthusiasm and passion in the upcoming years.