A long time ago, in a galaxy where there was no internet… George Lucas had a vision and a team that would forever transform Hollywood…
The original Star Wars trilogy has been credited with “encouraging Hollywood’s blockbuster mentality of opening movies on lots of screens at once, utilizing mind blowing production values, emphasizing profitable franchises, [and] chasing the billions of dollars Lucas earned by retaining the “Star Wars” sequel and merchandising rights.â€ Basically we have Star Wars to thank for setting the stage for the never ending Avengers spin off films.
It’s been almost 40 years since the iconic ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ film was released to unsuspecting movie-goers, and really could anyone have predicted the cultural impact that the film and series would have? For instance, May 4th is widely acknowledged by fans as ‘Star Wars Day’. Say it slowly, “may the fourth be with youâ€ – get it? Â According to StarWars.com, today is the day to “celebrate the beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together.â€ Although neither Geroge Lucas, or anyone at Lucas Films, conceived the day – they acknowledge it’s existence and offer that “once the Internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it “Star Wars Day.â€
Six films later, and the Star Wars franchise has produced endless debates, endless parodies, and a seemingly endless revenue stream; according to data collected by USA Today, the franchise has generated a total revenue of around $27 billion since 1977. Broken down – that’s roughly $12 billion in toy sales, $4.3 billion in box office sales, $3.8 billion in DVD sales, and $2.9 billion in video game sales.
Adding to the folklore of Star Wars Day is the fact that the month of May has always been a special month for everything Star Wars; all of the films debuted in May, and creator George Lucas was born on May 14th, in 1944.
The question remains – how does one celebrate such a day? The internet provides mixed answers – some would have you go out and take advantage of the many deals being offered on Star Wars merchandise, others invite you to enjoy a Star Wars themed drink and watch the films with friends, but for the most immersive experience – why not gear up and competitively cosplay with a group of strangers?
If you feel like you weren’t adequately prepared for the day this year, don’t worry. With the new film, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ premiering in theaters on December 18th, next year’s celebration is sure to be even bigger. In the meantime, check out the trailer for the upcoming film, and start working on your costume for next year.
May the fourth be with you.
[Below: Watch Trailer]