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The origins of ‘May the Fourth’ 

May 14, 2024 08:42AM ● By Ethan Hoffmann 

‘Grogu’ greets patrons at the front counter next to a ‘Darth Vader’ scavenger hunt sign and a party announcement. Courtesy photos

Since the original release of “Star Wars” in 1977, fans have been watching and enjoying the sci-fi adventure beloved by so many. Since then, the “Star Wars” franchise has grown significantly to include prequels, sequels, stand-alone films, TV series, and even video games that tie into the story. As many already know, May 4, a major “Star Wars” holiday, took place last week. While the holiday was not created or declared by Lucasfilm, May 4 marks the day when “Star Wars” fans around the world choose to celebrate the franchise and unite under one fandom. 

The date in particular originates from the pun “May the Fourth be with you”, a variant of the popular “Star Wars” universe farewell “May the Force be with you” used by many characters throughout the story. The catchphrase was first uttered by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.” According to, the first use of the May the Fourth pun was on May 4th, 1979, when Margaret Thatcher became UK Prime Minister. An article in The London Evening News bore a congratulatory advert by her party, which read: "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations." 

The series of films began as the brainchild of director George Lucas, but it is still going strong under the direction of the multinational company Disney. Granted, Disney had a rough start continuing the saga, but they have more than made up for it with the production of their hit TV shows: “The Mandalorian,” “The Book of Boba Fett,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Andor,” “Ahsoka,” and their upcoming addition “The Acolyte” which is scheduled to release on June 4. In addition to live-action masterpieces, “Star Wars” is home to multiple animated series; namely “Rebels,” “The Clone Wars,” “The Bad Batch,” “Tales of the Jedi,” and “Tales of Empire,” the latter of which was available for fans beginning on May 4. Although children may be the target audience of the animated counterparts, these shows contain “Star Wars” lore and backstory that is frequently found in other material. “The Clone Wars” in particular is very nostalgic for many older fans and is still popular today. 

In fact, the “Star Wars” theme is so popular that it is a common sight in stores everywhere. Merchandise ranges from high-quality lightsaber replicas to children’s products such as Lego building kits. The protocol droid C-3PO once said, “The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.” While these odds aren’t the greatest, if you haven’t seen any of the “Star Wars” movies, there’s a high chance you’ve probably heard of them. To put it simply, “Star Wars” has become an important part of not just American culture, but the culture around the world. 

To celebrate the holiday, the Morgan County Library planned a week of “Star Wars” fun for its patrons. From April 29 to May 4, citizens of Morgan may have found themselves face-to-face with Darth Vader, the “Sith Lord” himself. Throughout the week, a cardboard cutout of Vader lurked somewhere in Morgan. If a patron managed to find him, they could bring back photo evidence and receive a prize as a reward. 

In addition, there are ample decorations currently on display: a cardboard cutout of Grogu, hand-drawn “Star Wars” characters by Betty Rothschild, a Lego Star Wars display by Matthew Bourne, and last but not least, a planetary model hanging from the ceiling in the young adult section.

On May 4, the library held a “Star Wars” party. The party began at 1:00 p.m. and was intended for ages 5-18. Activities included DIY lightsabers, a balloon arch photo op with props, and “Star Wars”-themed games and crafts such as designing your own droid, button making, and pinning the Jedi braid on Anakin. Librarians entertained visitors by playing all three original “Star Wars” movies throughout the day and a playlist of “Star Wars” music during the festivities. In addition, the young Jedi in training were pleasantly surprised by a special appearance by Kylo Ren on the front lawn. Participants had the opportunity to duel the iconic character with their pool noodle lightsabers in an attempt to save the galaxy from the clutches of the tyrannical First Order. λ

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