Today being May the Fourth (Star Wars Day) got me thinking: when was the date of May the Fourth first celebrated as Star Wars Day?

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    I'm sure this is a dupe, but I couldn't find a similar question! May 4, 2016 at 10:36
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    Hey, new username!
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 4, 2016 at 11:28
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    On May the third. May 4, 2016 at 13:52
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    I don't know when it was first celebrated, but it's really cool and hope it lasts a long time. I hope it... lives long and prospers, if you will.
    – corsiKa
    May 4, 2016 at 16:02
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    Welcome to yesterday non-Aussies!
    – Möoz
    May 4, 2016 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


It sounds like May 4, 1979 might be the earliest reference for any reference of May 4th.

One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture is in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:

Friday, May 4

“Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was ‘May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,’ further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.”

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    There's just one problem with this - Star Wars was not released on May 4. It was released on May 25. The May 4 thing was a pun created later, but nothing to do with the actual release date. (Most likely it was a mere coincidence that it was even in the same month.) May 4, 2016 at 16:36
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    An important word is missing from both this and the other answer - apocryphally. I can't find any evidence of this (and, honestly, it seems like the setup to a joke about Thatcher) May 4, 2016 at 16:40
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    @DarrelHoffman Star Wars was released in 1977, Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979. Machavity just forgot to add the year in the quote.
    – Iron Man
    May 4, 2016 at 21:08
  • @IronMan - That comment related to the pre-edited version of this answer. May 5, 2016 at 13:32
  • @DarrelHoffman Yeah. The Fourth is strong with this one.
    – Iron Man
    May 5, 2016 at 15:04

It was firstly celebrated in Toronto in 2011 by the Toronto Undeground Cinema, with movie marathon and costume contest.

Since 2013, Disney tries to make it a worldwide and marketing event.

For the story, "May the Fourth Be With You" came firstly after Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the UK in 1979.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Day

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    The Wikipedia entry just says it was the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day, not the first celebration.
    – Equalsk
    May 4, 2016 at 11:05
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    @Equalsk I haven't found any older references for a Star Wars celebration on that day. That said, if the celebration is not organized, it will be hard to find a reference.
    – Neow
    May 4, 2016 at 11:56
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    I never heard of "May the 4th" until fairly recently. As a totally bonkers, over-the-moon Star Wars fanatic starting in 1977, I feel like I would have heard about this if it were a thing way back then. I think the Internet was an important part of making May 4 into Star Wars day. May 4, 2016 at 13:19
  • May the Fourth has been celebrated looooong before 2011 all over the world by fans. i don#t know if there were any "official" celebrations, but local clubs etc. have done it for long times. according to this, it was celebrated at least in 2001.
    – Polygnome
    May 4, 2016 at 15:12
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    Of course Wikipedia could never be wrong. Here is an article from 2009 which references Star Wars Day. The Wikipedia article about Star Wars day is from 2008. The question is really what one wishes to view as "celebrating the event". I know that local clubs and pubs have had Star Wars celebrations on May, 4th for a long time (I think it started to become a thing shortly after the release of Episode I) - but not "officially". So question is what the OP really wants to know.
    – Polygnome
    May 5, 2016 at 11:51

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