Well my three sons, I do hope you are celebrating by drinking ‘blue milk’ today because this story is dedicated to you. Did you know it is Star Wars Day?
“May the 4th be with you” is the slogan chosen to celebrate the success of our families, and millions of other families around the world for the much-loved sci-fi film franchise
Interestingly, the motto adopted started as a pun on a political certainty at the time. On May 4, 1979, the day the first woman in Britain’s history Margaret Thatcher took office as PM of the UK, her colleagues posted it in The Times newspaper as a way of congratulating her on getting the job.
Now the motto and the franchise surrounding the successful series of movies has taken flight and become another huge marketing opportunity for what surely must be the most successful group of films in the history of cinema.
This year Star Wars lovers have a lot to look forward to with the return of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi in cinemas for Xmas.
Already rumours abound and whether they are true or not well, we will all have to wait and see. It’s sure to be exciting.
Originally created by George Lucas, who is a genius really, the first movie simply named Star Wars was released in 1977 and I took my two primary and one prep school son to the opening session in Sydney and there is no doubt that it had an effect on all their lives.
Also, Star Wars (1977) originally won six Academy Awards and is often ranked as one of the best films of all time. This exciting adventurous space epic infused us all with new hope, leaving behind the straightened times World War II. It was all about the new age and the arrival of technology, which Mr Lucas and his team had to invent.
My peers were now 30 years past that monumental event WWII and those born towards the end of it and since were beginning to make a mark on the world as well as having children.
The original story became a cultural unifier as it captured the imagination and became adored by children everywhere. Star Wars parties with blue milk became the norm at our house.
Little did Lucas know how well his casting would work and how beloved by millions his trio of heroes Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) would become.
Now in the 21st century, the franchise having been sold by George Lucas, has moved onto yet bigger things under the mighty Disney banner. Another layer of memorable actors bringing characters representing our humanity to life, have been added.
They have all become integral to a world wide pop culture phenomenon as well. 2015 saw the reboot of the series with Star Wars: The Force Awakens a huge success, proving there was time for hope in the galaxy.
Last year we learned how the original rebellion to which our heroes belong had been built on hope as the Rogue One force perished on Scariff securing the plans to the Death Star.
Then sadly and suddenly we lost Carrie Fisher in tragic circumstances two days after Xmas in 2016, ensuring many millions of people around the world mourned her passing and celebrated her life’s journey.
She had come to mean so much to so many since she became the people’s Princess Leia, feisty and fabulous and a role model for generations of young women.
While it may all seem just great fun, there is a deeper meaning to the fact that Star Wars Day is becoming a growing phenomenon of its own.
It has its own Wikepedia entry, is being promoted on the Star Wars website and it is sure to have its own soon. The reason it is happening will surely become a research subject for students in many disciplines, everywhere.
For those who have not seen any of the films, well they can have a Star Wars celebration of their own stretching on for weeks and watch all eight films in order before the new one arrives in time for Xmas.
In the meantime, May the 4th be with you, today!
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2017