May The Fourth Be With You: History Of Star Wars Day, New Shows On Disney+ And Top Deals For Fans

Zinger Key Points
  • Star Wars Day Is Celebrated Annually on May 4.
  • Fans of the franchise get new product releases and deals on the holiday every year.

For fans of the Star Wars franchise, May 4 is a holiday. Although unofficial, it's celebrated by The Walt Disney Company DIS and is used by the media company to launch new content and for retail partners to highlight products.

History of Star Wars Day: Since launching in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has been one of the highest-grossing and most popular brands for film and television. The Lucasfilm franchise founded by George Lucas was the driving force behind Star Wars and would later be acquired by Disney in 2012.

One of the most famous phrases in the Star Wars franchise has been, “may the force be with you,” which has now transformed the date of May 4 into “May the fourth be with you.”

Now an unofficial holiday, May 4 is used by Disney and Lucasfilm to promote upcoming content and merchandise.

While the holiday has grown since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the origins of the holiday date back to 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

On May 4, 1979, Thatcher became the first woman prime minister of the United Kingdom. A newspaper ad the next day celebrated the victory saying, “May The Fourth Be With You Maggie. Congratulations.”

The month of May is a busy one for Lucasfilm as it also recognizes the anniversary of several Star Wars movie and series releases. May 25, the date that “A New Hope,” “Return of the Jedi” and “Solo” were all released in theaters, is celebrated by some as Geek Pride Day. May 14 is also Lucas' birthday.

Disney+ Adding Content: To celebrate Star Wars Day, streaming platform Disney+ will add content from the Star Wars universe.

A second season of “Star Wars: Visions” titled Volume 2 is launching on Disney+ on May 4. The series features nine episodes, all less than 30 minutes, telling different stories from the Star Wars universe from various directors. The debut season of the series earned an Emmy Award nomination, providing an opportunity for directors who haven't previously worked on Star Wars films or shows to showcase their favorite characters or elements from the beloved franchise.

“Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures” launches on Disney+ on May 4 and could bring new fans into the franchise. The series is aimed at preschool and young kids, with the story centered on younglings learning the ways of the force thanks to Master Yoda. The series could become a hit with young kids, and would also likely translate well to a line of toys and products aimed at the same young age demographic.

Disney+ is also launching “Rogue Not Quite One,” a new short from The Simpsons that stars Maggie Simpson and makes its debut on May 4. Maggie travels in Grogu’s hovering vehicle throughout space on an adventure that pays tribute to Star Wars.

Theatrical Re-Release: Another Star Wars Day celebration is taking place with “Return of the Jedi” being shown in select theaters in the United States, United Kingdom and other territories. The iconic movie was re-released on Friday (April 28), gearing up for the film's 40th-anniversary celebration on May 25, 2023.

In its first weekend of re-release, “Return of the Jedi” grossed $5.1 million and ranked fourth for the weekend.

Related Link: If You Invested $1,000 In Disney Stock When They Acquired Star Wars Parent Lucasfilm, Here's How Much You'd Have Now

Promotions and Special Offers: Star Wars fans are blessed with many new items launched on May 4 and existing products having huge sales in honor of the holiday.

Toy company LEGO has several ongoing deals, along with the launch of a new Lego Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter. Customers who spend $40, $85 and $150 will receive gifts to honor the day.

“At the LEGO Group, we are such big fans, we dedicate a whole event to launching new LEGO Star Wars sets with deals and special offers!” the LEGO site reads.

The Disney shop is celebrating the holiday with a 40th-anniversary Luke Skywalker legacy lightsaber set, priced at $250. The lightsaber pays tribute to the holiday and also comes as “Return of the Jedi,” which featured the green lightsaber, celebrates 40 years later this month.

Ecommerce giant Inc AMZN has launched several Star Wars-themed Echo Dot stands for the holiday. Bundles that include an Echo Dot and the stand are priced at around $69. The Dot stands come as the characters of Mandalorian, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and Baby Grogu.

Starbucks Corporation SBUX has also launched specialty-themed Star Wars mugs for the annual holiday. The mugs are being released on May 4 and are part of the “Been There” series. The mugs feature the Star Wars planets of Coruscant, Jakku and Mustafar.

Retailer Target Corporation TGT is offering 20% off most Star Wars items on its website and in-store. The retailer has several Star Wars-exclusive items available and is promoting the offers on its website.

Toy and collectible company Funko Inc FNKO is launching several new Star Wars-themed Funko Pops and backpacks as part of the holiday celebrations. The company is running a special promotion: buy three Star Wars items and get one free, through May 7.

Toy company Hasbro HAS is the creator of several Star Wars products that will be part of sales across retailers. The company’s licensing deals with Lucasfilm have been a big revenue driver, as Star Wars remains one of the top franchised brands worldwide.

Read Next: May The Force Be With Disney's Star Wars Future: Movies, TV Shows And The Return Of Daisy Ridley 

Photo: Shutterstock

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