It’s May the 4th and 40th as the annual Star Wars Day is celebrated along with the anniversary of Return Of The Jedi’s launch four decades ago.
And the licensing industry is joining in, with Danilo, Hallmark and Moonpig among the companies featuring special offers on Star Wars products to mark the event that we have Britain’s Maggie Thatcher to thank for.
“We’ve been revealing our new 2024 official Star Wars calendar and diary range via social media,” Danilo’s marketing manager Claire Bates told sister title PG Buzz, “including Grogu and Return Of The Jedi which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
“Plus, we’re giving customers the chance to earn double the amount of loyalty points for any 2024 Star Wars calendar or diary they pre-order today and tomorrow on danilo.com.”
Danilo’s Grogu product images went live on social media at noon, while those for Return Of The Jedi – the third release in the epic movie franchise and the sixth chronologically in the story – came out on 28 April when UK cinemas were showing the movie to mark the anniversary.
Moonpig is asking customers to “pick a side, any side” in special advertising for May the 4th, adding that those who are Darth Vader fans and good Jedis through-and-through all deserve a great card.
Featuring its Star Wars balloons and various gifts too, the online greetings retailer said: “Draw your light saber and make their special day all the more galactic now.”
Meanwhile, Hallmark is wishing the public “May the 4th be with you – happy Star Wars Day” with a 25% off deal for two or more products featuring iconic images from George Lucas’ film saga that’s now in the care of Disney.
LEGO also has a number of May the 4th deals including Return of the Jedi 40th collectables and an Executor Super Star Destroyer model.
Fossil has also launched a collection of watches and jewellery – including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and dog tag necklaces.
Between 2-23 May, Fortnite is running a ‘Find the Force’ event where several rifts will open up throughout the Island, with holograms of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Darth Maul waiting to train players in the Force.
Fans of Rocket League can also join in the celebrations from 4-16 May, with players being able to get their hands on some new items featuring droids R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8 and K-2SO.
The unofficial holiday originated from a catchphrase in the 1977 first film Star Wars: A New Hope where General Dodonna says “Then man your ships! And may the Force be with you!” to the rebel alliance as they prepare for their assault on the Death Star.
The following year US newspapers used the phrase to mark Independence Day celebrations on the Fourth Of July – then on May 4, 1979, the London Evening News carried a full-page ad declaring: “May the Fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations!” to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s election as the UK’s first female prime minister, and it became a catchphrase among Star Wars ever-growing fan base.