(LOS ANGELES) — May 4th is also “May the Fourth Be With You,” the unofficial “holiday” dedicated to Star Wars.
The pun was first used back in 1979, when Britain’s Conservative party congratulated Margaret Thatcher in print for taking office as prime minister that day, but Star Wars fans co-opted it in 2011 to refer to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away.
May 4, 2011 marked the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada.
ABC News’ parent company The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, and has officially observed the holiday since 2013, with events at Disney parks and other celebrations. The California legislature voted Thursday to declare May 4th “Star Wars Day” in recognition of Galaxy’s Edge, a theme park within Disneyland slated to open later this month.
Many Major League Baseball teams, including the New York Yankees, are celebrating this year with Star Wars Nights, many featuring Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion and other groups to help bring some of that magic to America’s pastime.
The next film in the Star Wars universe — Star Wars: Episode IX — opens nationally December 20.
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