I suppose many of us can trace our life events around the Star Wars movies. Interestingly, Star Wars day was purely a fan thing, it had nothing to do with George Lucas or the film studio. The phrase “May the Fourth be with you” was first used in an article published in The London Evening News back in 1979 and the date was, you guessed it, May 4. This was the day when Margaret Thatcher first took office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It was supposed to be a congratulatory advertisement by her political party and it read, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” It wasn’t until 2012 when Disney bought Star Wars that it became a shameless marketing ploy.
I have such fond memories of preschool boys playing with Star Wars figures will the movies played in the background over and over again until we all had them memorized. Thanks to Dyslexia, for years past their toddlerhood, I read to them Star Wars series. I still have the complete Jedi Apprentice Series, Jedi Quest Series, Boba Fett Series and Young Jedi Knights Series. I’m not exaggerating, my boys loved Star Wars, all three of them.
Around 2003 Russell taught a LONG Sunday School Series to middle school boys paralleling Stars Wars to the gospel. For a couple of years they dissected the characters in the movies and searched to see who they represented in the gospels. He kept that group of boys captivated for a long time.
My Star Wars Timeline:
1977 – Star Wars : Episode IV – A New Hope releases to an unsuspecting world. I was 14 when the movie released and my Uncle Joe drug us girls to see it. I had no idea the impact this little space story would have on my life.
1980 – A boy who held my hand took me to see The Empire Strikes Back. I would have watched anything with that boy!
1983 – That same boy is excited about Return of the Jedi, I happily go along.
1999 – We have a three year old little boy who falls in love with Star Wars with the release of Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.
2002 – We have a new three year old and six year old that are super excited about the release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
2005 – The boys are in First Grade and Fourth Grade and while we never miss school, we leave early on May 19th to see Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith at a theater in Pflugerville because it was the closest theater selling advance tickets for the first showing. Dad was out of town, but I took the boys. We were introduced to the Sith in a theater filled with men from Dell Computers! We gladly went to see it again when dad got home.
2015 – Ryan is home for his first college break and we go to the midnight showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
2017 – The boy that held my hand has been dead for 462 days, but our boys who are now men take me to the midnight showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
2019 – Our boys are now men but still they go with me to the midnight showing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Dad now gone 1197 days, life and the legacy continue.
The thing about it is… It’s not just a movie, it’s been a big part of life for forty four years, and thanks to Disney, it will go on. It’s a classic tale of good vs. evil and the powerful impact of our choices. We can still use this timeless story to present the galactic gospel to the Jedi in your life!