It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that director George Lucas changed the world with the release of his space opera sextology, Star Wars. The series – set long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away that still manages to looks a bit like California – has gone on earn billions of dollars worldwide, spawn incarnations in cartoons, video games, novels, comic books, Lego, and theme park rides, and even also inspired a new religion: Jediism.
And so that’s why the world celebrates May 4 as Star Wars Day – but not everyone is pleased to see that it’s that time of year again.
What is Star Wars Day?
For the last 15 years or so, Star Wars fans have celebrated their love of the franchise on May 4 – after, according to former Jedi Council Master Mark Chalifoux at ManCave Daily, a German television station mistranslated Jedi mantra “May the Force be with you” as “May 4 be with you”. It’s an opportunity for fans to connect with other fans and remember all the wonderful things about Star Wars (before Jar-Jar Binks, of course); and for the 501st Legion, a group of Scottish super-fans who’ve got some pretty amazing Star Wars costumes, it’s about raising money for charity. The group have already raised £1 million, according to The Daily Record, and often don their Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and TIE Fighter Pilot costumes for hospital visits and fundraising events.
Star Wars deserves our love and celebration
Despite Lucas’s later missteps with the Star Wars prequel trilogy (again, Jar Jar Binks), and his CGI fiddling with the already the original trilogy, the saga is still worthy, declared James Clayton at Den of Geek. “We live in a society that marks nonsense holidays that mean very little and are only really about lauding spurious saints, selling products or encouraging people to drink excessively…. Star Wars Day, however, is still in touch with mythology and the original essence of an enthused sacred love.”
Want to remember someone this Star Wars Day? Send them an official Star Wars Day e-card!
Star Wars Day lets fans celebrate the way they want
The beauty of Star Wars Day is that doesn’t come from yet another Star Wars product launch, argued Erik Pedersen at E! Online. “This fan-generated holiday gives both Padawans and Jedi-level nerds a topical opportunity to talk about the George Lucas-spawned space saga in whatever way they like, one that’s not tied to 3-D reissues or the latest Lego release (which are awesome, by the way!). But just because it’s fun.”
Go away, Star Wars Day
SPA Confidential at Australian blog The Music is clearly not a fan. In a mock report, the blog declared, “Today the low court of pissed off human beings who live in the real world ruled that Star Wars Day, ‘celebrated’ annually on May 4, is both ‘annoying’ and even ‘f*cking pointless’. The decision came after a six-minute trial this afternoon, which was prompted by ordinary, middle-class, mum-and-dad civilians being bombarded with Star Wars references across everything, from morning radio to social networking to the office jerk, this morning.”
What is Jediism? A sort of pick n’ mix of world religions and philosophies, including Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism, Jediism follows the moral code established in the Star Wars films. In 2001, 390,000 UK residents listed their religion as “Jedi” – in a move widely seen as a poke at the Government.
Jedi religion belongs on screen, not in the UK
Jediism is a growing religion in the UK, warned Matthew Cresswell at The Guardian. Even after emailing with the spokesman for the Welsh Jedi Council, Cresswell said he remained “skeptical”. “Jediism belongs in the star systems of Lucas’s mind. For me, having one gigantic monomyth in place of distinct religious or secular systems sounds like chaos.”
British comedians Simon Pegg and Nick Frost “attempted” a shot-for-shot re-make of Star Wars; it didn’t go well.
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