Monday, May 03, 2010

A Quick Word On.... Star Wars Day

Flicking through a magazine recently I discovered that there was a movement to make May the 4th International Star Wars Day, due to the awesome verbal pun: "May the fourth be with you."

I found this pretty funny and happened to mention it to Dylan, a friend of mine and avid Star Wars fan, who decided we better make a facebook group for it, and promote it amongst our friends. That group is located here.

The idea was that on the fourth we would dress up in any Star Wars themed clothes we had, carry our lightsabers around for the day, and just generally screw around in a Star Wars fashion. For a few days there were only four of us in the group, and it didn't show any real signs of increasing. Then Dylan opened it up to the public, and we started throwing the link around to our friends and relatives who we thought might be interested.

The domino effect was pretty significant. The word spread and we ended up with a couple of hundred people who pledged their support for the day. One of them was Richard LeParmentier.

For those of you who don't know him (and it took us a minute too!) Richard plays Admiral Motti in 'A New Hope' (The guy whose 'lack of faith is found disturbing' by Vader in the first film). Once we had the support of one of the original trilogy's actors, we started to get pretty excited. Dylan suggested that the official Star Wars Twitter account would be worth contacting, as they often promote fan events. So I gave them a yell, and this was the result:

With George Lucas's people on our side, we had some real momentum! Numbers were growing steadily and we fathomed we could have 3000 Star Wars fans on side by the time May the 4th officially came. We promoted it as best we could, and were excited to see fans send in photos of their costumes, written details of their plans for the day - usually including movie marathons - and even a petition to get Google to change their logo to a Star Wars themed one! (Will it happen? We'll see!) I for one emailed a lecturer my own Star Wars themed slide for the day, and was graciously told it would be included in Tuesday's powerpoint.

Within days we had reached our target of 3000 participants, which rapidly became 10,000. At the time of writing this, 37, 351 people are signed up for Star Wars Day. And if you're not, we greatly encourage you to as well! What's amazed us in this endeavour is the power of fandom, the power of a particularly brilliant series of movies, and the power of people who love it to share, and to want to share, that power with the world.

The clock has ticked over to midnight here in Australia, and we have officially entered the first hours of Star Wars day. The Star Wars theme for my alarm is set, my shirt and lightsaber are sitting neatly in their place for tomorrow, and at least one of the movies is surely on the cards after class! I hope that you find some way to enjoy Star Wars day whether you are a fan of the movies or not, and that for you - as for me - the story of the event brings a smile to your face and renews your faith in the importance of a sense of humour and a commonality of fun in all of us.

And lastly, and always....

May the 4th be with you!

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