Saturday, May 4, 2019

Star Wars Day 2019: R.I.P. Peter Mayhew

May 4th has become known as Star Wars Day in recent years. The date seems to be a bit arbitrary, especially considering that Star Wars premiered on May 25, 1977. But there is a very entertaining reason for it to be on May 4. Basically it allows one to say "May the fourth be with you" (as in a play on "May the Force be with you").

I've written about the day once before, in 2017, and as embarrassing as it might be to admit it, at the time I actually thought that it WAS the date of the anniversary. After writing the post May the 4th be With You I realized my mistake and now I'm fully onboard with the celebration.

There are all kinds of nods and references to Star Wars Day both online and offline. Many stores, companies and websites celebrate it in all sorts of clever ways--from promotions and big sales to tie-ins and parodies. I generally get quite a few Star Wars Day-related items in my email inbox around this time of year. In 2017 I took advantage of 80s Tees' ( "May The One-Fourth Be With You" sale--where nearly all of their Star Wars shirts and other items were 75% off (one-fourth of regular price)! That sale was simply too good miss, and I DID make a few purchases that day.

This year, my favorite example of a non-Star Wars site hopping on the Star Wars Day bandwagon would probably have to be Kellyco Metal Detectors (I used to be kind of into metal detectors, and despite the fact that I had to sell mine a number of years ago when we moved I still get emails from Kellyco). One of the manufacturers of metal detectors they sell is Nokta/Makro, and that company has a line of detectors called FORS. So, yes, Kellyco is having a "May the FORS be with You" sale! Might be tough to beat that one this year!

I've decided to write about Star Wars Day again this year for a couple of reasons (not that you really NEED a reason to celebrate Star Wars any day of the year, of course!). The first reason is a rather somber one. This Star Wars Day is kind of overshadowed by the recent death of Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca in all of the Star Wars movies between the original ("A Hew Hope") in 1977 right through "The Force Awakens" in 2015. And that also includes most of the peripheral Star Wars-related productions and appearances from that period--including the infamous "The Star Wars Holiday Special" in 1978. He only recently retired and handed the reins of Chewie over to Joonas Suotamo for the past few Disney-produced Star Wars films.

There's no denying that, despite the fact that we never really saw Peter Mayhew himself, he was indeed a very important and integral part of the Star Wars legend, and will be greatly missed. Here are some quotes from about Peter:

My second major reason for writing about Star Wars Day once again is a happier one, and actually doesn't really even have anything to do with Star Wars itself. May 4th falls on a Saturday this year. It's the first Saturday in May, and the the first Saturday of May also just happens to be the date of Free Comic Book Day!

The two days are pretty much unrelated, but either one of them on their own is a good reason for a grown-up Monster Kid like myself to celebrate. Having them both occur on the same day makes it just that much more special. I took the Little Monsters to our local comic book store for the occasion, and one of the free comics I was able to pick up seemed very apropos of the day (Free Comic Book Day, Star Wars AND Chewie all in one image!):

May The Fourth (and The Force) Be With You!

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Peter Mayhew RIP. And hope you had a happy Star Wars day. We had an little trouble over at the Dairy Queen over at Weird Fantastic Toy Adventures... LOL.