MANILA -- Using public transportation, local Stormtroopers are assembling from all over the country for the annual "Star Wars Day," an unofficial and fan-created holiday to celebrate their love for the film franchise.
Happening on May 4, Star Wars Day is a time for enthusiasts to don their favorite costumes, speak Yoda-ese, and greet each other with "May the 4th be with you" -- a twist on the famous quote "May the Force be with you."
For this year, the Philippine Outpost of 501st Legion, the local unit of an international organization of fans united by their penchant for dressing up as the film's villains, will hold festivities at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay over two days starting on May 3.
It will include a costume parade, photo ops with Darth Vader and his legion, and a display of Star Wars collectibles from Sideshow and Hottoys. It will also feature costume contests for kids and quizzes for teens and adults alike.
How it all began
One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture was in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:
"Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was 'May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,' further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all."
The date also became an unofficial kickstarter of sorts to a month of celebration, as May houses some of the franchises' milestones.
The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original "Star Wars" on May 25, 1977). The month also includes George Lucas’s birthday (May 14, 1944).
It is also reported that principal photography on Disney's "Star Wars: Episode VII" will commence in May, and soon to be followed by the rumored announcement of the full cast for the much-anticipated sequel.