What are we to make of this? A pun initially used to celebrate the election of the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom becomes a meme long before the Internet is born and then morphs into the first worldwide holiday for a movie!
If you think I’m exaggerating, do your own Google search on “May the 4th be with you” and in a quarter of a second you’ll get nearly one billion hits. That’s billion! OK, slight exaggeration: it’s merely 909,000,000.
We fans know that Star Wars isn’t just any movie but one that truly justifies that overused word, phenomenon. And if Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party wanted to hype her victory on May 4, 1979, with a newspaper ad that blared “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!” who could blame it for trying to tie the party to the then-most popular movie in the British Isles?