May 4th, or Star Wars Day, as it is known to fans of the franchise, is a day of celebrating all things Star Wars. This global fan-created holiday was originated in 2011, and has been a cherished day of celebration ever since. The date of the holiday was chosen as a reference to the famous Star Wars line "May the Force be with you." I, admittedly, have never seen a Star Wars movie (which is basically a cardinal sin in the film industry), so I turned to a couple of my colleagues for their insights, movie rankings, and personal Star Wars memories and stories!
"My first exposure to Star Wars wasn't the movies, action figures, or even the comics. The first time I saw anything Star Wars related was in the Muppet Babies cartoon. They would parody Star Wars every few episodes in brief segments and it always left me slightly confused as to what I was looking at. A few years later when I saw the original three films, it all clicked.
While I'm not the world’s biggest Star Wars fan, I enjoyed the first round of movies, was disappointed by the second round, and am happy to report that the new round seems to be off to a great start. I do remain a bit skeptical about the newest upcoming release: Solo: A Star Wars Story. Don't get me wrong, Han Solo is one of my favorite characters, but I just don't know if the actor they have playing him (Alden Ehrenreich) will be able to pull it off. However, I do have the utmost confidence in Mr. Donald Glover's abilities to pull off a young Lando Calrissian. It is my firm belief that he will steal the show. Either way, I'll be seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story opening week."
1) Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
2) Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
3) Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4) Star Wars: The Last Jedi
5) Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
6) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
7) Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
8) Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
9) Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
"Star Wars will always hold a special place in my heart as it was one of the first properties to ignite my imagination. Throughout the Star Wars movies, books, comics, and video games, nothing about that universe ever felt finite to me, but rather a sandbox of creativity where anything you, or any generation, can dream of, could become reality. It all started with the Original Trilogy; from the awe of a planet-destroying space station the size of a moon in A New Hope, to one of the coolest designed sci-fi vehicles ever, the AT-AT walkers traversing the frozen tundra looking for retaliation at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, and the culmination of a son's search, in Return of the Jedi, for the humanity left in his father despite his tyrannical views and dark deeds. I truly think everyone can find something inspiring about Star Wars, be it; the story, the characters, the aliens, the worlds, the technology, the mythology - and everything behind the curtain in the film's production, iconic music, and groundbreaking special effects."
Favorite Movie: The Empire Strikes Back
Favorite Old Character: Anakin Skywalker: Anakin's fall to the dark side and the unfortunate manipulation of his love, turned him into Darth Vader, the universe's most feared villain, and, in my opinion, the most fascinating thread weaving through both the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy.
Favorite New Character: Ahsoka Tano: One of the strongest female characters in the story is one not featured in any of the films. Ahsoka is a key character in The Clone Wars, an animated television show. Ahsoka is taught of the force and the honorable ways of the Jedi by Anakin Skywalker before his fall to the dark side, which ultimately ends in absolute heartbreak when he turns his back on her. The teacher abandons his own student. Many years later, a matured, and wiser Ahsoka finally confronts her old friend, now clad in black under the name Darth Vader and the two engage in an epic duel.
The Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club: Starting a year ago, I began a quest to create my own Star Wars costume. This costume is based on the particular armor a famous character named Boba Fett wears in the films. The armor he wears is from a culture, the Mandalorian culture. Mandalorians have an incredibly long history but the point is - all Mandalorians wear similar varieties of the same armor. The Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club is officially recognized by LucasFilm as the biggest of it's kind. It is a non-profit club founded by fans and run by fans. It has its own hierarchy and rules for joining. I am currently closing in on achieving all costume requirements for my application. While there are requirements for your costume, the "MMCC" prides itself on individuality, everyone's armor is slightly different. Once accepted into the club, I will be called on to dawn my custom costume to Star Wars events, fundraisers, and charity missions visiting hospitals, and etc, in Illinois and the Chicago area.
After a year of building, I suited up for the first time and walked the show floor at C2E2 in April. It was the very first time I had put all the pieces together. The looks and compliments were overwhelming, but the best moments were when young kids high-fived me and asked for a photo. I happily obliged them, noticing the same spark in their eyes I had long ago when I was first introduced to Star Wars. I designed my own character and color scheme. I cut, molded, sanded, painted, and weathered all the parts.
Some fans will plan to rewatch these beloved films today, others (like myself) need to experience the Star Wars universe for the first time, but however you celebrate, May the Fourth be with you!