Happy Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you

Same as ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day,’ only with lightsabers instead of swords

Star Wars

My son Max enjoys nothing more than a spirited lightsaber duel, so he and his Dad are sure to be merrily locked in mock combat later on, what with it being "Star Wars Day" and all.

What? You didn't know?

(2011's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

According to Wookipedia (get it?):

May 4 is often known as "Star Wars Day." It is jokingly said: "May the 4th be with you," in reference to the popular phrase in Star Wars: "May the Force be with you."

Typical festivities consist of inviting fellow Star Wars-obsessed friends to stay over, and then watching the series in succession. Lots of snacks, bring lightsabers and Star Wars-themed toys. Lightsaber fights in the early morning hours optional.

Not at my house.

An ABC News account offers a slightly different origination tale:

German news TV channel N24 mistranslated George Lucas in a 2005 interview, interpreting his famous line, "May the Force be with you," as "Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen" (We are with you on May 4). Thus a holiday was born.

Whatever, festivities abound, including in your inbox and on Facebook, thanks to the merry pranksters at JibJab:

Look to see a lot of Star Wars parodies show up in your e-mail and Facebook today. After all, according to comedy e-card site JibJab, Tuesday is unofficially "May the 4th Be with You" day.

JibJab cut a deal with Lucasfilm to include clips from the first three Star Wars films (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) for its "Starring You" section of the website.

Upload a picture of you (and your friends), and the whole gang can be featured in two-minute recaps of the Star Wars film of your choice. Lucas "gave us unlimited access to all of the footage, and said to cut as funny a two-minute movie as we could," says company co-founder Gregg Spiridellis.

Not your Star Wars style? Well, perhaps you'd prefer outfitting your TomTom with the voice of Darth Vader or Obi-Wan, capabilities released just in time for today's festivities. From an AppScout story:

Owners of TomTom XL, ONE, and related PNDs can buy and download a $12.95 software kit that features a full set of voice direction cues from Darth Vader. Additional kits for C-3PO, Yoda, and Hans Solo will be available in June, July, and August, respectively.

TomTom also posted some free content, including a few audio cues and startup wallpaper. In addition, the company unveiled an online, Webcam-based Flash game that lets players compete to win a Yoda-themed standalone navigation device.

It almost goes without saying that "Happy Star Wars Day" is a trending topic on Twitter as I type. Here are a few choice comments:

"I am tempted to spend the rest of Star Wars Day quoting only Phantom Menace. PS My name is Anakin and I'm a person."

"Remember today is the ONLY day it's acceptable to slice open an animal's stomach and use it as a sleeping bag. Happy Star Wars Day!"

"I work with some seriously uncultured folk. I mentioned, as an aside, the whole Star Wars Day thing expecting rolled eyes. I got confusion."

And, perhaps not truly understanding the spirit of the holiday, there was this fellow:

"In celebration of Star Wars Day I'm going to spend the entire day imagining Natalie Portman naked."

To each his own. I'll be preparing for my duel with Max.

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