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Star Wars fans celebrate 'May the Fourth be with you'

Fans gather at the Scotiabank Theatre at Chinook Centre to take in an epic movie marathon of all seven Star Wars films 660 NEWS Ian Campbell

It’s the day Star Wars fans have been waiting for all year.

May 4, or ‘May the Fourth be with you’ is a play on the infamous “‘May the force be with you” line from the iconic franchise.

University of Calgary film instructor Murray Leeder says we’re at a moment in time where fan culture and nerd culture has become mainstream.

“It seems that the media wants to anoint certain kinds of occasions where these things can be observed concertedly, rather than being scattered throughout the year,” he said.

But why Star Wars?

Leeder believes it has to do with world building.

“With all of this complicated set of hierarchies and all of these religions and so on, fans can find their own place in it and add to it themselves in creative ways,” he explained, adding George Lucas was very forward thinking in this respect.

“The real skill now is the ability to create a world in which different stories can be told in different media, not only films but also novels and comic books and video games and other kinds of interactive media,” he said.

This is the first May 4 without Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia, but even in death her character continues to grow.

“It’s very interesting the way Princess Leia has been sort of re-purposed as a sort of all-purpose figure of resistance in the Trump era as well,” said Leeder, “I’ve seen memes of that sort going around.”

According to Google Canada, the most searched villain in 2017 was Darth Vader followed by Kylo Ren and Darth Maul.

The most searched Jedi were Yoda, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The most searched Star Wars film in 2017 was the yet to be released The Last Jedi followed by a New Hope and Return of the Jedi.