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'Star Wars' Day: May The 4th Be With You

Updated: Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 11:29 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 11:29 AM EDT

(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - Grab a light saber and your best wookie – today's a big holiday for "Star Wars" fans.  Even though the first film opened on May 25, 1977, this is the day the movies' rabid admirers choose to celebrate because of the pun on "May the Force be with you."

It's an unofficial holiday but according to the Telegraph , millions of Jedi fans posted tributes to Luke Skywalker, C-3Po and Darth Vader on Twitter and Facebook.

Although George Lucas himself has not commented on the festivities, last year a Lucasfilm spokesperson told the New York Daily News : "It's nice that this particular date seems to observe and celebrate the power of the Force, and we're thrilled that Star Wars fans continue to find new ways to connect with a galaxy far, far away. Of course, regardless of the date, the Force will be with us … always."

According to the comprehensive online "Star Wars" encyclopedia Wookiepedia , "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."

So how can you join in the celebrations? You can put yourself in "The Empire Strikes Back." USA Today reports that the company JibJab has cut a deal with Lucasfilm to include clips from the first three "Star Wars" films for its "Starring You" section of the website. JibJab co-founder Greg Spiridellis says Lucas "gave us unlimited access to all of the footage, and said to cut as funny a two-minute movie as we could." ( Put yourself in a clip .)

There's even a link on the StarWars.com site to the "Empire" parody.

You can also buy tickets to " Celebration V ," an official "Star Wars" fan conference in August in Orlando, Fla.

You can look forward to an animated "Star Wars" sitcom from Seth Green and the gang behind "Robot Chicken".

And Lucas himself has hinted that he might convert the original film to 3-D, after seeing James Cameron's "Avatar". Lucas told " Access Hollywood ": "We've been looking for years and years and years of trying to take 'Star Wars' and put it in 3-D … I think this will be a new impetus to make that happen."

In honor of Star Wars Day, here are a few trivia tidbits about the original film:

• Lucas based Han Solo on his friend Francis Coppola. ( IMDB )

• Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and even Bill Murray were all candidates for the Solo part. ( IMDB )

So go ahead and watch a 'Star Wars' movie marathon or dress up as your favorite character from the franchise. May the Fourth be with you.

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