If you've ever been online on May 4, you may have noticed an unusually large amount of Star Wars photos, memes, quotes, and GIFs surface on social media. Year after year, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with friends and acquaintances celebrating what has become known as Star Wars Day. But those who don't know BB-8 from R2-D2 may be wondering what is May the 4th and why does it lead to so many memes?
As a moderate Star Wars fan (is that a thing?), I've joined in on the GIF explosion for the past couple of years. What is largely a celebration of the beloved movies created by George Lucas, Star Wars Day began as a grassroots effort by fans who loved the easy pun of converting popular movie catchphrase "May the Force be with you" into "May the Fourth be with you."
According to The Verge, the holiday wasn't actually created by Lucasfilm, though the official Star Wars website has fully embraced this fan-made holiday and now encourages fans to take advantage of various Star Wars-related deals across the web. But that's not the only way to celebrate this beloved franchise. Below are seven ways that you can celebrate the special day.
1Have A Movie Marathon
Invite family and friends over for a movie night on May 4. Be ready for a debate though, since many fans argue about where to start. Should it be the first movie in the storyline, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, or the first movie in the franchise, Episode IV: A New Hope? Or do you watch the latest, Rogue One? Whichever you choose, just don't forget the popcorn.
2Share Your Favorite Memory
You're probably already planning to post your favorite Star Wars meme or GIF to your Facebook, but what about simply sharing your favorite Star Wars-related memory on social media? You could tell the tale of your dad introducing you to movies or the time your friends convinced you to dress up like a Wookie for Halloween, and relive those memories once more.
3Dress Up Like A Character
Take a cue from the little girl who dressed up like Jyn Erso and dress up like your favorite Star Wars character. Princess Leia is totally acceptable, as is donning new feminist badass Rey's look. Of course, if that's a bit too much for you, go for something simple like a t-shirt or Lightsaber earrings that you can wear to work and still look professional.
4Cook Up Some Recipes
Any Pinterest lover knows that there's surely a recipe out there for basically everything. And Star Wars recipes? No problem. Personally, I'm obsessed with BB-8 pancakes, made with one large pancake, one smaller pancake, some powdered sugar, orange slices and blueberries for eyes. A May the 4th breakfast, perhaps?
5Tweet About Your Fandom
Head to Twitter and sharing your love of Star Wars with fellow fans. Fair warning, though: You may get caught up reading through hours and hours of everyone else's funny tweets celebrating the day, so don't be surprised if your productivity goes down significantly.
6Share Your Love With Others
Yoda says that its best to "pass on what you have learned," so why not do SO with the Star Wars franchise itself? If there is anyone in your family who isn't a fan yet, introduce them to the movies ASAP. You can also take some time to go through your kid's old toys and donate the ones they no longer play with to bring a whole new generation into the Force.
7Celebrate The Late Carrie Fisher
This year, Carrie Fisher's memory will be weighing heavy on the hearts of any Star Wars fan. To honor the late star's legacy as Princess Leia, you can post the best Carrie Fisher memes or read one of her autobiographies. Or simply watch her kick butt in the movies, and then watch Rey do the same in Episode VII: The Force Awakens.