May the Fourth be with you: 9 things to know about ‘Star Wars’

Not so long ago, in multiplexes not so far away, the face of cinema changed forever.

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When Star Wars debuted, it quickly became a cultural milestone, transcending merely a cult classic into its own full-fledged mythology that has captured generation upon generation.

And it’s not just movies. Toys, boys, TV spin-offs and theme park attractions have kept the world expanding and filling as alive as ever.

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Wednesday, May 4, is officially known as May the Fourth, a take on the iconic Star Wars line “May the Fourth be with you,” and an excuse to celebrate all things Star Wars.

Here are nine things you need to know about Star Wars before the intergalactic holiday.

  • The saga began on May 25, 1977. “Star Wars” opened in limited release and eventually expanded, becoming the highest-grossing film until “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” in 1983.
  • R2-D2 is known for his cute beeps and whistles, but in an earlier draft of “Star Wars,” he actually spoke English – and mercilessly hurled insults at fellow droid C-3PO.

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  • Some members of the boy band *NSYNC, at the request of Lucas’s daughter, filmed a cameo in the 2002 prequel “Attack of the Clones.” It was cut from the final product.
  • Yoda was originally going to be played by a monkey wearing a mask and holding a cane.
  • The lovable porgs from “The Last Jedi” weren’t actually part of the original script. They were added to digitally cover up the puffins that populated the Irish island where they filmed.
  • The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, by extension owning the Star Wars brand.

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  • The South Pacific island of Niue actually accepts limited edition Star Wars collectible coins as real money.
  • Of course being in Central Florida, one of the coolest ways to celebrate May the Fourth is a trip to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Enjoy Star Wars-inspired attractions and food in the themed area.
  • While Disney World hasn’t announced an official Star Wars-themed event for May the Fourth (Disneyland in California has, however), the Florida resort will still have plenty of special food available. Click here for more information.

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  • In addition to Disney World, there are other ways to celebrate May the Fourth in Florida. Ivanhoe Park Brew is hosting events all week. Click here for more details.


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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.