May the Force be With You

May the Force be With You

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“May the Force Be With You” is a famous quote said by numerous characters as an expression of good luck throughout the Star Wars film series. Since making its first appearance in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the quote has gained cult status among the fans and served as an inspiration for the Star Wars Day, an unofficial holiday honoring the franchise on May 4th.


The line “may the force be with you” in its entirety was first said in Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope[1], which was released on May 25th, 1977. The phrase was used by General Dodonna[11] (Alex McCrindle) when wishing Luke (Mark Hamill) good luck as he prepares to fight the Empire.

Luke: “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters.”

General Dodonna: “Then man your ships. And may the Force be with you.”

It was also famously used in a later scene, when Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who has been skeptical about the force, says the phrase to Luke (Mark Hamill) as a show of support before he goes into battle.

“Hey, Luke. May the force be with you.”


On May 29th, 2005, Slate[9] published a piece on an upcoming Star Wars fan made movie titled “May the Force Be With You, and You, and You …” On June 21st, 2005, the quote was included in “AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time.”[3] As of April 2014, the Facebook page[7] for “May the force be with you,” has gained over 4,000 likes and DeviantArt[8] has over 46,000 pieces of fan art tagged with the phrase. Memegenator[10] has over 500 images referencing the force.

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May the Fourth Be With You

May the 4th, also known as Star Wars day, was chosen as the series’ unofficial holiday because the date sounds like, “May the force.” One of the original uses of the phrase can be traced back Margaret Thatcher’s May 4th, 1979, victory in England’s Prime Minister race. To celebrate her victory her conservative party put out an ad[2] in the London Evening News which read:

“May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.

One of the first mentions of May the 4th as Star Wars day online appeared in a post titled “Why go out?” published in The Guardian[4] on May 4th, 2006. By 2009 it was common for websites to devote entire pieces to Star Wars day, with New York Daily News[5] publishing a post titled “Star Wars fans celebrate unofficial holiday, May the Fourth Be With You,” and The Daily Mail[6] publishing a post titled “May the fourth be with you: Sci-fi film fanatics tie the knot in Star Wars themed ceremony.”

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