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It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together – and today, the Force is especially strong with social media.

May 4 – as in May the Fourth be with you – is a traditional holiday for Star Wars fans around the world, made especially poignant this year by the release of the first in a new trilogy of the space-opera film franchise, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, in December.

Hashtags to follow: #StarWarsDay, #MayThe4thBeWithYou

Here’s a look at what’s going on in the world of Star Wars fandom today.


Organized May 4 celebrations got their start at a 2011 event at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Star Wars Day Toronto has been on hiatus since 2013, but Star Wars Day celebrations have since expanded to other cities.

Cosplayers dressed as Darth Vader and Chewbacca talk at a Star Wars Day event in Tokyo. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)
Fans in stormtrooper uniforms stand in front of Milan's Duomo. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)


In Star Wars, as in Spaceballs, it's all about the moichandising.

Walt Disney Co., owners of the Star Wars franchise since 2012, chose Star Wars Day Eve to announce its plans for the first merchandise tied to the upcoming release of The Force Awakens on Dec. 18.

At the Sept. 4 event, Disney stores and other retailers will open at 12:01 a.m. to sell products including toys, books, comics and apparel, Disney said in a statement. New products will also be sold online at


No holiday would be complete without advertisers capitalizing on the event. Here are a few notable examples:


The rebooted franchise hit a bump on Friday as filmmaker Josh Trank, who was selected to direct one of the upcoming Star Wars Anthology standalone films, said he was stepping down from the project. No replacement for Trank has been named yet.

“After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path,” Trank said in a statement on “I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities.”

Lucasfilm’s vice-president of development, Kiri Hart, added, “We are grateful for the energy and love of Star Wars that he brought to the process.”

With a report from Reuters