Happy Star Wars Day! Yessir, we nerds sure do love our puns! The fourth of May is a day reserved for celebration of science fiction fandom’s most beloved franchise, Star Wars, due to how “May the fourth” reminds people of that classic line “May the Force be with you” that Spock managed to shoehorn into every episode. While May 4th has only recently (2011) come to be officially recognized as Star Wars Day, the origins of the pun can be traced all the way back to 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was elected as the first female Prime Minister. A political party advertisement in The London Evening News wished Thatcher good luck stating "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."
And yet, as much as that classic trilogy of films did to set our imaginations free and revolutionize the process of filmmaking, where would it be today with the
consumers fans. And so it is that we here at Growing Up Otaku celebrate the cash flow love of all those stargazing dreamers who have toughed it out through the intervening decades of mass produced crap, canon twisting ‘expanded universe’ stories, and atrocious prequels to nurture the love of the greatest sci-fi films of all time.
In order to get us all in the proper mood, ladies and gentlemen, our opening act. I give you YouTube sensation, Erock.
And now, our feature presentation. In a seemly impossible coordination of crowd sourced Internet talent, Casey Pugh had the mad idea to ask the Internet to remake the 1977 original Star Wars film 15 seconds at a time. Years in the making, Star Wars Uncut is a fascinating tribute to love, dedications, and ingenuity of thousands of individuals. Star Wars Uncut would go on to receive a 2010 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media. So what’s their next project? Why, The Empire Strikes Back, of course!
Next up, we check in with Darth Vader’s less successful, younger brother, Chad Vader. This is quite an extensive series, so if you’re looking for more, check out the YouTube Channel.
Paul Michael Johnson, an anime artist in the U.K. whose credits include work on the animated adaptations of RoboCop, Street Fighter, and Doctor Who, has been toiling in secret on a personal project: An all new, anime inspired Star Wars adventure!
Star Wars just didn’t reinvent movie making, it reinvented merchandising. Unbeknownst to toymakers, these miniature versions of Star Wars’ men and mecha would be used as the perfect props and personalities for budding filmmakers everywhere.
Perhaps Star Wars’ most successful merch tie-in was the partnership with LEGO. Combining the DIY brick building kits and charming, blocky mini-figures with tales from a galaxy far away has been a great success for both the companies involved as well as fans.
Even when plastic bricks are in short supply, intrepid CG artists turn to the LEGO Star Wars aesthetic to set their films in.
In recent years, combining blocky construction with computers has become quite popular, and Star Wars fandom has come right along with it. I refer to, of course, Minecraft.
And then there are the viral videos.
In conclusion, this Star Wars Day I think can I speak for all the fans out there when I say “Thank you, George Lucas! Not just for sharing your creative vision with us, but for not suing our butts off of the Internet when we make and share our own little piece of your galaxy!” Thank goodness the Star Wars IP rests in the hands on an understanding, creative individual and not some litigation-happy global media conglomerate!