May the Fourth Be With You!
On May 4th, anywhere you look around the internet you can find something related to Star Wars. At the bottom of the post, I’ll catalogue some of the fun I’ve spotted around the web that all spins off from the fun wordplay of using the date to remind people of one of the most enduring and timeless phrases from a movie. “May the Force be with you” and “Do or do not; there is no try” – these are the words of heroes, which they take forward in deed and spirit. For this very reason, the Jedi mantras still resonate within our culture decades after they first played out on the screen.
Just yesterday, I had the opportunity to broaden my horizons on how to effectively communicate with my horse Ganner. As I talked through how he and I work as a team, I used the word “try” and was immediately redirected by my new teacher. “The word try cannot exist in your language when working with an animal,” she told me. The mental image of Yoda immediately popped into my head. Continuity be damned: Yoda-Tricia will be communicating with Jedi-Ganner-the-horse. Yes, even in our daily lives we have to do our best to live up to those credos.
But the heroes I’m really thinking of on this May the Fourth are the real life ones who, like the Jedi, serve as protectors of the people. The Force embodies an ideal and higher purpose; it is ideals and higher purposes that give meaning to the suffering every hero endures. If you’ve ever met the men and women who serve in the Special Forces, you’ll see the same focus and tenacity the Jedi represent onscreen.
If you haven’t had the privilege, just imagine flying across hostile territory, hoping to remain undetected, then rappelling into an unknown fortress to face an indeterminate number of armed foes who have devoted their lives to killing the people you’ve sworn to protect. Imagine how many covert operatives have suffered, even died, to bring your singular mission from a fleeting possibility to a reality. Then imagine that this isn’t a simulation or a video game, that the bullets are deadly and real; if you make one wrong decision they can kill your best friend, an innocent bystander, or even you. And finally imagine that millions of people are relying on you getting a nearly impossible job done right the first time.
It might not be the Force guiding the men who took down Usama bin Laden, but they most definitely took that assignment because they believed in something bigger than themselves. Star Wars is about heroes, but it’s also a cautionary tale about the wounds that can be inflicted on a hero’s soul. Brothers divided, lovers lost, children orphaned. Hopefully, Star Wars reminds us that even heroes need someone watching their back and a kind word or two, but more importantly to never be forgotten.
Starwars.com announcement about Blu-ray Complete Saga set
Twitter hashtag #maythe4thbewithyou
And one final classic: the Star Wars “pants” game reappears! (On Twitter at #replaceawordinastarwarslinewithpants) Here are some of our all-time favorites:
- “I find your lack of pants disturbing.”
- “Your pants, you will not need them.”
- “A tremor in the pants. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old Master.”
- “I’m Luke Skywalker! I’m here to pants you!”
- “Put Captain Solo in the cargo pants.”
- “You are unwise to lower your pants.”
- “I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.”
- “Judge me by my pants, do you?”
- “I don’t like pants.”
- “It may be difficult to secure your pants.”
- “I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s pants.”
- “Your pants, please. We don’t want to make a mess in front of the Chancellor.”
- “You have your pants. Not many, but you do have them.”
- “I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to pants.”
- “Don’t worry, no harm will come to her. I can sense everything going on in those pants.”
- “Good pants, Janson!”
- “You were right about one thing Master. The pants were short.”
- “Your pants will make a fine addition to my collection.”
- “Love won’t save you, Padme. Only my new pants can do that.”
- “You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your pants.”
- “What would Padme do if she were in your pants?” “She would do her duty.”
- “I love pants.” “I know.”
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.