- 1927 – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is incorporated.
- Star Wars Day (International observance).
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, also known as simply the Academy or the Motion Picture Academy) is a professional honorary organisation with the stated goal of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures.
The Academy’s corporate management and general policies are overseen by a board of governors, which includes representatives from each of the craft branches.
As of April 2020, the organisation was estimated to consist of around 9,921 motion picture professionals. The Academy is an international organisation and membership is open to qualified filmmakers around the world.
The Academy is known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, now officially and popularly known as “The Oscars”.
In addition, the Academy holds the Governors Awards annually for lifetime achievement in film; presents Scientific and Technical Awards annually; gives Student Academy Awards annually to filmmakers at the undergraduate and graduate level; awards up to five Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting annually; and operates the Margaret Herrick Library (at the Fairbanks Centre for Motion Picture Study) in Beverly Hills, California, and the Pickford Centre for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The Academy opened the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles in 2021.
Star Wars Day
Star Wars Day is an informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4 to celebrate the Star Wars media franchise created by founder and former chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm, George Lucas. Observance of the day spread quickly through media and grassroots celebrations since the franchise began in 1977.
The date originated from the pun “May the Fourth be with you”, a variant of the popular Star Wars catchphrase “May the Force be with you”. Even though the holiday was not created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans around the world have chosen to celebrate the holiday. It has since been embraced by Lucasfilm and parent company Disney as an annual celebration of Star Wars.
Additionally, the release date of the original Star Wars movie on 25 May 1977 is also celebrated as Geek Pride Day.
The first recorded reference of the phrase being used was on 04 May 1979, the day after Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement in the London Evening News saying “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
In the 1988 episode of Count Duckula, “The Vampire Strikes Back”, a space-faring superhero, Tremendous Terrance, asks Duckula the date and is told, “May the Fourth”. As Terrance departs, he tells all below, “May the Fourth Be with You.”
The saying was used in a UK Parliament defence debate on 04 May 1994.
Astrophysicist and author Jeanne Cavelos used the saying on page 94 of her 1999 book The Science of Star Wars.
In 2008, the first Facebook groups appeared, celebrating Luke Skywalker Day, with the same catchphrase.
In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Produced by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn, festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday 04 May 2012.
Fans (even government officials, such as Boris Johnson) have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways in social media and on television.
Minor League baseball teams such as the Toledo Mud Hens and the Durham Bulls have worn special uniforms as part of Star Wars Day promotions.
On Star Wars Day 2015, astronauts in the International Space Station watched Star Wars.
Also in 2015, the carillon bells inside the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada played “The Imperial March” theme from Star Wars, among other space-related tunes.
Since 2013, The Walt Disney Company has officially observed the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Disney had purchased Lucasfilm, including the rights to Star Wars, in late 2012.
The finale of The Clone Wars was made available on Disney+ on 04 May 2020. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), as well as the documentary series Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, were also made available on Disney+ the same day. The animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch also premiered on Disney+ on Star Wars Day in 2021.
Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth
Some recognise the day after, 05 May, as “Revenge of the Fifth”, a play on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and celebrate the Sith Lords and other villainous characters from the Star Wars series rather than the Jedi. Others celebrate this one day later, on 06 May, citing “Revenge of the Sixth” as a better play on “Sith”, while others refer to the 6th as “Return of the 6th” as a play on Return of the Jedi and the trilogy aspect of the Star Wars films.
In honour of the 30th anniversary release date of Star Wars on 25 May 1977, the Los Angeles City Council declared 25 May 2007 as Star Wars Day. A separate initiative for observing Geek Pride Day on May 25 is based on the Star Wars connection along with ties to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Towel Day) and Discworld. Solo: A Star Wars Story was also released on 25 May 2018, 41 years after the original Star Wars (1977).
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