Happy Star Wars Month! May is Star Wars Month, full of 31 days of Star Wars. From the release of A New Hope in 1977 to the special events and merchandise at the Disney Parks this year, the month is a way for fans to celebrate the fandom.
We look at the history of Star Wars Month and outline some of the most important dates to celebrate. Plus, we explain ways to celebrate in the Disney Parks. Here is everything you need to know about celebrating Star Wars Month this May.
What and When Is Star Wars Month?
May is Star Wars Month, a time to celebrate the Star Wars franchise. The official event started with Disneyland Park in California hosting special events from May through the first weekend in June.
The event includes the Hyperspace Mountain overlay on Space Mountain, exclusive merchandise, and food specials throughout the month of May.
Disney World in Flordia offers May the Fourth special merchandise and other specials but has not officially used the name so far.
Unofficially, fans have called May Star Wars Month since at least the early 1990s. There were a number of important Star Wars dates in May.
All three films in the Original Trilogy came out in May. George Lucas’ birthday is May 14th. A number of now-Legends books were also released in May, including Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and Shadows of the Empire.
Controversially, Disney switched to releasing the films in December to capitalize on the holiday season. However, Solo: A Star Wars Story was released on May 25, 2018, the 41st anniversary of A New Hope. The canon novels Bloodline, Rebel Rising, The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!, and Most Wanted were all released in May as well.
The Incomplete History of Star Wars Month
Unfortunately, the history of Star Wars Month is only partially complete. It is believed that it first appeared with the advent of the Internet in the early 1990s.
The term “Star Wars Month” appeared on the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.starwars as early as October 7, 1992, referencing the release of the Original Trilogy and Timothy Zahn’s original Thrawn Trilogy. Anecdotally, fans likely used the term before then, potentially during the mid to late 1980s.
The Rosie O’Donnell Show hosted a Star Wars Month during May of 1999, featuring special interviews and Star Wars-themed features related to The Phantom Menace. Interviews included George Lucas, Liam Neeson, Jake Lloyd, and Natalie Portman.
As early as 2001, TV3 in New Zealand hosted an event by the same name, playing the Original Trilogy and The Phantom Menace. However, the event took place in September 2001. It is also uncertain whether the network or fans used the term.
TBS, TNT, and Spike TV all ran Star Wars Marathons at points in time from the 1990s right up today, with at least some fans referring to the broadcasts as part of a month dedicated to Star Wars. It is unclear if any of the networks used the term during that time.
The term and hashtag #StarWarsMonth grew in popularity in the late 2000s and early 2010s with the advent of social media. It began appearing in blog posts and new stories in 2010, gaining popularity between 2012 and 2015.
Disney alluded to May being Star Wars Month during the late 2010s and early 2020s before officially using it in 2023.
Star Wars Month at the Disney Parks
While explicitly not marketed as Star Wars Month, the Star Wars Weekend events ran at Walt Disney World during a similar period of time. Star Wars Weekends ran select weekends at Dinsey’s Hollywood Studios in May and June in 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2003 through 2015. It is possible they are the spiritual predecessors to the modern events.
Hyperspace Mountain debuted at Disneyland Resort in last 2015 in advance of The Force Awakens. The attraction is an overlay to Space Mountain featuring Star Wars music and storyline.
The original Hyperspace Mountain ran from November 16th, 2015 to September 6th, 2016. The overlay returned from November 1st, 2016 through June 1st, 2017.
It returned around May the Fourth holidays in 2018, 2019, and 2022. In 2023, it runs from May 1st through June 4th.
The Disney Parks have also offered special merchandise and other specials around May the Fourth and Star Wars Month since 2015.
Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris reopened as Hyperspace Mountain on May 7, 2017, marking the park’s 25th anniversary.
Official Days Celebrated During the Month
The exact days to celebrate are unclear since Star Wars Month is largely a fan creation. However, most sources include the following important dates:
- May 4th – May the Fourth or Star Wars Day
- May 14th – George Lucas’ birthday
- May 16th – Original release of Attack of the Clones (2002)
- May 19th – Original release of The Phantom Menace (1999) and Revenge of the Sith (2005)
- May 21st – Original release of The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- May 25th – Original release of A New Hope (1977), Return of the Jedi (1983), and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
- May 27th – Original release of Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)
Unofficial Star Wars Holidays Celebrated During May
Throughout the history of Star Wars, fans have celebrated several other unofficial days during Star Wars Month. While not a complete list, here are some of the most commonly celebrated days in May.
May 1st is often called 501st Day, celebrating the 501st Legion fan costuming group.
Although no longer canon, May 2nd was called Wedge Antilles Day because the Star Wars: X-wing series novel Wedge’s Gamble by Michael A. Stackpole came out that day.
Revenge of the Sith Day, or more commonly Revenge of the Fifth, is typically celebrated on May the 5th because the “5th” looks similar to “Sith.” However, some fans celebrate this day on May 6th because “sixth” is similar to “Sith.”
Before the popularity of Revenge of the Sith Day, some fans called May Fifth Han Solo Day. The now-Legends book The Paradise Snare by A. C. Crispin, the first in the Han Solo Trilogy, came out on May 5th, 1997.
Fans have intermittently celebrated May 7th as Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Jedi Master was born in 57 BBY.
Another popular fan celebration is Boba Fett Day on May 13th. Born May 13, 1950, Joe Johnson was instrumental in developing Boba Fett’s costume for The Empire Strikes Back.
May 19th is sometimes called Chewbacca Day to honor Peter Mayhew. He was born on May 19, 1944. Similarly, May 26th is Grand Moff Tarkin Day and May 27th is Count Dooku Day, with those days celebrating the birthdays of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, respectively.
Back in 2012, The Star Wars Report released a list of days for the entire month of May. While some of the, match our list above, others are unique to their list.
How Do You Celebrate Star Wars Month?
You can celebrate Star Wars Month in any number of ways. One of the most common is with a Star Wars marathon. You can watch the nine films in the Star Wars Saga, the two spin-off films, or binge-watch your favorite Star Wars TV shows.
Another option is to read Star Wars books or comics or reread some of your favorite stories. Other options include playing Star Wars trivia, board games, videos, or doing Star Wars crafts. It’s also a time to share your favorite quotes, art, or stories on social media.
But since it is largely an unofficial event full of other Star Wars holidays, you can choose to celebrate however you want. Here are some ways to celebrate at home or with friends and family:
- Have a Star Wars movie marathon
- Rewatch your favorite Star Wars TV shows
- Start a new Star Wars novel or comic book
- Reread your favorite Star Wars books or comics
- Expose someone new to Star Wars
- Share your quotes, art, or stories on social media
- Play Star Wars games or trivia
- Make Star Wars art or crafts
In 2018, Mark Hamill created the May the Calendar, where he created puns and funny phrases for each day of Star Wars Month. He followed up with additional May the Calendars in 2019 and 2020. However, he has not repeated the calendar since.
May The First Be With You
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) May 1, 2018
Ways To Celebrate Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Disney Parks
You can celebrate the month inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in many ways. From Batuu bounding to enjoying a special meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, you can create your own way to celebrate in the Disney Theme Parks.
You can also ride Star Tours, build a lightsaber or droid, or revisit any of the other Star Wars-related attractions in the Disney Parks.
Our group, the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Discord, also holds a May the Fourth lightsaber meetup during Star Wars Month. We had approximately 400 people attend in 2021 and more than 750 people in 2022.
We held back-to-back saber meetups at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim and Disneyland for Star Wars Month in 2022. The Celebration event hosted roughly 300 people outside the Anaheim Convention Center on May 26, 2022. Then on May 27, 2022, we hosted roughly 150 people outside Disneyland.
Our 2023 May the Fourth event is May 4, 2023, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately, we are unable to host a May the Fourth or Star Wars Month event at Disneyland in 2023.
Rooks is an SEO strategist, writer, and content editor that occasionally masquerades as a designer, photographer, and cook.
A lifelong Star Wars geek, his earliest memories are playing with Kenner action figures while watching the Original Trilogy on VHS. Aside from keeping up with the latest Star Wars movies, shows, books, and comics, he enjoys living out his own Star Wars story at Galaxy’s Edge East.
Aside from Star Wars, his fandoms include the MCU, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, and the Lord of the Rings. Other hobbies include traveling, craft brewing, and beat-matching.
Rooks is passionate about cooking and loves discussing and occasionally writing about food, beer, and cocktails. You can usually find him hamming out words at a local coffee shop or brewery, eating around Orlando with his wife, and doing anything to avoid folding the laundry.