Not had enough Star Wars on May the 4th? Thinking of stepping over to the Dark Side? Think you’d be a great Sith? Well keep swinging those lightsabers, Revenge of the fifth is here to keep the force going with another Star Wars-themed observance!
Although some fans believe that ‘Revenge of the Sixth’ would make more sense since the number sounds a bit more like ‘sith’, it’s the fifth which has stuck since its the day after the 4th. This makes for a great double day whammy of Star Wars celebration for those who just can’t get enough of the popular spacey fantasy series!
History of Revenge of the Fifth
As far as movie quotes go, “may the force be with you” has got to be up there on the list of most famous, most quoted, and most loved in film history. Even if you’ve never seen the films, it’s highly likely that you’ve heard this one before.
Ever a fan of a pun, the movie-loving community made Star Wars day after seeing the joke behind May the 4th sounding especially similar to the first half of the famous quote. And it just so happens that another film in the Star Wars series, Revenge of the Sith, sounds a bit like the fifth. Sort of.
Because it immediately follows Star Wars Day, Revenge of the Fifth is meant to be a day for fans to pass over onto to the Dark Side – for one day, at least. Today, Star Wars geeks will be celebrating the titular Sith Lords from the long-running franchise. Because bad guys need love too!
The first person to allegedly come up with “May the fourth be with you” was an advertiser publishing in a London newspaper in 1979. While it was indeed a Star Wars reference, it was a comical congratulatory note to Margaret Thatcher. She had won her first election – a victory that just so happened to fall on May the 4th.
As you might imagine, though, that wasn’t the last time somebody uttered that particular reference in the public domain. The catchphrase continued to show up again and again in various political debates and advertising. For instance, there was a reference to May the Fourth be with you in a parliamentary debate in 1994. Then there were additional references to it in popular publications, such as the book The Science of Star Wars by the astrophysicist Jeanne Cavelos. Various political figures, including Boris Johnson, have also publicly celebrated Star Wars.
The concept of Revenge of the Fifth, however, didn’t enter the public consciousness in the first trilogy of films. The saga’s debut was simply called Star Wars (though it was later renamed Star Wars: A New Hope to help it slot in with the rest of the saga). The next film was The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980, and then Return of the Jedi in 1983.
None of these titles referenced “the revenge of the sith.” Nor did any of the characters utter the phrase in the first trilogy. It wasn’t a part of the script.
It was only with the release of the second trilogy that the term emerged. Revenge of the Sith – Episode III according to the Star Wars timeline – hit cinemas in 2005. So pop culture references to “Revenge of the Fifth” are relatively recent compared to May the Fourth.
Reports suggest that the concept of Revenge of the Fifth first emerged after the first officially organized Star Wars day in 2011 in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. The event was allegedly so successful that fans came up with the idea of “Revenge of the Fifth” to extend the holiday to the following day.
The date of the celebration is, however, a little unfortunate since it coincides with Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo – when the country commemorates its victory over the French in 1862. Some Star Wars fans believe that Revenge of the Sixth would be more appropriate. Plus it provides an extra day in between for more Star Wars madness!
How to celebrate Revenge of the Fifth
If you’re a fan of George Lucas’s most successful film franchise, today is a day for you to keep celebrating the things you love about them. Fresh from the fun of May the 4th, on the 5th you can celebrate the Dark Side by joining in with the numerous conventions across the world, getting together with like-minded friends, or watching your favorite films from the series.
If you’re one of the few people not to have ever seen all the Star Wars films, this is a perfect day to grab some popcorn, flop onto the sofa, and have yourself a Star Wars marathon. And if you have any of your Tatooine-loving friends coming by, just make sure you don’t start an argument about who shot first…
Another way to celebrate the day is to get into the Star Wars lore. The events that unfold through the nine Star Wars films are actually just the tip of the iceberg. The original universe envisioned by George Lucas is truly enormous, with a history that stretches back tens of thousands of years, and spans countless planets. Episode I is by no means that beginning of the Jedi and Sith saga. The battle had already been raging for many thousands of years.
For the gamers among you, numerous video games commemorate the story and help you experience the universe yourself, up close and personal. Options include Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars: The Old Republic.