I read an article yesterday on the commercialiaation and “fake holiday” around May 4th.
The argument was essentially that May 4th was a made up holiday used to push Star Wars products on us, and you know what? I’m gonna call bullshit on this.
First off, all holidays are made up and if you go back far enough you are gonna find a day in which no one knew about it.
Lets also take a look at the biggest online retail space, head over to Amazon and do we get flooded with cheap Star Wars merch? Not really.
I checked Amazon.com .co.uk and even .de not a single blip.
Hit Lootcrate and I don’t see anything significantly Star Wars.
Find myself on ThinkGeek and Steam AND THERE WE GO, a sale on all Force related goodies, fair enough that’s only to be expected, it’s a couple of geeky sites promoting geeky items/games.
May 4th is just an excuse to crack out your favourite film and watch it and accidentally watch all the other star wars films while you’re at it.
If you want crass commercialisation you need to look at Alien Day.
Hot on the heels of Back to the Future Day, April 26th was Alien Day.
If you can’t work out why (April 26th has no special significance to the Alien franchise, as far as I am aware), it’s due to LV-426, the planet in which our favourite xenomorphs are discovered.
BttF Day made sense as it was THE DAY set in the film, but Alien Day was just forced to me, there was no need for it and you can see the scramble to make money when companies push out products like “Alien pinball” across all possible storefronts, with boots from the film and figures and other things all being brought out to coincide with the day.
I’m not denying that Alien is a beloved franchise, I have watched all films repeatedly, read comics, read books and avoided Prometheus like the plague, but from my perspective we today in which all I see is people wishing each other a geeky day across social media, compared to April 26th in which the two things I saw were both marketing related.
Then of course, as an Englishman (and I believe, the rest of the world) the date doesn’t make much sense seeing as we write the date in day-month order, so Alien Day was 26/4 instead of the much needed 4/26.
Unlike BttF Day, which was done on the specifically day named in the film, logical leaps have to be taken to make Alien Day work.
Ultimately, celebrate any way that you want, celebrate any day you want, but May 4th is only about spending money if you want to spend money.
Just keep that in mind when someone wishes you a force filled day today.
Maybe I’ll give you my old rant on Force Unleashed soon, that’ll be hilarious.