Every religion has its holidays. So, why wouldn’t such a massive amount of people who worship Star Wars have a day of their own?
Just how massive is this population? In England’s 2001’s census, 390,127 people identified themselves as followers of the Jedi religion. That’s 0.8% of the population, surpassing Judaism and Buddhism. This phenomenon occurs in many countries.
Accordingly, May the 4th has been picked by the fans as the official Star Wars day following a word play that couldn’t be more perfect, as the date sounds almost exactly like “May the force (be with you)”.
Fans got quite a few gifts on their day.
Vanity Fair magazine published the backstage of the production for its latest cover, featuring the main Star Wars characters and shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. Its main attraction was the fact that it revealed two new characters’ identities. Adam Driver will portray the main villain Kylo Ren, while Lupita N’yongo will be the computerized character Maz Kanata.
Argentine fans got a few gifts of their own. Disney, who in 2012 bought Lucasfilms for the astronomic sum of $4.06 billion, announced the movie will premier on December 17th, one day earlier than in the US. In addition, the company organized an event, divided in two parts as a gift to the fans and their undying love for the franchise.
The event, called Inspirados en la fuerza (Inspired by the force) kicked off last week in Rosario, where six artists were tasked with interpreting the new stormtrooper helmet presented in the latest movie trailer, each representing a different movie.
On Monday, the second part took place in the porteño Abasto Mall, where seven other artists also had a shot to re-think the helmets in their own way. They were Elisa Insúa (Episode I), Fernanda Cohen (Episode II) , Federico Minuchin (Run don’t walk) (Episode III), Sebastián Costhanzo (Episode IV), Sebastián Domenech (Episode V) and Federico Lamas (Episode VI). A last one went to nation-wide renowned artist Milo Lockett, whose task was to find inspiration in Argentina for the new movie “The force awakens”.
Each one, with a different style, shared the passion for Star Wars and everything it represents bot as a cultural and artistic expression.
Milo Lockett got his inspiration from the shock that the movies had on him when he was a little kid in the northern Chaco Province: “I grew up in Chaco and when the movie came there was only one movie theater. There was no technology like this back then, nor the relation kids have with it today. It was a shock, it took me a while to digest it”.
Fernanda Cohen, whose helmet represents the second (or fifth) movie, “attack of the clones”, also highlighted the fact that the franchise has created a culture of its own: “It’s a very admirable phenomenon. It’s still active, from the 70’s to this day. This universe created by (George) Lucas has its own terminology, which people learned and acquired with time, like the light saber. You get into it as the saga goes by”.
And it’s safe to say it’s all because of the fans. Their love is what kept Star Wars alive and made possible for its universe to enlarge and produce an incredible amount of content, which will get even bigger now that Disney has got a hold in it.
Ariana Fernández, marketing director for Disney Latin America and declared fan, thinks the company can bring several things to the plate: “Experience and franchise managing. A new fresh, different vision. The push Disney has when it works behind a product”. Mickey Mouse’s empire announced not only the release of a new trilogy throughout the years, the last one in 2019, but also two spin-off movies to give the ever-hungry fans the content they never will never get enough of.
Fernández, who also points at the fans as the main reason the franchise lived for so long, believes that so far they’re doing a good job, as the trailers were extremely well-received. There’s nothing to do but agree with said statement. I mean, it almost made a priest swear.
The event concluded with the display of all the intervened helmets and a cosplay presentation from the country’s main fan clubs, who brought their insanely accurate representation of their favorite characters to please the rest of the fans, who did not hesitate and took pictures with every single one of them.
The helmets will be exhibited in Abasto until May 10th. After, they will travel to Dot mall until the 17th.
May the force be with you.