May the 4th be with you: What is the proper response to Star Wars term?

Leigh McManus May 4, 2021

It’s national Star Wars Day 2021, an annual coming together of Star Wars fans across the world. The day is based on the famous saying “May the force be with you,” from the 1977 instalment of the franchise Episode IV A New Hope. But what is the proper response to May the 4th be with you?

May the 4th be with you 2021

So, before we get into the proper response to the send off, we need to explore where “May the 4th be with you” comes from.

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It essentially means good luck and the term started back in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, when General Jan Dodonna, played by Alex McCrindle, used it in response to Luke Skywalker, played by a young Mark Hamill.

Skywalker said: “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not gonna get bigger than two meters.”

Then, General Dodanna responds: “Then man your ships. And may the Force be with you.”

After that, the term became a regular feature of the franchise and fans picked up on it, too. “May the force” soon deviated into “May the 4th,” speaking to today’s date.

The date, from 2011, also became somewhat official with the first organised celebration of Star Wars Day taking place at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

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Disney owns the Star Wars franchise through its ownership of subsidiary Lucasfilm, named after the film’s creator George Lucas. In 2013, Disney began observing the day with Star Wars themed events and festivities at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

So, what is the proper May the 4th be with you response?

Generally, you can respond by saying ‘And also with you’ or ‘May the force be with us all’, but debate rages on this matter.

 

Some believe that the term has its origins in religion, namely the Latin phrase “dominus vobiscum,” which means “The Lord be with you”.

This is an ancient salutation and blessing traditionally used by the clergy in the Catholic Mass, to which the response is “and also with you.”

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Chicago Cubs pitcher Trevor Williams, a devout Catholic and Star Wars super fan, tweeted on this day in 2018 that he believes the correct response to the term is “and with your spirit,” because of changes to the bible.

In response, one person wrote: “Still prefer ‘and also with you’. Probably because I’m old!”

Another agreed, saying: “Call me a hipster but ‘and also with you’ will always be the true response.”

So the jury is still out on any hard and fast response, but you generally wont go wrong with the classic “and also with you.”

Leigh is a 26-year-old journalist from the north of Ireland. He studied International Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, where he earned a 2:1 grade. He has worked for Mail Online and has experience with the Liverpool Echo, Irish Mirror and SWNS. Leigh is also a huge music fan and has his own show on a community radio station.