Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What Do You Celebrate? May the Fourth Edition

Silly it seems to include today in this holidays series? Amusing I find it.

And, you know, after all, there are some celebrations that feel more like celebrations, more like holidays than the expected ones. So because this is my series, I'm throwing Star Wars Day in just because I feel like it. Because I think it fits well enough. And it's a holiday that makes more sense to me than Valentine's Day does.

I'm recalling the day, in first grade, when we celebrated Mickey Mouse's birthday. All we did was learn how to draw Mickey's face, but it was fun and it felt special. A day to celebrate something we all loved. May the Fourth is kind of like that. It isn't really that serious and a lot of people might not really do too much for it, but it's nice just knowing that it's there, just saying that you're doing this or that to celebrate.

Celebration, of course, begins with the phrase of the day: "May the Fourth Be With You." Say it and say it often, in person, by text, on social media, however and whenever. It's funny and it gives the illusion that this day always belonged to Star Wars, that the connection is inherently there in the date.

Other than repeating this phrase, I haven't done much for Star Wars Day in the past. I know some people have parties, eat Star Wars food, watch the movies, dress up, go to events. But I don't really do any of that--at least I haven't yet. This year I'm trying to do a little more: since I'm just doing work at home today, I have my Darth Vader dress from Her Universe on. I'll have to take a picture to send to some family in California who also love Star Wars.

I don't think I'll be watching Episode VII tonight because I just watched it again on Saturday. I may or may not watch a different movie or TV episode--even though it could be a tradition, I don't feel obligated to yet since I haven't made it a tradition yet. I might turn on the soundtrack, though.

I do want to get into some of this Star Wars food. I just want to discover something that's a little more me. But I want a blue milk recipe that doesn't involve food coloring, fruit punch mix, or alcohol--blueberries would probably work, I guess, but how do you get the color without the texture? And while recipes for that ration bread that Rey has sounded like a great idea, I was completely disappointed to find that you just microwave a couple of ingredients (I avoid microwaves). Other recipes are more about decorating things, whether cookies or cupcakes or pretzel sticks or whatever else. So I either need to look harder or come up with something on my own.

I've covered some of the how but what about the why? Why celebrate this day and why even call it a holiday? And what, as a holiday, does it mean?

It's just about people getting together and expressing their love of the same franchise/fandom, the same set of stories. They're just fiction and fiction is entertaining--but sometimes fiction is also a big part of our lives. It does influence how we think about things. Landscapes become familiar, actions seem attainable, messages and morals enter into our subconscious. Certain lines stick in our heads and then remind us of different things. "You have failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me." A reminder to never bend, because the result of bending would be far worse than the result of resisting. A reminder of the ties that bind family, even in the face of . . . difficulties. All good material. There's a lot of good material of this kind in Star Wars, and Star Wars Day also lets us celebrate that material.

"Show me the way of the Dark Side, grandfather."

When we put on a Darth Vader outfit or make chocolates in the shape of Yoda's head or pour blue milk for our family, we're setting out little emblems to remember the themes that compel us. The redemption of Darth Vader, the wise advice of Yoda, the nurturing actions of Beru.

May the Fourth Be With You.

No comments:

Post a Comment