The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.
Opinion by Mason Johnson
Listen, if you love May 4th — if you love Star Wars Day — then celebrate. You are absolutely welcome to ignore me, some idiot writing an opinion article on the internet.
If you are going to keep reading this though, you need to know: #MayThe4thBeWithYou is really, really dumb.
(Quick note: This article in no way represents my opinions on the current Lucas Museum kerfuffle happening in Chicago…)Honestly, most holidays are dumb, right? This isn’t something we didn’t already know.
Take Mother’s Day for example. Though the holiday’s beginnings were well-intentioned, by the 1920s, Hallmark Cards had brought the holiday over to the Dark Side. Mother’s Day became so commercialized, even the holiday’s founder, social activist Anna Jarvis, started to hate it.
Loving our mothers became secondary to spending piles of money on cards, flowers and candies.
But I’m not going to attack Mother’s Day! I have a mother. A tangible incarnation of love is connected to Mother’s Day.While I also love Star Wars, I don’t quite have the same allegiance for May 4th as I do mothers. Star Wars did not spend 48 hours pushing my Jabba-the-Hutt-sized head out of its genitalia. And though Star Wars definitely had a hand in raising me (I faked sick specifically to watch it as a kid), I begrudgingly have to give the great majority of the credit to my parents.
Ultimately, Star Wars is a product. I do not need a day to celebrate a product.
Star Wars exists for one reason: to make money. Now more than ever! And while I, like millions of others, have derived incalculable joy from Star Wars films, books and video games, any creative achievements of the brand were merely a means to a financial end.
And as the biggest brand in America, Star Wars is virtually everywhere at all times. Every day is literally Star Wars Day.
Every day in the toy aisle at Target is Star Wars Day. Every day there’s a comic book or video game convention is Star Wars Day. Oh, and the days of the year where there are literal Star Wars conventions? Also Star Wars Day.We will have a Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future.
Bottom line: There are a lot of Star Wars Days. At this rate, Star Wars racks up more love than our mothers, fathers and veterans combined.
You see, holidays are supposed to be about honoring someone other than yourself. A group of fans indulging in a brand maintained by a giant corporation? That’s just selfish. And redundant, since you can do that any day you want.
But by all means, if you need a day to buy discounted soap dispensers that look like BB-8, celebrate! If that inside joke you have about tauntauns is super funny, what better day to share it on Facebook than May 4th?
But, come May 5th, do me a favor: email me Twitter’s trending hashtags for January 18th and May 4th. I’d love to know what went more viral, #MartinLutherKingJr or #MayThe4thBeWithYou.