A Fan's Perspective: May the Fourth in Wichita
[Author's note: please understand that this piece is completely biased, as it is written by an absolute Star Wars fanboy.]
Having been a fan of the Star Wars films and culture nearly my whole life, all the way back to the beginning, I cannot adequately describe how much I love the story, its characters, the universe, and the heroic journey of Luke Skywalker. With all of that out of the way, please enjoy my take on one of the neatest things EVER to spring from a fan base, and how to celebrate it with your friends and family in the greater Wichita area.
How the Pun Started
“May the fourth be with you” was a sly pun used by Star Wars fans as a play off of “May the Force be with you”, which is an oft-used mantra that is tied to the heart and soul of the Star Wars movies.
One of the earliest, and perhaps most surprising use of the pun was in 1977 when Margaret Thatcher won the election and became Britain’s first female prime minister. Thatcher's party took a half page ad in the London Evening News.
The message was, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
In my opinion, that ad was as pop culture as it gets for Star Wars fans, and one of the most visible uses that catapulted the phrase into mainstream use. With the rise of social media in the last decade, the use of the pun has only become more widespread and well known.
Celebrating in Wichita
Now that you have some backstory, whether you are part of the rebellion, Empire, Sith, Jedi, or partial to teddy bears setting traps in the woods, I would enjoy sharing some ways in the Wichita area that you can indulge in a celebration of Star Wars with the rest of us.
One of the coolest things about May the fourth this year is that it falls on a Friday! This opens up a huge set of possibilities and varied ways to enjoy the fandom.
Headshots Bar and Grill
2120 N Woodlawn Suite 324
Wichita, Kansas 67208
One of the best local geek hangouts is Headshots Bar and Grill located at 21st and Woodlawn. They have the biggest video game cantinas in town, tons of boards games and things to do to be entertained for hours. They are offering a free day pass for video games and board games to customers dressed in Star Wars garb. They will also have lightsaber cocktails on special to honor May the fourth. This sounds like an impressive hive of villainy and scum if I’ve ever heard of one!
Hero Complex Games & Entertainment
2120 N Woodlawn St
Wichita, KS 67208
If you are like me and enjoy a good competitive event set on a tabletop, one of the local gaming stores, Hero Complex Games & Entertainment (also located at 21st & Woodlawn) is going to celebrate May the Fourth with some Star Wars gaming.
There are two separate miniature games that are very family friendly, called X-Wing and Legions, being featured in their gaming area. I personally will be checking it out. Just remember, when you get into these contests of mind and dice, let the Wookie win.
1309 W 31st St South
Wichita, KS 67217
Are you looking for a more low-key way to observe May the Fourth? Have the kids pile into your land speeder and head down to a local comic book store like Wizards Asylum in South Wichita.
There are currently great Star Wars comics put out by Marvel. Darth Vader is presently on my required reading list. I hear they also have a costume contest that evening with prizes being awarded. Have the kids dress up before you pile them into the speeder and head someplace at light speed.
Celebrate Your Way
If none of these are tickling your Tauntaun yet, and you are wanting to just have a quiet evening at home, I would highly suggest simply watching the movies or the animated shows such as Rebels. Even better? Watch them with your children or family members. Pass on the magic and wonder of these movies to other generations. I would suggest starting with Star Wars: A New Hope. Maybe spend the evening with in-home lightsaber battles and speaking like Yoda to the kids.
“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”
I can promise you that I have missed what is probably an abundance of Star Wars related adventures to be found around the ICT on May 4th. I hope I have at the very least helped start you down the right Jedi path, so you can find something that makes you smile.
Enjoy Star Wars like millions of others will be doing on that day, right here in Wichita. May the fourth be with you!