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May the Force be with you on May 4!

May the Force be with you on May 4!

An actor portraying Kylo-Ren, a character from the movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” interacts with a young patron during the 2016 March Field Airfest in California on April 16, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Stephen D. Schester/Released)

By Jamie Rogers

Fans of the iconic “Star Wars” films will be celebrating this week with watch parties, themed potlucks and more on Thursday, deemed an unofficial holiday by these sci-fi aficionados. Pop culture has linked the movie quote “May the Force be with you” with May the Fourth, creating an annual day to fan-crush on everything “Star Wars” from Alderan to Wookiees.

Some of the biggest fans of the franchise are the costumed members of the 501st Legion, an organization whose replica uniforms practically match the Hollywood originals. While these cosplayers usually represent the “dark” side of the Force, they often bring light-hearted entertainment to our U.S. armed forces and their families. Take a moment this May 4 to check out the times “Star Wars” fans young and old have helped bring a little star power to U.S. installations across our universe.

Fans dressed as characters from “Star Wars” pose for a group photo prior to a midnight screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Benny Decker Theater in Yokosuka, Japan. More than 600 people lined up to watch the midnight screenings at FLEACT Yokosuka’s two theaters in 2015. FLEACT provides, maintains and operates base facilities and services in support of 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed Naval forces, 83 tenant commands and 24,000 military and civilian personnel. (U.S. Navy photo by Jim O’Donnell/Released)

Michael Lajda, U.S. Forces Afghanistan base environmental manager, sits in a theater in a Chewbacca costume awaiting the first showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service partnered with Walt Disney Studios in 2015 to give service members a chance to see the movie while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

A boy looks at an R2-D2 robot replica at the Sakura Theater during a promotion for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in 2016. R2-D2 and a stormtrooper also visited the Crossroads Mall and Marine Corps Exchange, providing station residents the opportunity to interact and take group photos with both characters. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron Henson/Released)

A young station resident poses for a photo with R2-D2 and a stormtrooper at the Sakura Theater during a “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” promotion at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in 2016. Richard Inoue, dressed as the stormtrooper, spent four years building his R2-D2 replica known as R2-J1 and is officially licensed. The promotion provided station residents the opportunity to interact and take group photos with both characters. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron Henson/Released)

Gunnery Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook, station manager at Armed Forces Network, his wife, Kara, and daughter, Evelyn, pose for a photo with R2-D2 and Richard Inoue dressed as a stormtrooper at the Crossroads Mall during a promotion for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron Henson/Released)

New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. James Bavarro, an aircraft armament system specialist with the 106th Rescue Wing, poses with his Star Wars clone trooper helmet during a portrait session in 2014. In addition to his work with the 106th, Bavarro is a member of the 501st Legion, a group of “Star Wars” re-enactors and enthusiasts who portray characters from the “Star Wars” universe. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Christopher S. Muncy/Released)

Installation residents and their children dress as their favorite characters during “Star Wars” Day at the Harriotte B. Smith Library aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in 2013. (Photo by Cpl. Charles Clark)

Installation residents and their children dress as their favorite characters during “Star Wars” Day at the Harriotte B. Smith Library aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in 2013. (Photo by Cpl. Charles Clark)

Installation residents and their children dress as their favorite characters during “Star Wars” Day at the Harriotte B. Smith Library aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in 2013. (Photo by Cpl. Charles Clark)

Software Manager Marsha Berry demonstrates the America’s Army motion comic to a convention patron dressed as a “Star Wars” Stormtrooper at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012.

 

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