For several years now, May the 4th has been the internet’s unofficial Star Wars Day. After the announcement that the entire Skywalker Saga would land on May the 4th, Disney tweeted that should fans choose to share their favorite Star Wars memory, they might “see it somewhere special on #MayThe4th.”
Soon after making that announcement, the Disney+ account let the fans everywhere know that if they use the #Maythe4th hashtag on Star Wars Day, they are essentially handing over the use of the message and their Twitter account name to be used in all media for the Disney company.
Star Wars fans are less than pleased. Many have pointed out that there is no real precedent to own a hashtag, and that the Mouse House is overstepping their bounds a bit. One fan even said “I was born on May the fourth. Does that mean you technically own my birthday?”
The backlash was pretty potent and led Disney to issue something of a clarification soon after. They said that the #Maythe4th tweets only apply to replies to their own tweets. They also specified they apply to any May the 4th tweet that tags the Disney+ account. Anything else doesn’t count. This is similar to when there’s a sign at a public event that’s being filmed—by entering said event, you are turning over your likeness to be used in some sort of promotional material down the line. Some might still turn their nose up at this, but we imagine a lot of people won’t care.
Hopefully, this doesn’t ruin the concept of #Maythe4th for too many folks. Personally, I think Star Wars Day should be May 25th, as that’s when the original film opened in 1977. But never underestimate the power of a pun.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm