You might be hearing this a lot today: “May the Fourth be with you.”
Star Wars fans around the world are celebrating what has come to be known as Star Wars Day, thanks in no small part to how much “May the Fourth” sounds like the iconic phrase “May the Force be with you.” So, for the past few years the Walt Disney Company has been celebrating this pun-tastic day with special Star Wars events, celebrations, and sales.
But while “May the Force be with you” is one of, if not the, most iconic line of the saga, just how often is the phrase actually said in the films? To answer this question, I sat down and watched all nine films so far—8 Saga Episodes and 1 Story— and found, much to my surprise, that “May the Force” has only been said 24 times in the Star Wars live-action films.
What was perhaps surprising is the character who said the iconic line first wasn’t Obi-Wan Kenobi or even Luke Skywalker but is in fact the Rebellion General Jan Dodonna. What’s even weirder is the second person to say the phrase onscreen is none other than Force-agnostic Han Solo. In fact, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker only ever says it once, and it was off-screen to Lando in The Empire Strikes Back. His sister Leia only ever says it fully once, and that was in The Force Awakens. The phrase is said the most in Rogue One thanks to Chirrut Îmwe, who repeats the variation “May the Force of other be with you” four times off-screen, taking the crown as the character who’s says the line the most. Vice Admiral Holdo is the runner up, saying it three times in The Last Jedi; while Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mace Windu are tied for third, have said “May the Force” two times throughout the Prequel Trilogy.
Whether we’ll hear the phrase in Solo: A Star Wars Story in a couple of weeks remains to be seen because while Han flew from one side of the galaxy to the other and saw a lot of strange stuff, he never saw anything that made him believe there was one all powerful Force controlling everything.
And for those of you who enjoy the Dark Side of the Force, fear not, tomorrow is Revenge of the Fifth.