May the Fourth be with you…a different take on Star Wars Day

May the Fourth Be With You…

Aside from this election being the ‘most important in a generation’ (currently bubbling just inside our top ten of campaign slogans), it is also perhaps the only opportunity in a generation to mesh the race for PM with the mighty Star Wars…

So I invite you to pause for respite before rushing out to vote in yet another election (locals, although you would be forgiven for forgetting these), to celebrate Star Wars Day. What the Dickens has Star Wars got to do with the election you ask? Let me give you 4 (slightly dubious) reasons!

May the Fourth Be a Tory Slogan
The May the 4th movement began in Canada in 2011 and has swiftly established itself as a date in the popular culture diary. However, without the Tory party this may have never happened (yes it’s true!). The first ever recorded use of the phrase occurred after Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 election victory, in a Conservative party ad in the London Evening News that proclaimed “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!”

I shall wager that the Iron Lady (v.2) will today raise a wry smile (once it has been explained) at Tory HQ when some card calls down the corridor “May the Fourth be With You Theresa.” I shall also wager that by the end of the day that smile will have worn very thin…

May and Corbyn – Star Wars parodies
For the first time (in a generation), we have two Party leaders who conveniently parody key Star Wars characters, a fact noted by the internet eagle eyed. Viral memes have made much of Jeremy Corbyn’s uncanny resemblance to the Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi, while a trawl of convenient Google images has helped to make Theresa May a dead ringer for the evil Emperor.

Star Wars Language
Not to be left out of the Star Wars party, even the EU have got in on the act. According to EU sources, Britain may as well be living in a galaxy far, far away (or “living in a different galaxy” to be exact). This is according to an EU insider commenting  on last week’s Downing Street dinner date where Theresa May hosted European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (who in the Tory party spin room is the real dead ringer for the Emperor, while Theresa May has no doubt been recast as either Luke Skywalker or his sister…)

Star Wars Imagery
Mr Corbyn’s accession to the Labour leader role was accompanied by much internet babble  about him being ‘The New Hope’ (with accompanying Obi-Wan photoshop job). Meanwhile Mrs May has often been cast in a more villainous light (even Nigel Farage dismissed as ‘nasty’ her Home Office initiative to drive vans around London telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home in 2013). Her robotic performances have also come in for criticism and also note her team’s predilection for stage managed campaign stops, with interior settings that often conjure up a briefing to subordinates on the Death Star bridge!

Do not underestimate the power of imagery, especially when motivating the young and the internet addicted. If the internet has its wicked way with the Star Wars/UK pols theme today we could get the sort of surge that brought Rage Against the Machine a Christmas No 1 and led to a research vessel being named Boaty McBoatface… Time for Labour HQ to start channelling the force!

Luan de Burgh

May 2017

Luan de Burgh is a speaker, writer and founder of The de Burgh Group – a specialist business communication training provider dedicated to helping people perform at their highest potential.