A Star Wars Word for Wednesday: Force

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May the 4th be with you!

Today is Star Wars Day and to celebrate we’ve chosen Star Wars as this month’s Word for Wednesday theme. 

The date of this commemorative celebration comes from the pun on the Star Wars catchphrase ‘May the Force be with you’. Though the first recorded use of ‘May the 4th be with you’ dates to 1979, the first organised commemorative event for Star Wars Day wasn’t until 2011 when an event was hosted at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Today, Star Wars Day is observed by fans all over the world. 

Our first Star Wars word for May is force

In English, a force is an influence that produces a change in a physical quantity, for example a movement. The word is also used to describe the act of making someone do something. 

In the Star Wars universe, the Force is the power or energy that binds all things in the universe. Throughout the series, various characters attempt to manipulate the Force; some attempting to be at one with it and others attempting to take advantage of it. 

In Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda – a mentor character known as a Jedi Master – describes the force to the hero Luke Skywalker: 

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.

The word force dates to around 1300 and entered English via Old French. It comes from the Latin ‘fortis’ meaning ‘strong’ or ‘mighty’. The word has been used to describe the act of making someone do something since the mid-fourteenth century, a military organisation since the late-fourteenth century, and a physical energy since the seventeenth century. The term force field is from 1920.

04 May 2022
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