Star Wars' 'May the force be with you' inspired by OT's Book of Ruth

Star Wars’ ‘May the force be with you’ inspired by OT’s Book of Ruth

The Culture

According to author Alan Arnold, in 1979 “Margaret Thatcher … won the election and became Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was ‘May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.’”

This resulted in a yearly fan tradition of calling May 4 “Star Wars Day” or “May the Fourth be With You Day,” in reference to the Jedi phrase used in the movies, “May the Force be with you.”

The phrase has been used in every Star Wars film since 1977 and has become a central part of the Star Wars universe. What few people realize is that when George Lucas penned these iconic words he was originally inspired by a similar phrase that has been used since the very beginning of Christianity.

The Lord be with you

The phrase is first found in the Book of Ruth, “And behold, Bo′az came from Bethlehem; and he said to the reapers, ‘The Lord be with you!’ And they answered, ‘The Lord bless you’” (Ruth 2:4). According to Christopher Carstens in Mystical Body, Mystical Voice: Encountering Christ in the Words of the Mass, the “greeting … is the greeting of the landowner Boaz to his harvesters. … It is a greeting to those who gather their daily bread by working in the field, a greeting to pilgrims like Ruth living off the land as they pass through. It was used by the Hebrews on everyday occasions to express good wishes in the Lord.”

The phrase received an even greater symbolism when adopted by the early Christians and used in the context of the Mass, where the true “daily bread” is made present on the altar.

This article continues at [Aleteia] The Christian phrase behind the Star Wars greeting #maythe4thbewithyou

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