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May the Fourth has become an annual celebration for one of the biggest franchises in pop culture history. It's Star Wars Day, based on a play off the term "May the Force be with you". But what started as a joke has turned into a worldwide observance.

Some corners of the internet claim that May 4th started becoming Star Wars Day as far back as the late 1970s. I don't know if I trust that, but I know for a fact we used to make "May the fourth be with you" references as kids in the 90s. So its been bubbling for a few decades at least.

But now it has morphed into something completely different. According to global e-commerce company Pattern, May 4th has become the largest single sales day for Star Wars merchandise every year, with the exception of days that Star Wars movies or shows are released. According to their research, May 4th saw a 93% increase in demand for online products over an average day.

Here are some more numbers from the research at Pattern:

  • Star Wars Day (May the 4th) drove a 93% increase in demand for Star Wars products on Amazon over the average the rest of the year.
  • Only the release of the Rise of Skywalker (+111%) and the new season of The Mandalorian (+95%) generated more daily demand for Star Wars products.
  • Products relating to Yoda and Baby Yoda topped the list, accounting for 49% of all consumer demand for products related to Star Wars characters in 2020.
  • Products related to the Mandalorian, specifically, accounted for 19%.

In addition to those figures, they found one really interesting statistic that I had a hard time believing.

As a Star Wars fan, I think I have a pretty good handle on who the most popular characters are. Which, in my mind, would translate to who sells the most merchandise. But that's something Pattern tracked in 2020, and I was pretty far off.

Here are the 16 performers among Star Wars characters for 2020:
16. Ahsoka Tano
15. Luke Skywalker
14. Princess Leia
13. Han Solo
12. R2-D2
11. Darth Maul
10. Lando Calrissian
9. BB-8
8. Chewbacca
7. Boba Fett
6. Kylo Ren
5. Stormtrooper
4. Darth Vader
3. Mandalorian (Din Djarin)
2. Baby Yoda/Grogu
1. Yoda

Now the breakout Disney+ show The Mandalorian impacted this list for sure. It's probably safe to say that without the show making waves in 2020, Din Djarin and Grogu probably don't come in at #2 and #3. But even Yoda at #1 is kind of a shock. Or that fact that Boba Fett, even with the bump from his resurrection in The Mandalorian, only made it to #7 on the list is a huge shock. But what really shocked me was how low Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia ranked. I would have never guessed they would be below BB-8!

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