Celebrate the Universal Day of the Jedi on May 25

Right now, you’re hearing a lot about George Lucas in the hallowed halls of the interweb. However, this particular week tends to focus on the love and hate for Lucas for his involvement in the latest Indiana Jones film.

Let’s not forget that Lucas’s hand has been instrumental in another massive, iconic series of films. Of course, I’m talking about Star Wars and its sequel-prequel bookends. (And let’s not forget the upcoming Clone Wars animated movie that comes to theaters this August.)

In the midst of an overdose of whips and Fedoras, this weekend is a special day for Star Wars fans as well. The Universal Day of the Jedi is this Sunday, May 25. Officially started last year on the 30th anniversary of the release of A New Hope, The Universal Day of the Jedi is a celebration of everything Star Wars, from the original movies to the general fandom surrounding the series.

Suggested ways to celebrate the Universal Day of the Jedi include watching all the movies back-to-back, dressing up as your favorite character for work (or, since it’s Sunday, for church) and sending Kevin Carr enough money for him to become as rich as George Lucas. (Okay, I’ll admit I made that last part up, but I’ll still take checks, money orders, cash and credit card numbers… see email at the top of this page.)

Uber-fan Greg Davies, who runs the site www.DayoftheJedi.com, has whipped together an informational piece for Cineleet.com to help prepare for this honored geek holiday.

Davies breaks down the Star Wars saga to its sources of inspiration. Many people know that classic westerns like The Searchers and Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress were inspirations for the movies, but Davies gives some keen insights on how these and other films influenced all the films. Additional inspirations include the Flash Gordon serials, The Guns of Navarone, Lawrence of Arabia, The Dam Busters and 633 Squadron, as well as lesser-known influences like Saving Private Ryan.

Davies’ analysis comes with sample video clips and a bonus spot of the popular parody George Lucas in Love. As a teaser, here’s a clip that Davies uses for The Hidden Fortress, whose bumbling characters provided the inspiration for C-3PO and R2-D2. Additional clips can be found at Cineleet.com.

Sound off: How do you plan on celebrating The Universal Day of the Jedi?

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