Happy May the Fourth! If you are a die-hard Star Wars fan you know that today is official Star Wars Day. As the universe and fandom have expanded (like a Death Star exploding) over the last four decades, May the Fourth has grown from a niche tradition among hardcore fans into an international sensation and marketing day.
Star Wars is a bigger part of American culture than ever before — the franchise added a brand new sequel trilogy, several standalone movies, a hit TV series on Disney+, and its own area at Disneyland in the last few years.
To celebrate this unofficial holiday, we took a look at Ranker Insights who has gathered up all the wonderful, weird, and surprising facts we could find about Star Wars and the people who love it. So, before you start binging your way through all nine films today or watch the final episode of The Clone Wars on Disney+, read through this and some knowledge!
There’s Two Kinds of Star Wars Fans
Star Wars fanatics everywhere are united in their love for the original trilogy, but there’s a serious divide between fans of the prequels and fans of the sequels. Ranker Insights data shows that most people who like Episodes I-III don’t care for the newer movies — at the same time, fans of Episodes VII-IX are just as unlikely to enjoy the prequels. For example, our data says that if you’ve seen both The Phantom Menace and The Last Jedi, there’s only a 16% chance that you liked both of them.
Kylo Ren: International Antihero
Voters outside the U.S. are more interested in a spinoff about Kylo Ren more than one about any other character, according to our list of Star Wars Characters That Most Deserve Spinoff Movies, but American voters aren’t so interested in hearing more about the son of Han and Leia. Another spinoff that’s desired by a very narrow slice of the fanbase is Lumpy, Chewbacca’s son. He’s #8 on the list for voters who are 50 years of age or older, but isn’t even on the radar for younger fans.
Not Everyone’s Hearts Are Bleeding for Han
WARNING! MAJOR SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN THE FORCE AWAKENS!
People living in red states think Han Solo’s death is the saddest to take place in the franchise. But in blue states, Han Solo is all the way down at #15 on our list of the Saddest Deaths in the Star Wars movies (they’re far more likely to shed tears for Yoda).
Soul Food, Sweet Tea, and Star Wars
The most dedicated Star Wars fans in the country are in the South. The Southeast United States is the only region that has a favorable view of every single Star Wars movie — including the prequels! The least popular movie in the franchise among Southerners is Revenge of the Sith, which has a 66% approval rating there.
The Mandalorian is on its Way to Sci-Fi TV History
The Mandalorian, the Disney+ series set in the Star Wars universe, cracked Ranker’s Top 100 on our incredibly competitive list of the Best Science Fiction Shows of All Time in less than five months. Moving up a list with a million votes from 55,000 voters is hard and often takes years to do — The Mandalorian is the only show in the Top 100 made in 2019 or later. There’s good reason to believe the show could make it into the Top 20 by the time its second season premieres in October 2020.
…But a New Obi-Wan Kenobi Show Could Be Competition
But despite The Mandalorian’s popularity, the show is neck-and-neck with an upcoming, as-of-yet untitled series about Obi-Wan Kenobi on our list of Most Anticipated Disney+ Shows. Could this series be an even bigger hit than The Mandalorian?
An Interstellar Rivalry
Another trend we noticed among Star Wars fans is that there seems to be a rivalry of some kind between the sequel trilogy and the Avengers franchise: specifically, the Infinity Saga. The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker all have fan bases that are significantly less likely to approve of Infinity Wars or Endgame.
If you were to put all the fans of Rise of Skywalker and all the fans of Avengers: Endgame in one room, Ranker Insights says that only 12% of everyone gathered would belong to both groups.
Rogue One Is #1 Across the U.S.
A lot of Star Wars movies are viewed positively throughout the U.S., but none is as widely popular as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This standalone movie is the only Star Wars film beloved by 70% or more voters in every single region of the country.
So Far, So Good, Solo
The other major standalone Star Wars film is Solo: A Star Wars Story, and despite the fact that it exists outside the trilogies, it’s also pretty beloved. Solo is #7 on the list of all 11 major Star Wars movies, above Episodes I, II, XIII, and IX. It’s got a relatively high approval rating of 62% (for comparison, the original Star Wars movie is viewed positively by 63% of voters).
The fact that Solo fans have a generally positive view of Avengers: Endgame, unlike fans of the other Star Wars movies made in the last five years, suggests that its audience is a little different (and slightly more forgiving) than that of the sequel trilogy.
Boys Don’t Cry (About Star Wars Sequels)
Internet trolls angry about the prominent role played by female characters like Rey and Rose Tico in the sequel trilogy have made plenty of headlines over the last five years, but our data says these people are a minuscule minority of the franchise’s fanbase.
In fact, we found that men were more likely than women to vote up Episodes VII-XI on our list of Best Star Wars Movies.
A New Generation of Star Wars Icons
Ranker’s list of Best Star Wars Characters gives state-by-state data on fans of every character from Jar-Jar to Darth Vader. In many places, new characters introduced in Episodes VII-IX are even more popular than the heroes and villains of the classic original trilogy.
For example, Finn is the most popular character in Texas, Rae is #1 in Colorado, and Poe Dameron is the favorite of voters in Maine. South Dakota threw us for a loop by voting “Imperial Royal Guards” to the top of their list.
May the Fourth Be With You !