May 4th is an unofficial holiday to Star Wars fans, dating back to 1979 when an advertisement in The London Evening News, congratulating Margaret Thatcher on being elected the first female Prime Minister, read, “May the fourth be with you Margaret. Congratulations.” Being a Star Wars fan (though not as hard core as some people I know), I thought it worthy of at least a blog post, if not a drink later on today. Turns out, there are plenty of ties between Star Wars and archaeology.
In Harper’s March 2009 issue, Jon Mooallem writes about a number of people, an archaeologist included, that go to old Star Wars film locations to look for evidence of the set (thanks The Diary of a Taxi Driver). In one location that was used as Tatooine, the author noted, “A quarter of a century later, remnants of the set were apparently littered across the valley or buried in the sand. We would be excavating whatever authentic artifacts of that fictitious universe remained.” How ’bout that for site survey and excavation?
(Photo from Through the Sandglass, but Photoscaped)
Oddly enough, if you Google “star wars archaeology,” the results will have a number of links to both Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In fact, The Official Star Wars Blog even wrote a post about archaeologists evaluating the latest Indiana Jones flick, analyzing it for its fictional elements. Yes, it’s a fictional movie, but perhaps it was just a fun exercise?
At any rate, it would seem that Indy and Han have a bit more in common than you would think… and I’m sure they would both tell you, “May the fourth be with you.”