darth vader, star wars, star wars dayDisney

"Star Wars Day" happens on Sunday. Makes you wonder why J.J. Abrams didn't wait just a few more days to announce the cast for "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Sure, it would have come on a weekend, when many in the media aren't working, but how awesome would it have been to unveil the next generation of sci-fi heroes on May the 4th, the unofficial holiday for "Star Wars" geeks?

The occasion has its origin in "May the Force be with you," a line spoken to Luke Skywalker by Han Solo in "Star Wars: A New Hope," just before the Rebel Alliance takes up arms against Darth Vader and the Death Star.

One of the first uses of the phrase "May the 4th be with you" came in 1979 . At that time, the U.K.'s Conservative Party took out a full-page ad in the London Evening News to celebrate Margaret Thatcher's election as prime minister, saying, "May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations," according to StarWars.com.

It has since grown into a grassroots tradition that allows people to reconnect with a film franchise that has touched generations of fans. Disney, which now owns the "Star Wars" brand after buying Lucasfilm in 2012, is celebrating by offering free limited edition pins to the first 100 guests who visit its branded stores on May 4.

It will also offer hands-on lightsaber training, an interactive experience in which people can help Luke destroy the Death Star, and even host a Medal of Bravery Ceremony like at the end of "A New Hope."

Those who wish to celebrate with their kids at home can add lightsabers to photos using Photoshop and, if you don't have it, you can use a free alternative called Pixlr.

As for the next instalment in the "Star Wars" universe, it will star numerous actors from the original franchise including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

New actors joining the franchise include John Boyega ("Attack the Block"), Daisy Ridley, Domnhal Gleeson ("About Time"), Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Andy Serkis ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) and Adam Driver ("Girls"), who may play the villain.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" will be released in December 2015.