May is a big month for Star Wars. For many fans that means celebrating “May The Fourth Be With You”, possibly catching a new film set in the galaxy far far away, or even enjoying Star Wars attractions at your nearest Disney park. For my family it’s a bittersweet month of both celebration and grief.
In 2011 I fell pregnant with our first child. My due date was May 4th. It was perfect. My husband and I have been lifelong Star Wars fans and we enjoy Star Wars immensely together, so of course our child would be due to enter the world on unofficial Star Wars day. We immediately began to refer to her as our Star Wars baby and my husband even came up with a brilliant name for her, Hannah Solo Ward after famed smuggler Han Solo.
Unfortunately Hannah didn’t make it into the world to celebrate Star Wars day with us. A few days before I was due to deliver Hannah, she passed away from an umbilical cord accident and she was delivered stillborn on May 10th 2012. Ever since the loss of our daughter, May has been a trying month for our family. We now associate what is the most significant month for Star Wars, something we’re always going to be enthusiastic for, with the worst event of our lives.
As a part of the Star Wars fan community, it’s difficult to enjoy May the same way everyone else does. That is why, whenever possible we use Star Wars to inject positivity and hope into our remembrance of Hannah. In 2013 with the help of some very friendly people at Lucasfilm we were able to attend the 30th anniversary screening of Return of the Jedi on May 4th, and this year in addition to celebrating May The Fourth Be With You, on May 10th we’re going to take our son Luke and a few other Star Wars friends to meet master Star Wars poster artist Drew Struzan.
For our family Star Wars will always be something we hold near and dear and we feel privileged to be a part of its fan community. Though we will never stop missing Hannah Solo or mourning her loss, it only feels right celebrating our May The Fourth baby through Star Wars.