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The many times Star Wars became a part of American politics

"Star Wars" has been with us through six presidents, and it will be seven by the time each film in the new trilogy is released. Stars Wars is also popular. Hence today, politicians used the hashtag #maythefourthbewithyou to get retweets.

Here's a history of Star Wars' place in politics:

July 29, 1977

Two months after "Star Wars" is released, President Carter writes a letter to aliens that is sent with the Voyager spacecraft, saying, "We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations." As Benjamin Breen wrote for Slate in 2013, Carter's language in the letter ("galactic civilizations?") suggests he could have possibly been influenced by the film.

March 23, 1983

President Reagan introduces his Strategic Defense Initiative proposal to defend against attacks. It comes to be nicknamed "Star Wars."

May 15, 2005

"Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" is screened at the Cannes film festival, and George Lucas says there were similarities between the film and President George W. Bush's role in the Iraq war ("As you go through history, I didn't think it was going to get quite this close," he said. "So it's just one of those reoccurring things."). The line in the film from Anakin Skywalker that "if you're not with me, then you're my enemy" sounded to some viewers as similar to Bush's "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

September 6, 2009

In President Obama's quest to bring the Olympics to Chicago, the White House hosts members of the U.S. Olympic Committee at the White House, and Obama and wields a light saber with Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse.

January 11, 2013

The White House responds to an online petition signed by more than 24,000 people to build a Death Star. In its response, Paul Shawcross, chief of the White House Office of Management and Budget's science and space branch wrote that building a Death Star would be expensive and said the administration "does not support blowing up planets." Good to know.

March 1, 2013

At a press conference about the sequester, Obama used the term "Jedi mind meld," mixing Star Wars (Jedi) and Star Trek (mind meld) references. Fans everywhere cringed and/or started throwing things in their parents' basements. The White House doubled down with a tweet that included famous phrases from both.

July 10, 2013

Obama awarded George Lucas with the National Medal of Arts and commended him on advancements he helped make in special effects. "I remember when I first saw 'Star Wars,'" Obama said. "There's a whole generation that thinks special effects always looked like they do today. But it used to be you'd see, like, the string on the little model spaceships."

Um, thanks?

May 4, 2015

The "May the 4th Be With You" meme reaches critical mass. It is the Jar Jar Binks of hashtags, but politicians can't help themselves. Tweets came from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) staff, the pro-choice group NARAL, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the White House Twitter account retweeted a NASA tweet.