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Navy photoshops Stars Wars spaceships next to submarine for May the 4th

Edited photo of USS Illinois operating alongside spaceships from the Star Wars movie franchise. (US Navy edited photo originally by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner)
May 04, 2022

The U.S. Navy photoshopped a trio of Imperial Star Destroyers and a pair of walkers from the Star Wars film franchise into a photo of one of their submarines to celebrate May 4, the day on which Star Wars fans celebrate the franchise.

“May the Fourth be with you! #StarWarsDay,” the Navy wrote in a Facebook post referencing the date May 4th and a phrase from the film franchise “May the Force be with you.”

“Check out USS Illinois (SSN 786) sailing through ice on Hoth,” the Navy’s Facebook post continued, referring to an ice planet from the film franchise.

Edited photo of USS Illinois operating alongside spaceships from the Star Wars movie franchise. (US Navy edited photo originally by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner)

The Navy quipped that its Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine had not in fact interacted with any vehicles from the film franchise.

“Disclaimer: The ‘Hoth’ photo illustration is edited: there were no AT-ATs or Star Destroyers near USS Illinois (SSN 786),” the Navy wrote. “In reality, they would never have been able to get close enough to the sub. Also, the original image was not taken on Hoth, it was in the Beaufort Sea, on Earth. #Maythe4thbewithyou #thisistheway #thisisthemay.”

In the same post, the Navy shared a photo of a laser weapon demonstration and a ship bearing the same name as a Star Wars film character.

“USS Portland – LPD 27 conducting a high-energy laser weapon system demonstration, & our very own BB-8 (USS Alabama, 1900-1921),” the Navy added.

USS Portland – LPD 27 conducting a high-energy laser weapon system demonstration. (U.S. Navy/Released)

The photo of the USS Portland is an image of a laser weapon test the Navy carried out in the Gulf of Aden in December. The photo was taken using an infrared lens and optical filter, but is otherwise unedited.

The photo of USS Alabama (BB-8) is another unedited historical photo. BB-8 is a character in the more recent films in the Star Wars franchise.

USS Alabama (BB-8), 1900-1921. (U.S. Navy/Released)

The unedited version of the USS Illinois breaching the ice in the Beaufort Sea was taken in March during the Navy’s Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2022. ICEX is a three-week exercise that the Navy does annually to practice operations in the Arctic. The unedited version of the USS Illinois ICEX photo was taken by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner.

The Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Illinois (SSN 786) sails through the Arctic ice during the Navy’s Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner/Released)

In response to the Navy’s Star Wars-themed Facebook post, other users shared their own photo edits. One edited photo showed a Navy aircraft carrier catapult officer, also known as a “shooter,” directing the launch of an X-wing starfighter off the deck of an aircraft carrier.

An edited photo shows U.S. Navy catapult officer directing the launch of an X-Wing starfighter from the Star Wars film franchise. (Facebook screenshot).

Another commenter shared an edited image of World War II-era Navy sailors pushing a damaged aircraft off an aircraft carrier.

An edited photo shows World War II-era U.S. Navy sailors pushed a damaged X-Wing starfighter from the Star Wars film franchise off the deck of the USS Long Island. (Facebook screenshot).

The photo cleverly inserts the Star Wars franchise spaceship in the place of an F2A-3 Buffalo that was actually damaged during a landing accident off Palmyra Island, on July 25, 1942.

A Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo fighter from Marine Fighting Squadron 211 (VMF-211) rests in the flight deck gallery walkway after suffering landing gear failure while landing on board the U.S. Navy escort carrier USS Long Island (AVG-1), off Palmyra Island, July 25, 1942. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)