ON what is globally known as Star Wars Day, Green MSP Gillian Mackay was spotted unashamedly sporting her allegiance to the much-loved film saga in the Scottish Parliament on May 4, donning a Resistance badge in the chamber on the eve of the local election. In awe of her fangirling, The National pulled her aside for a wee chat about why Star Wars means so much to her…

There are a lot of Star Wars fans out there and May the 4th has become a huge cultural phenomenon, but I’m sure most people wouldn’t expect an MSP to wear a Resistance badge in Parliament. Why is Star Wars so important to you?

Over the last four or five years, I’ve become involved with the Rebel Legion here in Scotland, which is a costuming organisation formed by people who are interested in creating Star Wars costumes. We also raise money for charity by going out to events and places like the children’s hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh to try and put some smiles on faces.

I have a jedi costume, an original trilogy X-wing pilot, and I have a Sabine Wren from Rebels (so it’s a Mandalorian, basically).

My other half and I are both involved and there's just a load of Star Wars badges and T-shirts in the house. I brought my Grogu rucksack with me to work too. You can get away with subtle geekiness usually but on May 4, it’s a day where it’s a bit more acceptable to wear geekiness with some pride, whether you be in parliament or elsewhere.

We had all the pins out on the bed last night trying to find the one that would probably blend in the most if you didn’t know what it was, but also stand out to people who do have that geeky allegiance and would pick up on what it was.

There are actually two lightsabers in my office as well!

Well, we now know what goes on in Green MSPs' offices! Vital question for fans out there, what colour are the lightsabers?

Yeah, a lot of hard work and the occasional lightsaber battle! They can change colour but one is currently green and the other is Mace Windu pinky-purple. That was a Valentine’s gift from my other half.

When did your love of Star Wars start?

When I was quite little I think, my dad had a set of the original trilogy on VHS and we used to put them on and watch all three films together. They used to be kept a bit out of the road so we couldn’t watch them continually as kids do.

It’s really come to the fore in the past year, I think, because of being able to go out with the Rebel Legion, and it’s such a lovely thing – because as well as the good things we do with raising money and going to see the kids and stuff, it’s actually a nice wee family as well. We have some really close friends and they thoroughly supported me when I stood for election.

The National: May 4 became Star Wars Day in reference to the Jedi mantra "May the force (or 4th) be with you"May 4 became Star Wars Day in reference to the Jedi mantra "May the force (or 4th) be with you"

So come on then, what’s your favourite film?

It has to be Empire [Strikes Back]. I also controversially like Solo more than Rogue One which seems to blow everyone’s minds but I just like it.

When I was little I was also the one who really liked Jar Jar Binks as a character too, so I’m maybe not always in the popular opinion camp.

I also just want to stick up for The Phantom Menace which is underrated. Duel of the Fates is one of the best bits of any of the Star Wars films.

And your favourite character?

I have a soft spot for Wicket the Ewok. I was quite little when I saw the original trilogy and they were just wee teddy bears at the time and I think the Ewoks are pretty good at trying to bring down the empire.

They do a lot more than their size would suggest they could achieve so that’s quite nice in terms of a small, fluffy underdog. Or bear, I suppose.

What do you feel makes the saga so special?

I think it’s just a level of escapism that’s transcended so many generations now. There are people who saw the original trilogy who then took their kids to see the sequel trilogy and now grandkids can see Rebels and Clone Wars etc. It's a unique franchise.