I have a friend who has never seen “Star Wars.” She works for a newspaper’s features department. When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came out in 2015, she was responsible for pulling wire copy about “Star Wars” to put on her paper’s website. “I have no idea what I’m doing,” she confessed.

I gave her a crash course on what I thought she might need to know. I gave her the basic structure, plus sent her some YouTube clips that might help. But it turned out that she knew a lot more than she or I had expected, because she had absorbed the pop culture references in movies, TV, music, and, well, everything.

All I needed to do was fill in the blanks, like why that one guy looked like a fish, and why did he say “It’s a trap”?

She’s not alone. There are several folks who’ve never seen a “Star Wars” movie, and yet they know some of the most iconic quotes. It’s hard not to have any frame of reference, because “Star Wars” is like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s description of the Force: “It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

On May 25, “Star Wars” turns 40. To celebrate, Pop Culture Experiment is launching “40 Days of Star Wars.”

Each day, between now and the 40th anniversary, we’ll have a different post related to the “Star Wars” franchise. Some days, we’ll delve into fan theories. Other days, we’ll explain some things about the movie you didn’t know. Other days, we’ll look at how “Star Wars” has influenced, well, just about everything.

We’ll have a landing page so that you can find anything we post over the next 40 days. Check out our first post for the series here. We hope you enjoy it, and may the Force be with you.

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