Happy 40th Anniversary Star Wars

Image: Lucas

This week marks a special occasion: Star Wars is officially 40 years old. Which is itself amazing in that I bet a lot of people are feeling very old right now. Equally amazing is just how many stories have been told in that universe in that time.

Star Wars: A New Hope — and I'm absolutely certain the comments will explode with people debating whether it is just Star Wars or A New Hope — was first released in the United States on May 25, 1977 in a hilariously small number of theatres and with George Lucas still doubting that it would be a success. It didn't open in Australian cinemas until October 27 of that year, but that the delay didn't hurt the film's popularity one iota.

Star Wars revolutionised special effects and merchandising while reinvigorating the space opera genre. It made household names out of its cast and created instantly recognisable music, visuals, and lines of dialogue.

Which you all know. Because it's Star Wars. One of the best things about Star Wars is that it has one of the lowest barriers to entry of any fandom. Do you just like the original trilogy? Do you watch the cartoons? Read the comics? Play the games? Devote a truly terrifying amount of your life to reading every EU book produced between 1977 and 2012? Just read the books produced after Disney took over? Cosplay? Edit Wookiepedia? Write fan fiction? Make a fan film or fan art?

You can do one or all of these things and everything in between and still count. Star Wars is a universe that encompasses us all. And if you want to debate things in the comments, go for it. That, too, is one of the many gifts Star Wars has given us.


    40 years and yet we can't get away from the first 3 movies.

      Problem's not getting away from them; it's getting to the original versions.

        When I introduced my kids to the Star Wars movies, I did so with the despecialised editions, and in the correct order.

          Release order ir numerical order?
          Which do you class as 'correct'

          I also like the idea of machete order.
          I tried my kids on it a few years back and started with a new hope cause thats how i watched them but it was far too slow for their age. Watched it last week and they are definitwly hooked now! (:

            What is machete order?

              Ep 4 and 5 to get lukes story as intended. Then skip ep1 (theres a lot that could be missed in it as far as story goes, and lots of people consider it the worst but rach to their own)
              Ep 2 and 3 to see anakins story and then finish with ep6 to see the two story arcs collide and finish!

              Its an interesting idea, ive not done a marathon personally that way, and i also do enjoy ep1 for what its worth! But i can see how it could be left out.
              I cant wait to see my kids reactions when they watch the newer trilogy though. All those bright colours and pod races and light sabers and aliens

    I spent some time today looking at the original trailers for the first film and the trailers for the latest one. We've come a long way.

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