Did you know that on May 25, 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope, opened in theaters across the country? This year marks the 35th anniversary of one of the world’s favorite science fiction films’ debut!
As most of you know, Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi are just three films right in the middle of a six (or nine, depending on your source) story epic created by George Lucas. On top of the movies, there are books, TV series, video games, and comic books. These have expanded and delved deeper into the world of Star Wars. Many little boys and girls dream of being a Jedi Knight and fighting with or against the Galatic Empire (depending on which side of the force they prefer – the light or the dark side).
On top of the original works, there have been many re-releases of the movies. As the improvements in CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and computer technologies in general have occurred, Lucas has revamped and altered his original films to meet both fans’ demands for more information, and to tell his stories how he originally wanted to.
Almost two decades after the original release of the first film, fans across the globe were ecstatic to learn that they would now get to view the first three films in the series. on May 19, 1999 Episode I: The Phantom Menance was released in theatres. Over the next 6 years Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith wowed fans with the origin stories of some of their favorite characters. The newest addition to this epic saga is Star Wars: Clone Wars which is both a movie and a TV series and the only animated movie in the franchise.
Lucas has gone through and, also, updated his cast. Everytime a new actor takes on a role of a character which spans across multiple movies (particularly the “original” movies and the “new” movies), he then goes through and updates the actor in the “originals.” For example, in the original Return of the Jedi, at the end of the movie during the celebration of the defeat of Vader with the Ewoks, Luke sees the images of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and his father, Anakin. In the original release Anakin was played by Sebastian Shaw. After Hayden Christensen took on the role of young Anakin, Lucas updated the image to be that of Hayden Christensen. Other characters have also gone through similar transformations.
What makes this series stand the test of time? It has action, adventure, romance, humor, and a creative cast of characters. There is really something for everyone. Each fan of the series has their favorite characters (Han Solo, for me), their favorite scene (when Han is released from the carbonite), their favorite battle (Yoda kicking butt in Episode I), and their favorite quote (“Do or do not, there is no try.” ~Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back). It is a movie that has fantastic visual effects, even when you watch the original movies. Lucas did such a fantastic job with the technology at his disposal that even though you get a few “hokey” laser shots, they are seamless and were monumental feats at the time of the original release. It is a story that has captured the minds of generations and one that will continue on for years to come. I know I look forward to watching the movies with my daughter when she is older.