Happy 45th Anniversary, Star Wars: The Force Is Still Strong Thanks to George Lucas’ Little Space Opera That Could

Whether you believe that Han or Greedo fired first, we can all agree that director George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV. a nook in popular culture with its timeless space opera charm.

Star Wars is a touchstone for many generations and is truly remarkable for its influence not only on the sci-fi genre as a whole, but also for the way it has ignited the imaginations of countless artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, composers and filmmakers around the world. . World. From comics and clothing to sheets and books, the original 1977 film and its prequels, sequels and spin-offs continue to entertain millions with their heroic stories from a galaxy far, far away. In fact, you can see our selection of the best Star Wars deals, Star Wars books, and the best Star Wars Lego sets available now.

To keep the party going, thousands of Star Wars fans will gather this week for Star Wars Celebration 2022. (will open in a new tab) in the Anaheim Convention Center, where the Disney-owned franchise will no doubt reveal future plans and exciting surprises for the franchise, which began with this cinematic venture conceived by a young maverick filmmaker from Modesto, California.

To learn more about Star Wars, check out our guide to watching the Star Wars movies in order and the full list of Star Wars movies, ranked from best to worst.

On May 25, 1977, Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood premiered Star Wars with great fanfare, with lines snaked around the block to witness history being made on the big screen.

A game starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness and Carrie Fisher. Created by 20th Century Fox after being rejected across town, this $11 million gamble became the highest-grossing champion of the year, grossing over $775 million worldwide to date.

Inspired by classic Japanese samurai films like The Hidden Fortress and old-fashioned series like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Star Wars was the perfect cultural antidote for a society surviving the remnants of the Vietnam War and the devastating winter cold wave. .

Subject: Star Wars! 40 facts from a galaxy far, far away

Poster for George Lucas’ original Star Wars film. (Image credit: LucasFilm) (will open in a new tab)

It opened in just 32 theaters but quickly expanded to 43 over the blockbuster debut weekend as fans camped out for hours to get their coveted ticket to see cosmic heroes and villains battle on alien planets. By the peak of Star Wars mania in late summer 1977, the vast space saga was playing in stratospheric 1,098 theaters across America, with the longest engagement lasting 76 weeks at the Westgate Theater in Portland, Oregon.

Lucas was a hot commodity in Hollywood after the huge success of American Graffiti in 1973. He shifted his focus from hot rods to science fiction with a 13-page Star Wars treatment that he submitted to Universal Studios and United Artists, who declined. But a visionary 20th Century Fox executive named Alan Ladd Jr. saw the potential in the project and green-lit the film.

The sale of the film was helped by a series of 21 drawings commissioned by Lucas from renowned illustrator Ralph McQuarrie, depicting dramatic scenes of Luke Starkiller’s clash with Darth Vader, the noisy Mos Eisley Cantina, R2-D2 and C-3PO, Chewbacca, Imperial stormtroopers, Sandcrawler Jawas and Millennium Falcon parked in docking bay 94.

At the 1978 Academy Awards, Star Wars won six Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score.

Star Wars made C-3PO and R2-D2 the most famous droids in the galaxy. (Image credit: LucasFilm) (will open in a new tab)

USC alumnus Ben Burtt revolutionized the use of sound effects in film and was awarded the Academy Award for Special Achievement for his pioneering work on Star Wars.

Chewbacca’s growl is a mix of bear, lion, walrus, and badger sounds. R2-D2’s “voice” was created using synth loops mixed with beeps, tweets and boops, modeled after a child’s coo performed by Burtt himself. Darth Vader’s sinister breathing was recorded using a microphone inside a scuba regulator. And the engine squeal of the Imperial TIE Fighter was created by combining the roar of an elephant and a car driving on rainy asphalt.

RELATED: The Greatest Star Wars Plot Twists of All Time

Han Solo and Chewbacca, best friends (and villains) of the entire galaxy. (Image credit: LucasFilm) (will open in a new tab)

After all the hype and hysteria around the original Star Wars and their huge array of toys, play sets, trading cards, records, t-shirts, comics and action figures, interest in the franchise remains at an all-time high with the release of the third season. The Mandalorian, which hits Disney Plus in December, and a new big-screen trilogy in the early stages of development.

And this Friday, Disney Plus will release Obi-Wan Kenobi, a six-episode mini-series about the exile of a Jedi Master on Tatooine as he watched over a young Luke Skywalker.

So raise a toast to OG’s Star Wars movie today on its 45th anniversary and remember the space sensation that started it all in the 1977 wild disco era.

And if you’re still looking for more Star Wars, here’s a look at some upcoming Star Wars TV shows, the best Star Wars games to jump into the universe, and the best lightsaber fights of all time.

Watch Star Wars Movies and TV Shows on Disney Plus

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