40 years ago in a galaxy called the Milky Way on a planet named Earth, a film debuted on this date that has become a iconic classic, sparked a revival in the science fiction genre and spawned a media empire that is now owned by Disney.
On May 25, 1977, Star Wars debuted to the delight of science fiction nerds like myself. We flocked to our local multiplex theaters in droves to see the space saga and fictional galaxy in which good as repped by the Rebellion and a Luke Skywalker trained in The Force triumphed in this movie over the evil Galactic Empire run by Emperor Palpatine and his Sith apprentice and enforcer Darth Vader.
It is a saga that has now spawned seven films with the eighth in the series, The Last Jedi to debut in December 2017
As the original film became a trilogy and spawned a 1980 sequel The Empire Strikes Back, it was renamed in 1981 Star Wars Episode IV- A New Hope
>The inaugural Star Wars movie raked in over $450 million in the US alone and another $775 million worldwide and has significantly impacted pop culture and even politics as Reagan’s embrace of the term ‘evil empire’ to describe the then Soviet Union aptly is an example of.
In 1989, Star Wars was selected along with The Empire Strikes Back in 2010 by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the US National Film Registry for culturally dded to its
Star Wars also borrows from politics and history. The Galactic Empire’s stormtroopers share the name from the Nazi stormtroopers. The Empire’s black political officer, commander and guards uniforms are modeled on the Waffen SS, and the Imperial fleet uniforms borrow elements from the World War II era German Wehrmacht.
Palpatine’s rise to power is is similar to how Hitler came to power in 1930’s Germany. Palapine was first elected chancellor of the Galactic Republic before seizing power to become dictator and declaring himself emperor. then subsequently having the Jedi Order exterminated. .
May the Force be with you on this 40th anniversary date of the debut of a movie that became part of our lives May be time for me to check out my DVD copy of it again in honor of today’s anniversary