On this day in 1977, a little movie came to theaters simply titled Star Wars. It would later get the subtitle “A New Hope” in its rerelease (though no one would start calling it that until the prequels came out), but this is the film that started a seemingly unstoppable franchise.
I honestly can’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars. I was born in 1980, so my exposure to all the films of the original trilogy was on heavily rewatched VHS tapes rented from the local Sentry or the now long gone Shamrock Video. Maybe it was on television at some point — I honestly don’t know.
What I do know is that I honestly can’t remember a time where I didn’t know Star Wars by heart.
It’s a film that reshaped the culture, changed cinema, and inspired decades of imitators. Lucas created a world that felt lived in, and over the decades its been fleshed out into two cohesive, extensive universes. It’s a playground I’ve spent my lifetime playing in in my imagination, and it keeps getting better.
So happy forty years, Star Wars. Here’s to another.