When you see the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." as the first screen of a movie-it must be a Star Wars movie. A long time ago, in the early 1970s, a young filmmaker named George Lucas had a vision and a story to tell. It was a space saga of good versus evil. Set in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars chronicles the journey of Luke Skywalker, his family and friends, and their battle against immense galactic evils.
Listed chronologically by release date, the Star Wars film list includes:
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
The first Stars Wars film to be released was labeled Episode IV. Writer George Lucas titled the first film Star Wars: A New Hope. It opened to the public on May 25, 1977. Rated PG, the sci-fi space adventure made more than $35 million in its opening weekend. The film starred Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Carrie Fisher played the female lead Princess Leia Organa. Other notable cast members include Peter Cushing and Sir Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi. The film won six Oscars.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Episode V reunited Luke Skywalker with Han Solo, Princess Leia and their non-human companions Chewbacca the Wookiee and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO. The Empire Strikes Back opened on May 21, 1980. This film's story was by George Lucas but the screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. Irvin Kershner directed the movie that was rated PG.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
On May 25, 1983, Episode VI opened to theatrical audiences. Return of the Jedi was the third and final episode of this Star Wars trilogy. Rated PG again, the film was written by both George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Richard Marquand. The main cast was back to finish their journey and defeat the evil Empire. It had the longest run time of the three films, lasting 134 minutes.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
George Lucas decided to fill in the story before A New Hope, giving audiences the backstory on Luke's family and how the Empire came into being. On May 19, 1999, Episode I, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was released. George Lucas wrote and directed the prequel that was rated PG. It featured actors Liam Neeson as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jin, Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode II, Attack of the Clones, is set ten years after the action of The Phantom Menace. Episode II opened on May 16, 2002 and was written and directed by George Lucas. The fifth Star Wars movie from Lucas had an opening weekend bonanza, making more than $80 million. It was rated PG.
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
The last feature-length Star Wars film to be added to the epic saga, Revenge of the Sith opened May 19, 2005. Box office sales exploded with more than $108 million on opening weekend. George Lucas wrote and directed the final film that was set three years after the Clone Wars. It was the only film out of the six to receive a PG-13 rating.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
This is the only animated film from the Star Wars franchise. The characters and universe are credited to George Lucas but the film was written by Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching and Scott Murphy. Directed by Dave Filoni, it received a PG rating.