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AP Photos: 'Star Wars' celebrates 35th anniversary

In this 1977 image provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation shows, from left, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in a scene from 'Star Wars.' The intergalactic adventure launched in theaters 35 years ago on May 25, 1977, introducing the world to The Force, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo and a pair of loveable droids named R2-D2 and C-3PO. In this 1977 image provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation shows, from left, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in a scene from "Star Wars." The intergalactic adventure launched in theaters 35 years ago on May 25, 1977, introducing the world to The Force, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo and a pair of loveable droids named R2-D2 and C-3PO. (AP Photo/20th Century-Fox Film Corporation)
May 26, 2012
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LOS ANGELES—It was 35 years ago Friday that moviegoers were first transported to a galaxy far, far away.

"Star Wars" launched in theaters May 25, 1977, introducing the world to The Force, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo and a pair of loveable droids named R2-D2 and C-3PO. (The film's subtitle, "A New Hope," was added when it was first re-released in 1981.)

The intergalactic adventure spawned two sequels, 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" and 1983's "Return of the Jedi," as well as a prequel trilogy that debuted in 1999.

That first film laid the groundwork for a multi-billion-dollar franchise now comprised of comics, games, a TV series and other media used to tell stories set within the universe created by "Star Wars" mastermind George Lucas.

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