“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” Released 36 years ago on May 25, 1977

May 25, 2013

Remember yesteryear

“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” Released 36 years ago on May 25, 1977

Star Wars

Star Wars Episode IV

Star Wars

Star Wars

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Video: Star Wars – Episode IV – Trailer (original 1977)

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On May 25, 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.

The incredible success of Star Wars–it received seven Oscars, and earned $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide–began with an extensive, coordinated marketing push by Lucas and his studio, 20th Century Fox, months before the movie’s release date. “It wasn’t like a movie opening,” actress Carrie Fisher, who played rebel leader Princess Leia, later told Time magazine. “It was like an earthquake.” Beginning with–in Fisher’s words–“a new order of geeks, enthusiastic young people with sleeping bags,” the anticipation of a revolutionary movie-watching experience spread like wildfire, causing long lines in front of movie theaters across the country and around the world.

With its groundbreaking special effects, Star Wars leaped off screens and immersed audiences in “a galaxy far, far away.” By now everyone knows the story, which followed the baby-faced Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he enlisted a team of allies–including hunky Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the robots C3PO and R2D2–on his mission to rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia from an Evil Empire governed by Darth Vader. The film made all three of its lead actors overnight stars, turning Fisher into an object of adoration for millions of young male fans and launching Ford’s now-legendary career as an action-hero heartthrob.

Star Wars was soon a bona-fide pop culture phenomenon. Over the years it has spawned five more feature films, five TV series and an entire industry’s worth of comic books, toys, video games and other products. Two big-screen sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983), featured much of the original cast and enjoyed the same success–both critical and commercial–as the first film. In 1999, Lucas stretched back in time for the fourth installment, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, chronologically a prequel to the original movie. Two other prequels, Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) followed.

The latter Star Wars movies featured a new cast–including Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen–and have generally failed to earn the same amount of critical praise as the first three films. They continue to score at the box office, however, with Revenge of the Sith becoming the top-grossing film of 2005 in the United States and the second worldwide.

Source: History Channel
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Video: John Williams conducts “STAR WARS” theme

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Video: Prague Film Orchestra: Star Wars – Imperial March (LIVE – Oct. 29, 2010)

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Video: Star Wars- The Imperial March

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United States in 1977

Population: 220,239,425
-May 2013 Population: 315,916.989

The United States currently has 95,677,564 more people today than it did when Star Wars was released in 1977.

That would be like adding almost the current 12th most populated nation, Philippines, in the world to the United States.  The Philippines has a population of 97,703,638 followed by the 13th most populated nation Vietnam with just over 88,780,000.

Jimmy Carter

James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr., the 39th President of the United States, took office January 20, 1977 and remained President until January 20, 1981. The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980.

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Video: NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise, free flight Test, ABC News, August 12, 1977

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Video: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)- Revolution Day 1977

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South Africa Flag

A Soviet surveillance satellite detects South Africa’s nuclear test preparations and alerts the United States. The Soviet Union discovered South Africa’s nuclear test site in the Kalarhari desert in August 1977. Six nuclear weapons were assembled. Before the anticipated changeover to a black African majority-elected African National Congress government in the 1990s, the South African government dismantled all of its nuclear weapons. South Africa is the first nation in the world which voluntarily gave up all nuclear arms it had developed itself.

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Professional Sports Champions

Video: The 1976-1977 NBA season started with the ABA–NBA merger
The NBA merges with the ABA’s 4 most successful franchises: the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the New York (later New Jersey/Brooklyn) Nets and the San Antonio Spurs. Plans were then made to dismantle 3 of the 7 ABA franchises and incorporate their players into the NBA.
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1977 NBA Championship
Portland Trail Blazers 109

Philadelphia 76ers 107

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1977 Super Bowl XI-Oakland Raiders 32 vs Minnesota Vikings 14

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Video: MLB World 1977 World Series
New York Yankees would win its 21st World Series championship by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers

The Yankees signed free agent Reggie Jackson before the 1977 season.

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Video: NHL -The 1977 Stanley Cup Final championship
Boston Bruins would be defeated by the Montreal Canadiens


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Music of 1977
Video: Stevie Wonder – “Sir Duke” (1977)
Billboard Hot 100 #1 single May 21 – June 4, 1977
Billboard Hot Soul Singles #1 single May 28, 1977

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Video: Thelma Houston – “Don’t Leave Me This” Way” (1977)
Billboard Hot 100 #1 single April 23, 1977
Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles #1 single February 19, 1977

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Video: Bill Withers – “Lovely Day” (1977)
Released as a single in 1977

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Video: The Emotions – “Best Of My Love” (1977)
Billboard Hot 100 #1 single August 20 – September 10, 1977
Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles #1 single June 25 – July 9, 1977

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Video: Top music of 1977

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Video: City of Pittsburgh, PA in 1977

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