Countdown to 'Star Wars'

‘New Hope,’ ‘Jedi’ open on this day

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) attempt to escape the clutches of Darth Vader aboard the Death Star in a scene from “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.”
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) attempt to escape the clutches of Darth Vader aboard the Death Star in a scene from “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.” BW

The fans who saw “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” on this opening day in 1977 had no idea what was coming. In fact, the movie was simply known as “Star Wars” because George Lucas had already been through struggles to get the movie made.

The movie went on to pull in more than $775 million in ticket sales along. The merchandising would go into the billions. That box office number might seem small compared to what current movies like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Furious 7” made in an opening weekend. But, the average ticket price in 1977 was about $2.25.

Here’s the trailer for “Star Wars IV: A New Hope.”

As soon as “Star Wars” was a certified hit, work began on a movie originally called “Revenge of the Jedi.” As soon as fans pointed out the Jedi would never try to get revenge, the name was changed to “Return of the Jedi.”

It went on take in just over $475 million.

Take a look at the trailer for “Return of the Jedi.”

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