Today, audiences can head to theaters to see the re-release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3-D. Regardless of how you feel about the much-maligned prequel, there’s no denying the Star Wars franchise made more than an impression on millions of moviegoers who experienced the magic of the first three films in theaters or on their TV screens. This week, EW‘s writers will be celebrating their complicated relationship with George Lucas’ beloved, yet contested, franchise with a series we call “How Star Wars changed my life.” And for those of you headed to the theaters this Friday… may the force be with you.
I can’t talk about Star Wars without admitting my age, because I am a member of that curious geek generation that grew up in the era between the two Star Wars trilogies. Return of the Jedi hit theaters on May 25, 1983. In a Time magazine cover story published that same month, George Lucas expressed a desire to take a long, maybe-permanent break from the franchise. “The book is finished,” he said, sounding exhausted. “I have put it on the shelf.” I was born two years later, and I do not remember a time when I was not constantly watching VHS copies of the Star Wars trilogy. READ FULL STORY