Over 40 years later, Star Wars is still strong with the Force.
The first film hit way back in 1977 - May 25, to be exact - and the space opera, inspired by Flash Gordon serials and Kurosawa films alike, became a phenomenon. George Lucas had struggled to get his film off the ground but, once he did, it flew faster than the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run. And now it's soaring again, with Rian Johnson's Episode VIII hitting cinemas to rave reviews and fan, well, division.
It's been a remarkable four decades for the franchise, which has seemingly died at least twice and been born three times. It was struck down in the mid-to-late 80s, and again after the prequels, and yet that only made it far more powerful than anyone possibly imagined.
With two distinct but very much linked trilogies in the bag, another trilogy now 2/3 of the way through, one standalone film that connects directly back to the very first movie, and another that explores the origins of one of the franchise's greatest characters, it's time to look at how the whole saga stacks up.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.