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.
12. The Rise Of Skywalker
An absolute tragedy.
Despite claims that it wasn't consciously seeking to undo The Last Jedi, The Rise Of Skywalker did just that, throwing out basically every element of Rian Johnson's movie in favour of a wholly new, wholly unseeded Palpatine plot and some wishy-washy clone nonsense.
The plot was more holes than anything else and while there was absolutely a great commitment to spectacle and "badass moments", they were often so out of the blue or rushed that they didn't land as they could have. And the final testament to the writing issues came in the months following release, when lots of supplementary material explained key things the movies should have in the first place.
It was a sorry end to the trilogy and you're left thinking they really ought to have known better.
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.