In What Order Were the Star Wars Movies Released? (Mania.com)

By:Robert Vaux
Date: -
Source: The official "Star Wars" movie homepage.

Overview

George Lucas conceived of "Star Wars" as a grand, universe-spanning epic, but even he didn't believe the films would become so popular. When making his first movie, he told a more-or-less self-contained story which took place in the middle of the overall story arc. As a consequence, the six-episode saga was released back to front: parts four through six first and parts one through three after that.

Episode IV

When "Star Wars" was released in 1977, it had no episode title attached to it. It became "Episode IV" only upon its re-release, after "The Empire Strikes Back" had come out.

Episode V

"Empire" raised eyebrows when it was released in 1980. Instead of "Star Wars II," it was titled "Episode V."

Episode VI

With the order more or less in place, "Episode VI, Return of the Jedi" followed apace in 1983.

Episode I

The episode numbers of the original "Star Wars" trilogy prompted rampant speculation about the three chapters preceding them. Lucas answered in 1999 with the release of "Episode I, The Phantom Menace."

Episode II

Lucas followed "The Phantom Menace" with Episode II, "Attack of the Clones," in 2002.

Episode III

Episode III, "Revenge of the Sith," appeared in 2005. Lucas claimed that it was the completion of the saga, though rumors of Episodes VII through IX continue to circulate.


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