The history of the theatrical "Star Wars" movies spans over three decades and may not be over as of this writing. Though George Lucas has said there will be only six chapters in his saga, rumors persist of another three that could appear in the future. In addition, there have been a number of re-issues, updated releases and a single animated feature to hit screens since the release of the first "Star Wars" movie in 1977.
The Original Trilogy
The first three "Star Wars" films form the core of the saga for many fans. "Star Wars" was released on May 25, 1977; "The Empire Strikes Back" on May 21, 1980; and "Return of the Jedi" on May 25, 1983.
Each of the first three films were re-issued in their original form after their first release. "Star Wars" was re-issued in theaters on August 13, 1982; "Empire" was reissued a few months later on November 19, 1980; and "Jedi" was re-released on March 29, 1985.
George Lucas presented revamped "special edition" versions of the original trilogy--with new scenes and updated special effects--in the winter of early 1997. "Star Wars" was released on January 14 of that year, "Empire" on February 21 and "Jedi" on March 14.
The three "Star Wars" prequels were released over 20 years after the first "Star Wars": "The Phantom Menace" on May 19, 1999; "Attack of the Clones" on May 16, 2002; and "Revenge of the Sith" on May 19, 2005. In addition, an IMAX version of "Attack of the Clones" was release on November 1, 2002.
The Clone Wars
A feature-length animated film, "The Clone Wars," was released in theaters on August 15, 2008.
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