AP Photos: 'Star Wars' celebrates 35th anniversary
LOS ANGELES—It was 35 years ago Friday that moviegoers were first transported to a galaxy far, far away.
"Star Wars" launched in theaters May 25, 1977, introducing the world to The Force, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo and a pair of loveable droids named R2-D2 and C-3PO. (The film's subtitle, "A New Hope," was added when it was first re-released in 1981.)
The intergalactic adventure spawned two sequels, 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" and 1983's "Return of the Jedi," as well as a prequel trilogy that debuted in 1999.
That first film laid the groundwork for a multi-billion-dollar franchise now comprised of comics, games, a TV series and other media used to tell stories set within the universe created by "Star Wars" mastermind George Lucas.