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‘A long time ago …’ Fans celebrate as ‘Star Wars’ hits 40

Movie trailer: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" arrives in your galaxy December 15, 2017.
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"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" arrives in your galaxy December 15, 2017.

Forty years ago today, on May 25, 1977, moviegoers got their first full look at a galaxy far, far away.

It was a wild place, full of aliens, laser swords, space battles – and space princesses – quirky robots, exploding planets and something called the Force. Movies, and fans, would never be the same again.

Naturally, “Star Wars” fans aren’t about to let the anniversary pass unnoticed. (For good measure, the final film of the first trilogy, “Return of the Jedi,” premiered today in 1983, too.)

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