For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. And for almost 40 years, Star Wars has captured the imaginations of men, women, and children from... well, not a thousand, but several generations! It’s hard to imagine a movie, or any other work outside of a religious text, that’s touched as many and had as powerful an impact on pop culture specifically --- and culture in general --- as Star Wars.

Farmboys and wizards. Pirates and princesses. Robots and monsters. Sword fights. Aerial acrobatics. Ancient magic and future science. Action. Humor. Adventure. Romance. At some point the question becomes, what doesn’t Star Wars have? Like some kind of accidental recipe for the best thing ever, Star Wars found a way to take a Star Destroyer’s worth of disparate ideas and cook them with just the right mix of mythology and homage to make some kind of super space food that people couldn’t get enough of. And as the frenzy of anticipation for the release of The Force Awakens proves, people still can’t get enough.

It’s fascinating to try to imagine what it must have been like before the movie’s 1977 release, when the world had never heard of lightsabers or Jedi or wookies or Darth Vaders; to be a fly on the wall among the studio executives that had no particular faith in the film’s success, or someone working on the crew who had no idea they were about to be partially responsible for changing the future of cinema; or to be the 33-year-old writer/director who attributed the success of the movie that conquered the galaxy to the fact that “[i]t essentially is a fun movie to watch.” It sure is, George. It sure is.

So skip that trip to Tosche Station and enjoy a sampling of the best fan art we could find celebrating the heroes of the original Star Wars trilogy. (And a few from the Prequels, because, why not?)

And, of course, may the Force be with you.


Discover The Comic Book History of Star Wars