STAR WARS (1977) has been a consistent fixture on AFI’s various lists of America’s greatest movies – originally named one of the 50 Greatest American Films as part of the American Film Institute’s 10th anniversary celebration in 1977, while the film was still playing in theaters during its original run. The iconic adventure set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” has since appeared among AFI’s accounting of the greatest films of all time – the original 1998 list and its 10th anniversary edition – and on its lists of cinema’s greatest thrills and cheers. The score was named by AFI as the greatest in the art form’s history, both Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi were counted among the screen’s greatest heroes, and “May the Force be with you” ranked #8 on AFI’s list of the screen’s most memorable movie quotes. The original film also boasts contributions by no fewer than three AFI Life Achievement Award recipients – writer/director George Lucas, star Harrison Ford and composer John Williams – as well as AFI Honorary Degree recipient James Earl Jones, whose performance as Darth Vader in the sequel earned him the third spot on the American Film Institute’s list of cinema’s greatest villains.
Learn more about STAR WARS in the AFI Catalog.