It's been 32 long years since we last saw our heroes on the big screen in Return of The Jedi. But on Dec. 18, one of the most -- if not THE most --famous franchises in movie history is returning to theaters in the much-anticipated next chapter of their story with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Over the next 20 weeks, we will celebrate the franchise by looking back and ranking the best of the best moments in Star Wars history.
The most important weekend of the year has finally arrived and by now you're either serenely standing amid throngs of feverish fans awaiting baptism in the halcyon glow of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or forcefully cutting to the front of the queue by administering an occasional elbow to the Adam's Apple to position yourself prominently, all in the name of fine art and universal box office domination of course.
Whether you absorbed the extended hype leading up to this precious moment from the flood of online trailers, clips and featurettes, or read innumerable articles on the iconic space opera's resurrection, one crucial element to the process were the vivid movie posters used to attract your retinas and lure you inside the darkened theaters. The first three Star Wars films, released in the U.S. during the innocent pre-internet years of 1977-1983, and shortly thereafter in foreign markets, relied heavily on printed showbills to spread its galactic gospel.
But regulating studio creative control in international lands was often difficult to enforce, resulting in many unorthodox and avant-garde versions of the standard one-sheets. Local graphic designers and illustrators were hired in each global territory to create unique posters in their native language using a narrow range of promo materials and press stills. The expansive array of cultural design influences lent exotic flavor and style to these intriguing, and sometimes quite brilliant, Star Wars theatrical posters.
So, raise a tall glass of Aunt Beru's milky blue brew and salute this worldwide gallery of rarely-seen, weird and wonderful original trilogy marketing masterpieces from Poland, France, Mexico, Hungary, Italy, Japan and all points beyond and tell us which ones you wish adorned your walls.