The force is with Star Wars fans on 40th anniversary
Star Wars was first screened in cinemas in 1977.
Star Wars fans will be feeling the force today as the blockbuster space saga celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The first film in the hugely successful sci-fi series, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, was unveiled in the US 40 years ago on May 25 1977.
It arrived in the UK a few months later on December 27 1977.
Made with a relatively small budget of 11 million dollars, the film was a surprise hit and four decades on has spawned a franchise which is estimated to have made more than 7.5 billion dollars at the worldwide box office.
Disney is marking the milestone at some of its stores with events including a Star Wars trivia game, defence training against stormtroopers and Millennium Falcon flight training.
Vanity Fair magazine has four special summer editions celebrating the 40th anniversary of the franchise, with late actress Carrie Fisher appearing on one of the covers.
In the lead-up to her posthumous role as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the full-length photo shows Fisher posing cloaked and regal in her elegant dark outfit.
Leading up to the 40th anniversary of the @StarWars franchise, Vanity Fair introduces the next chapter in its saga with four covers devoted to #TheLastJedi (link in bio). No reflection on the franchise’s four decades would be complete without a tribute to Carrie Fisher. This final cover features only her character, Leia—the general, princess, and rebel who has been a figure central to the #StarWars universe from the very outset. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
The other three covers include fully-costumed cast members Adam Driver, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill, all taken during an exclusive photoshoot by Annie Leibovitz.
The next film in the series, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, is due to be released in December.