By Beth Clark • May 04, 2018
With the recent release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Jason Fry and upcoming theater release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, we're paying tribute to the space opera set in a galaxy far, far away that shaped our own in ways beyond what George Lucas (and the rest of us) ever imagined.
Though it instantly became a generational and cultural unifier, Star Wars was originally aimed at 14- and 15-year-olds, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader characters were strongly influenced by none other than Gandalf and the Witch-king in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Other nods included Flash Gordon, the Vietnam War, and classical mythology.
The first Star Wars book was a novelized version of the original screenplay titled Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, published six months before the film hit theaters, so if you want to start at the beginning, you're welcome. Also a universal classic and fan favorite is Star Wars: The Original Trilogy, available in standard paperback and hardcover, or fancy collectible sets...use The Force to choose.