(KYMA, KECY/CNN) - "No, I am your father." "These aren't the droids you're looking for." "Do or do not. There is no try."
Oh, and then there's this: "May the Force be with you."
Born in 1977, the "Star Wars" series of live-action films -- 11 of them to date -- has long been enshrined in popular culture. Given their immense popularity, it's hard to believe, as Ronald Brownstein wrote in his recent book, "Rock Me on the Water: 1974 - the Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics," that it took several years for George Lucas to pull together the funding and studio support for "a space epic inspired by the Saturday morning movie serials of his youth."
The payoff was substantial, for within a few months of its arrival, "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" was at the time the biggest-earning movie in history.
Ever the nostalgist, Lucas was unusual among the filmmakers of his generation for not caring much about what was going on around him: He celebrated carefree youth, as with the 1973 film "American Graffiti," and the kind of sci-fi in which the good guys have plenty of tough scrapes but emerge victorious.
Binge-watching films set in a galaxy far, far away May 4 makes for great pandemic escapism. (From left) Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are shown in "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope."
The challenges of the ongoing pandemic these days make a deep dive into the fantasy universe of "Star Wars" just right. And, thanks to the efforts of a devoted fan base and the movie machine behind the series alike, May 4 is just the day to do it.