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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 May 2007, 00:00 GMT 01:00 UK
Fans mark 30 years of Star Wars
Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo in Star Wars
Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo took on the Empire
More than 25,000 fans have gathered for a convention to mark 30 years since the release of Star Wars in US cinemas.

Director George Lucas' tales of intergalactic battles between good and evil first opened in just 32 US cinemas on 25 May 1977.

Despite that limited release Star Wars became regarded as a landmark in cinema history, spawning five more films.

The franchise is now worth billions of dollars and still remains one of the most valuable in the world of cinema.

Dressed to kill

To celebrate 30 years since Luke Skywalker first took on Darth Vader crowds flocked to Los Angeles for a rare opportunity to meet the stars, watch the films and buy merchandise.

Fans in costume at the Star Wars convention

The five-day convention features an exhibition of props and costumes, as well as a Jedi "training academy" and a race involving R2D2 robots.

Fans hoping to look like Princess Leia can take belly dancing lessons to recreate the style perfected by actress Carrie Fisher, who was famously chained to slug-like giant Jabba the Hutt in the third film, Return of the Jedi.

Many fans arrived in costume, dressed as a range of characters both from the original trilogy and from the three modern films released in recent years.

The original films - Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi - were released in 1977, 1980 and 1983.

Sixteen years later George Lucas revived the franchise, with "prequels" The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) telling the story leading up to the original film.




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