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'Star Wars,' The Trilogy That NPR Turned Into Radio Drama

Mark Hamill takes off his storm trooper helmet in a scene from the film <em>Star Wars</em>.

The ninth episode of Star Wars blasts into theaters this weekend, more than 40 years since the release of George Lucas' original hit movie. Back then, NPR got in on Star Warssaga action, creating a radio drama of that original episode.

In 1981, George Lucas sold the radio rights for $1, and the network partnered with the University of Southern California theater program to produce it. The production was an overwhelming success, and NPR went on to do radio versions of all the movies in the original trilogy.

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