Explore our timeline, a look at the creation of "Star Wars" and how it became a cultural phenomenon.

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Record-breaking ticket presales position “Star Wars: Episode VII ­– The Force Awakens” to land among the top-grossing films of all time when it premieres on 10,000 screens and most U.S. IMAX theaters come Dec. 18.

As the release approaches, we take a look back at the creation of George Lucas’ mythological saga and its rise to worldwide cultural phenomenon. With its revolutionary special effects and the unmatched hype surrounding the films’ releases, each successive “Star Wars” film leaves a legacy of breaking barriers in the movie world.

READ THE REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: This new alliance is strong

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