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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Star Wars' Makes Digital Comeback

WASHINGTON -- "Star Wars" has returned to U.S. movie screens after a 20-year absence, giving legions of die-hard fans the chance to see a digitally enhanced version of the science-fiction epic film.


Hundreds of antsy fans queued outside Washington movie theaters for good seats to the movie phenomenon that placed "May the Force be with you" in movie history.


The Force was the mystical power that enabled a young Luke Skywalker, taught by mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, to triumph over the evil of the towering black-clad Darth Vader and the evil Empire.


The power of the force propelled "Star Wars'' to the top of the U.S. box office, leaving all other competition in the dark side of the galaxy. The movie collected an estimated $36.2 million over the weekend, as millions of fans across the United States eagerly awaited the 1,800-theater return of "Star Wars."


George Lucas' space-based box office smash -- set "a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" -- underwent a state-of-the-art special effects facelift from Lucas' own Industrial Light and Magicstudios.


"I wanted to fix little things that have bugged me for 20 years," Lucas said. The "little things" reportedly cost some $10 million to fix. Computer-generated effects from the "Special Edition," as it has been billed, reportedly add 4 1/2 minutes of new footage by Lucas to "improve" on the original 1977 sleeper hit.


The movie that some described as a combination fairy tale and space opera is the fourth-highest grossing film of all time. (AFP, AP)