'Star Wars,' The Trilogy That NPR Turned Into Radio Drama A long time ago, in an NPR far, far away, the network got into the Star Wars saga by producing a radio drama of the original trilogy.

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

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

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Mark Hamill takes off his storm trooper helmet in a scene from the film Star Wars. Archive Photos/20th Century-Fox/Getty Images hide caption

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Archive Photos/20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

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

Archive Photos/20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

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 Wars saga 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.