Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. Star Wars was released in a limited number of theaters in the United States on May 25, 1977, and quickly became a great commercial success, leading to it being expanded to a much wider release. The film opened to critical acclaim, most notably for its pioneering visual effects. It grossed a total of $775 million.