Must-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale.

Title: Star Wars: A New Hope

Date: 1977

Vitals: In this instant classic space opera, a farm boy named Luke Skywalker discovers his fate is intertwined with a covert rebellion against the repressive Empire, led by a group of mysterious warriors known as the Jedi Knights. The first in a 6-part epic that spans two generations of political intrigue and adventure, Star Wars is often credited with reinvented science fiction in the late twentieth century.

Famous names: Directed by George Lucas; starring Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Alec Guiness, Harrison Ford.

Crunchy goodness: 4.5

Design breakthrough: George Lucas' magnificent special effects, created by his company Industrial Light & Magic, made the spaceships appear both realistic and deadly. Fight scenes between these ships and between light-saber-wielding humans raised the bar on space action scenes in movies.

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Spinoffs/Sequels/Copycats: Star Wars: A New Hope was followed by The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; in the late 1990s, Lucas returned to the series with a trilogy of prequels chronicling Darth Vader's rise to power: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Most critics agree that A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back are the only movies in the cycle worth seeing unless you are a fan who can endure terrible dialog, awful characters, and nonexistent plots just to see neat droid fights.

Deadliest spoiler: Darth Vader used to be a whiny jock with a mullet.

Star Wars

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