This movie marathon celebrating George Lucas will get you primed for latest ‘Star Wars’ flick

Get ready to be taken to a galaxy far, far away.

Staff at the Dayton Metro Library downtown Dayton branch, 215 E. Third St., are preparing to celebrate the Star Wars universe as "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is set to open in local theaters.

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The library will have free screenings of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and movies inspired by or that inspired director George Lucas Thursday and Saturday.

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Also known as “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” Force Awakens is chronologically the last Star Wars film released.

The Last Jedi  or “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” is set to open Thursday.

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Shaun Wright, the downtown branch's information services manager, organized the event with Jacki Fulood, its youth services manager.

He said Star Wars taps into many mythologies.

Star Wars is an international and cultural phenomena. As libraries we are interested in what community are interested in," he said. "We want to celebrate that."

Below is the rundown of the movies the library will screen and a short explanation of why they will be included.

Thursday, Dec. 14

3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. “The Force Awakens”

Why: It precedes “The Last Jedi” chronologically.

Saturday, Dec. 16 

9:30 a.m. "Casablanca" NR, 102 min

Wright says Lucas drew inspiration from many parts of the 1942 drama featuring Humphrey Bogart as nightclub owner Rick Blaine.

Blaine helped inspire the Han Solo (Harrison Ford) character as well as Lando Calrissian played by Billy Dee Williams, Wright says.

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Lucas was also inspired by Casablanca setting and drew inspiration from it for the Empire from the film’s depiction of Nazis.

11:30 a.m. "Toy Story" G, 81 min

Several references to Star Wars are made in the 1995 Disney classic, Wright says.

1 p.m. "Guardians of the Galaxy" PG-13, 121 min

Wright said the epicness of the 2014 Marvel Comics space opera harkens back to Star Wars.

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3:30 p.m. "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" PG-13, 137 min

Lucas drew inspiration for a scene in the movie from the graphic novel that inspired the 2017 movie, Wright says.

The graphic novel was first published in 1967. Its last installment was printed in 2010.

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