The rises and falls of the Star Wars movie franchise and the national defense system known by the same name are eerily concurrent. Is it coincidence, or is it the Force?
1977-83 Star Wars trilogy premieres
1983 Reagan calls Soviet Union the "evil empire"; announces Star Wars initiative
1987 Spaceballs parodies the Force
1988 Reagan says Soviet Union is no longer the evil empire
1993 Jurassic Park strikes down Star Wars record for box-office gross
1993 New York Times reports Star Wars technology more science fiction than science
1999 Phantom Menace released
1999 Clinton urges Star Wars Lite missile-defense system;...