35 years ago to be exact.
On May 25, 1977 a rather unknown writer/director named George Lucas brought us Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, and forever changed science fiction and movies. What followed was more than can be discussed in this post, but five more movies, action figures, video games, trading cards, novels, lunchboxes, and LEGOs later, and we're still easily swept up into a universe that is more pervasive throughout our society than arguably any other movie franchise. Ask the average joe on the street who was the 16th President of the United States (Abraham Lincoln) and you'll probably have a pretty good struggle on getting a correct answer. Ask who Luke Skywalker's father was (Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker) and you'll get a correct answer 98% of the time.
While it's easy to sit back as a veteran Star Wars fanatic who, at the age of 8, first saw Episode IV in a theater (leading to over 100 more theater viewings and uncountable more in other venues) and bemoan the last three entries we have in the prequels of the saga, we nevertheless cannot take one iota away from what became more than just another science fiction movie and instead created the foundation for all movies and entertainment (not just sci fi) to come after.
Star Wars: The Old Republic was a great example of this, and was so hyped before its release that there was really no way it could have lived up to the expectations. (In all fairness...it was pretty good.) And while I still have not broken down and bought a Blu Ray player (ok, now that I'm out of school and may be employed again in a month or two I will most likely go buy one), one of the main driving forces to me doing so is Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu Ray.
We can point at, roll our eyes, and make fun of Star Wars fanatics still dressing up like Storm Troopers and Boba Fett, and we can speak of disdain about Jar Jar Binks and Ewoks, but the simple fact is that none of us - even you faithful reader - can ever take away the simple and unshakable fact of the enormity of Star Wars.
Happy Anniversary, old friend...