It’s been almost 40 years since Star Wars hit theaters, launching one of the biggest and most popular global movie franchises to date.

Since 1977, the Star Wars galaxy has continued to expand, probably bigger than its creator George Lucas even imagined. And following an exclusive invite to the star-studded Hollywood premiere for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we found ourselves thinking about how much different things are since the likes of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher strolled the red carpet at the first premiere.

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Of course, the strides made in the world of visual effects are where you’ll find some of the most obvious changes while watching Rogue One. Thanks to advances in everything from costuming to lighting to CGI, the battle scenes between the Rebels and Stormtroopers in the new film are far more thrilling than those ’77 clashes, as endearing as they may be.

But you get a deeper sense of how much has really changed over the past forty years when taking note of the celebrities and technology on hand for the splashy premiere of the film, which opens nationwide this weekend.

First of all, Theory of Everything Oscar nominee Felicity Jones, who delivers a gripping performance as the criminal-turned rebel soldier Jyn Erso, wasn’t even born when the first Star Wars appeared.

Actor Terry Crews, who was nine when the first Star Wars debuted, posted a photo of himself and his son at the premiere on Instagram, a media platform that was 33 years away from existing in 1977.

Like Father, Like Son! Isaiah and I FLOAT into the #rogueone premiere! #love #IAMYOURFATHER

A photo posted by Terry Crews (@terrycrews) on

 

Oscar winner Michael Douglas, now 72, shared a pic of himself and his kids on Facebook at the Rogue One premiere, a media concept born some 20 years after the first film.

Approximately a quarter century after Star Wars, Nissan introduced its first crossover; that vehicle would go on to inspire the new Nissan Rogue showcased at the event, which Nissan sponsored. (And, full disclosure, they invited us to the show.)

Felicity Jones

And the streaming service Netflix, which made Rogue One star Ben Mendelsohn a household name in the U.S. as Danny Rayburn on Bloodline, came to be a full two decades after the first Star Wars.

On a more personal note, the idea that an average moviegoer like me would be able to share the excitement of being on the red carpet for a Star Wars premiere with friends around the world (as it unfolds) wasn’t even a figment of our imagination in 1977. Seems pretty crazy, right? That’s one of the things that made attending the premiere so special.

And, rest assured, fans can expect to witness a lot more epic moments in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, proving that while a lot has changed since 1977, The Force is as strong as ever.