This year’s inductees into the National Film Registry include epic Star Wars and Lord of the Ring films, projects starring Jennifer Lopez and the late Cicely Tyson along with films that took on racially motivated violence against people of color.
The Library of Congress announced on Tuesday that films including Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and A Nightmare on Elm Street are among the 25 movies tapped for preservation this year. Lopez’s starring role in the 1997 biographical film Selena and Tyson’s Sounder in 1972 made the registry as well.
The national library said this year’s selections date back nearly 120 years. The oldest was the Ringling Brothers Parade Film in 1902.
“Films help reflect our cultural history and creativity — and show us new ways of looking at ourselves — though movies haven’t always been deemed worthy of preservation,” Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, said in a statement. “The National Film Registry will preserve our cinematic heritage, and we are proud to add 25 more films this year.”
Hayden and film historian Jacqueline Stewart will discuss the new selections in a television special on Turner Classic Movies on Friday at 8 p.m. EST.
The library has selected movies for preservation because of their cultural, historic and artist importance since the registry began in 1988. This year’s picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 825.
Return of the Jedi and The Fellowship of the Ring drew significant public support through online nominations.
“It is a great honor to have The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring selected this year by the National Film Registry,” said Peter Jackson’s filmmaking team, which includes Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. “We are proud to be part of an archive that celebrates and preserves the art of visual storytelling, for generations to come.”
Two animated features made registry including Pixar’s Oscar-winning film from 2008 WALL-E and Disney’s Flowers and Trees released in 1932.
Several films on list that address racially motivated violence includes The Murder of Fred Hampton, Who Killed Vincent Chin? and Requiem-29.
The library chose a few more memorable titles such as Cooley High, Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Chicana, The Long Goodbye, The Watermelon Woman, Stop Making Sense and Strangers on a Train.
Additional films on the list include The Wobblies, Pink Flamingos, Evergreen, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Hellbound Train, The Flying Ace and Jubilo.