Star Wars

Last updated

Star Wars
Star wars2.svg
Created by George Lucas
Original work Star Wars (1977) [lower-alpha 1]
Owner Lucasfilm
Print publications
Book(s) List of reference books
Novel(s) List of novels
Comics List of comics
Films and television
Film(s) Skywalker saga
(9 films; 1977–2019)
Full list
Short film(s)Reflections
Television series The Mandalorian (2019)
Animated series List of animated series
Television special(s) Holiday Special
Television film(s) List of TV films
Role-playing List of RPGs
Video game(s) List of video games
Radio program(s) List of radio dramas
Original music Music
Toys Merchandise
Theme park attractions List of attractions

Star Wars is an American epic space-opera media franchise created by George Lucas. The franchise began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon.

Epic film film genre

Epic films are a style of filmmaking with large scale, sweeping scope, and spectacle. The usage of the term has shifted over time, sometimes designating a film genre and at other times simply synonymous with big-budget filmmaking. Like epics in the classical literary sense it is often focused on a heroic character. An epic's ambitious nature helps to set it apart from other types of film such as the period piece or adventure film.

A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. The intellectual property from the work can be licensed to other parties or partners for further derivative works and commercial exploitation across a range of media and by a variety of industries for merchandising purposes.

George Lucas 20th and 21st-century American film director and producer

George Walton Lucas Jr. is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. Lucas is known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. He served as chairman of Lucasfilm before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.


The first film, later subtitled Episode IV – A New Hope, was followed by the sequels Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), forming what is collectively referred to as the original trilogy. A prequel trilogy was later released, consisting of Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). Finally, a sequel trilogy began with Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), continued with Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and will conclude with Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019). [1] The first eight films were nominated for Academy Awards (with wins going to the first two released) and were commercially successful. Together with the theatrical anthology films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), the films combined box office revenue equates to over US$9 billion, [2] and is currently the second-highest-grossing film franchise. [3]

The Star Wars Trilogy, often colloquially referred to as the original trilogy or the classic trilogy, is the first set of three films produced in the Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas. It was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox, and consists of the original Star Wars film (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). The films follow the archetypical hero's journey of Luke Skywalker in his quest to become a Jedi and defeat the evil Empire. It serves as the second act of the "Skywalker saga".

The Star Wars prequel trilogy is a set of three prequel films in the Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas. It was produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The trilogy consists of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). The first two films received mixed reviews, while the third received positive reviews. It serves as the first act of the "Skywalker saga".

The Star Wars sequel trilogy is the third and final saga of the Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas. It is being produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The trilogy is to consist of episodes VII through IX, chronologically following the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy. Lucas had planned a sequel trilogy as early as 1976, but had canceled it by 1981 and produced only the first six episodes. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012 and announced plans to produce the sequel films. It serves as the final act of the "Skywalker saga".

The film series expanded into other media, including television series, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions and themed areas, as well as other kinds of media, resulting in an all encompassing fictional universe, which, in 2014, required an almost total reboot, resulting in the formation of the distinct Star Wars Legends continuity of (fictional) events, now obsolete, which includes media preceding the reboot and a few later releases. Star Wars holds a Guinness World Records title for the "Most successful film merchandising franchise." [4] In 2018, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at US$65 billion, and it is currently the fifth-highest-grossing media franchise of all-time.

<i>Star Wars</i> video games video games based on the Star Wars franchise

The Star Wars franchise has spawned over one hundred computer, video, and board games, dating back to some of the earliest home consoles. Some are based directly on movie material, while others rely heavily on the non-canonical Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is a themed area inspired by the Star Wars universe, located within Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and forthcoming at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The area encompasses 14 acres (5.7 ha) at each park. Galaxy's Edge takes place within the village of Black Spire Outpost, on the wild frontier planet of Batuu, and features several attractions, shops, restaurants, and entertainment offerings.

Fictional universe self-consistent fictional setting with elements that may differ from the real world

A fictional universe is a self-consistent setting with events, and often other elements, that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm. Fictional universes may appear in novels, comics, films, television shows, video games, and other creative works.


The Star Wars franchise depicts the adventures of characters "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." [5] in which humans and many species of aliens (often humanoid) co-exist with robots, or "droids", who may assist them in their daily routines, and space travel between planets is common due to hyperspace technology. [6] [7] [8] The rises and falls of different governments are chronicled throughout the saga: the democratic Old Republic is corrupted by its Supreme Chancellor, Sheev Palpatine, who, after orchestrating "the Clone Wars" between the government and a Separatist confederation (secretly led by himself), overthrows the Republic, has the other Separatist leaders murdered by his right-hand man, Darth Vader, and establishes the Galactic Empire. [9] The Empire is fought by the Rebel Alliance in a Galactic Civil War that spans several years until the apparent defeat of the Emperor. The surviving Rebellion gives rise to the New Republic, [10] while the remnants of the Empire reform as the First Order. [11] Heroes of the former rebellion lead the Resistance against the oppressive dictatorship.

Human Species of hominid

Humans are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. Together with chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, they are part of the family Hominidae. A terrestrial animal, humans are characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; larger, more complex brains than other animals; and highly advanced and organized societies.

Humanoid something that has an appearance resembling a human without actually being one; creatures with a mostly human shape

A humanoid is something that has an appearance resembling a human without actually being one. The earliest recorded use of the term, in 1870, referred to indigenous peoples in areas colonized by Europeans. By the 20th century, the term came to describe fossils which were morphologically similar, but not identical, to those of the human skeleton.

Robot A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically.

A robot is a machine—especially one programmable by a computer— capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded within. Robots may be constructed on the lines of human form, but most robots are machines designed to perform a task with no regard to how they look.

A mystical power known as 'the Force' is described in the original film as "an energy field created by all living things ... [that] binds the galaxy together." [12] Through training and meditation, those whom "the Force is strong with" are able to perform various superpowers (such as telekinesis, precognition, telepathy, and manipulation of physical energy). [13] The Force is wielded by two major knighthood orders at conflict with each other: the Jedi, who act on the light side of the Force through non-attachment and arbitration, and the Sith, who use the dark side by manipulating fear and aggression. While the former's can be numerous, the latter's members are intended to be limited to two: a master and their apprentice [14] .

The Force is a metaphysical and ubiquitous power in the fictional Star Wars universe. It is wielded by "Force-sensitive" characters throughout the franchise: heroes like the Jedi use the "light side" while seeking to become one with the Force, while the Sith and other villains exploit the "dark side" and have always tried to bend it towards their will. The Force has been compared to aspects of several world religions, and the phrase "May the Force be with you" has become part of the popular-culture vernacular.

Superpower (ability) superhuman ability of a fictional character

Superpower is a popular culture term for an imaginary superhuman ability. They are most frequently used in pulp magazines, comic books, science fiction, television programs, and films as the key attribute of a superhero. The concept originated in American comic books and pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, and has gradually worked its way into other genres and media.

Psychokinesis psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction

Psychokinesis, or telekinesis, is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction.


The Star Wars film series centers around three sets of trilogies, which is collectively referred to as the "Skywalker saga". [1] They were produced nonchronologically, with Episodes IV–VI being released between 1977 and 1983, Episodes I–III being released between 1999 and 2005, and Episodes VII–IX, being released between 2015 and 2019. Each trilogy focuses on a generation of the Force-sensitive Skywalker family. The original trilogy depict the heroic development of Luke Skywalker, the prequels tell of the downfall of his father Anakin, while the sequels feature Luke's nephew, Kylo Ren.

The Skywalker family is a fictional family in the Star Wars franchise. Within the series' fictional universe, the Skywalkers are presented as a bloodline with strong inherent capabilities related to the Force. Luke Skywalker, his twin sister Princess Leia, and their father Darth Vader are central characters in the original Star Wars film trilogy. Darth Vader, in his previous identity as Anakin Skywalker, is a lead character in the prequel film trilogy. Leia and Han Solo's son, and also Luke's nephew, Kylo Ren plays a crucial role in the sequel trilogy of films.

Luke Skywalker character in Star Wars

Luke Skywalker is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the original film trilogy of the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. Portrayed by Mark Hamill, Skywalker first appeared in the original 1977 film and returned in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Three decades later, he portrayed the character in the Star Wars sequel trilogy beginning with The Force Awakens in 2015 and The Last Jedi in 2017. Hamill is slated to reprise his role in the upcoming film, The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Kylo Ren Star Wars character

Kylo Ren is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he is portrayed by Adam Driver. "Kylo Ren" is the chosen name of Ben Solo, the son of original Star Wars trilogy characters Han Solo and Leia Organa. Though trained by his uncle Luke Skywalker as a Jedi, he has been seduced to the dark side of the Force by Supreme Leader Snoke and aspires to be as powerful as his grandfather, Darth Vader.

An anthology series set between the main episodes entered development in parallel to the production of the sequel trilogy, [15] described by Disney CFO Jay Rasulo as origin stories. [16] The first entry, Rogue One (2016), tells the story of the rebels who steal the Death Star plans directly before Episode IV. [17] [18] Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) focuses on Han Solo's backstory, also featuring Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian.

The next trilogy of films to be released, will be produced and written by Game of Thrones creators/showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. [19] The installments were first announced to be in development beginning in February 2018. [20] [21] The films are scheduled to be released in December of 2022, 2024, and 2026. [22] [23] Lucasfilm has a number of Star Wars movies in development, including a trilogy written by The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson. [24]

FilmU.S. release dateDirector(s)Screenwriter(s)Story byProducer(s)
Original trilogy
Star Wars: Episode IV –
A New Hope
May 25, 1977 George Lucas Gary Kurtz
Star Wars: Episode V –
The Empire Strikes Back
May 21, 1980 Irvin Kershner Leigh Brackett & Lawrence Kasdan George Lucas
Star Wars: Episode VI –
Return of the Jedi
May 25, 1983 Richard Marquand Lawrence Kasdan & George Lucas Howard Kazanjian
Prequel trilogy
Star Wars: Episode I –
The Phantom Menace
May 19, 1999George Lucas Rick McCallum
Star Wars: Episode II –
Attack of the Clones
May 16, 2002George LucasGeorge Lucas & Jonathan Hales George Lucas
Star Wars: Episode III –
Revenge of the Sith
May 19, 2005George Lucas
Sequel trilogy
Star Wars: Episode VII –
The Force Awakens
December 18, 2015 J. J. Abrams Lawrence Kasdan & J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk
Star Wars: Episode VIII –
The Last Jedi
December 15, 2017 Rian Johnson Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman
Star Wars: Episode IX –
The Rise of Skywalker
December 20, 2019J. J. AbramsJ. J. Abrams & Chris Terrio Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams and Michelle Rejwan
Anthology films
Rogue One:
A Star Wars Story
December 16, 2016 Gareth Edwards Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy John Knoll & Gary Whitta Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel
A Star Wars Story
May 25, 2018 Ron Howard Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan
Untitled trilogy
Untitled filmDecember 16, 2022TBA David Benioff & D. B. Weiss Kathleen Kennedy, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Untitled filmDecember 20, 2024TBA
Untitled filmDecember 18, 2026TBA

Skywalker saga

Original trilogy

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Harrison Ford by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Carrie Fisher.jpg
The main cast of the trilogy includes Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), respectively.

In 1971, George Lucas wanted to film an adaptation of the Flash Gordon serial, but couldn't obtain the rights, so he began developing his own space opera. [25] [lower-alpha 2] After directing American Graffiti (1973), he wrote a two-page synopsis titled Journal of the Whills, which 20th Century Fox decided to invest in. [26] [27] [28] By 1974, he had expanded the story into the first draft of a screenplay. [29] The subsequent movie's success led Lucas to make it the basis of an elaborate film serial. [30]

With the backstory he created for the sequel, Lucas decided that the series would be a trilogy of trilogies. [31] Most of the main cast would return for the two additional installments of the original trilogy, which were self-financed by Lucasfilm.

Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977 and first called Episode IV – A New Hope in the 1979 book The Art of Star Wars . [32] Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980, also achieving wide financial and critical success. The final film in the trilogy, Episode VI – Return of the Jedi was released on May 25, 1983. The story of the original trilogy focuses on Luke Skywalker's quest to become a Jedi, his struggle with the evil Imperial agent Darth Vader, and the struggle of the Rebel Alliance to free the galaxy from the clutches of the Empire.

Prequel trilogy

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Natalie Portman Cannes 2015 5 (cropped).jpg
Hayden Christensen 05-2005 140x190.jpg
The main cast of the trilogy includes Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Natalie Portman (Padmé Amidala), and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), [lower-alpha 3] respectively.

According to producer Gary Kurtz, loose plans for a prequel trilogy were developed during the outlining of the original two films. [33] In 1980, Lucas confirmed that he had the nine-film series plotted, [34] but due to the stress of producing the original trilogy, he had decided to cancel further sequels by 1981. [35] In 1983, Lucas explained that "There was never a script completed that had the entire story as it exists now ... As the stories unfolded, I would take certain ideas and save them ... I kept taking out all the good parts, and I just kept telling myself I would make other movies someday." [36]

Technical advances in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the ability to create computer-generated imagery, inspired Lucas to consider that it might be possible to revisit his saga. In 1989, Lucas stated that the prequels would be "unbelievably expensive." [37] In 1992, he acknowledged that he had plans to create the prequel trilogy. [38] A theatrical rerelease of the original trilogy in 1997 "updated" the 20-year-old films with the style of CGI envisioned for the new trilogy.

Episode I – The Phantom Menace was released on May 19, 1999, and Episode II – Attack of the Clones on May 16, 2002. Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the first PG-13 film in the franchise, was released on May 19, 2005. [39] The first two movies were met with mixed reviews, with the third being received somewhat more positively. The trilogy begins 32 years before Episode IV and follows the Jedi training of Anakin Skywalker, Luke's father, and creation of the Sith lord Darth Vader, as well as the corruption of the Galactic Republic and rise of the Empire of Darth Sidious. Together with the original trilogy, Lucas has collectively referred to the first six episodic films of the franchise as "the tragedy of Darth Vader." [40]

Sequel trilogy

Adam Driver by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Daisy Ridley by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John Boyega by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Oscar Isaac by Gage Skidmore.jpg
The main cast of the trilogy includes Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), respectively.

Prior to releasing the original film, and made possible by its success, Lucas planned "three trilogies of nine films." [31] [41] He announced this to Time in 1978, [42] and confirmed that he had outlined them in 1981. [43] At various stages of development, the sequel trilogy was to focus on the rebuilding of the Republic, [44] the return of Luke in a role similar to that of Obi-Wan in the original trilogy, [41] Luke's sister (not yet determined to be Leia), [33] Han, Leia, [45] R2-D2 and C-3PO. [31] [46] However, after beginning work on the prequel trilogy, Lucas insisted that Star Wars was meant to be a six-part series and that there would be no sequel trilogy. [47] [48]

Lucas decided to leave the franchise in the hands of other filmmakers, announcing in January 2012 that he would make no more Star Wars films. [49] In October of that year, The Walt Disney Company agreed to buy Lucasfilm and announced that Episode VII would be released in 2015. [50] The co-chairman of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, became president of the company and served as executive producer of new Star Wars feature films. [51] Lucas provided Kennedy his story treatments for the sequels during the 2012 sale, [52] but in 2015 it was revealed Lucas's sequel outline had been discarded. [53] [54] The sequel trilogy also meant the end of the existing Star Wars expanded universe, which was discarded to give "maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience." [55]

Episode VII – The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015, Episode VIII – The Last Jedi on December 15, 2017, and Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker is due to be released on December 20, 2019. Episode VII was met with both critical and box office success, and Episode VIII, while also meeting critical and financial success, had a mixed reception from audiences. The sequel trilogy starts 30 years after Episode VI and focuses on the journey of the Force-sensitive orphan Rey, guided by Luke Skywalker. Along with ex-stormtrooper Finn and ace X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, Rey helps the Resistance led by Leia fight the First Order commanded by Han and Leia's son (Luke's nephew), Kylo Ren.

Anthology films

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Solo A Star Wars Story Japan Premiere Red Carpet Alden Ehrenreich (41008143870).jpg
Felicity Jones, who portrays Jyn Erso in Rogue One, and Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the titular character in Solo

Before selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, and parallel to his development of a sequel trilogy, George Lucas and original trilogy co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan started development on a standalone film about a young Han Solo. [15] On February 5, 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger made public the development of the Kasdan film. [56] Disney CFO Jay Rasulo has described the standalone films as origin stories. [16]

Lucasfilm and Kennedy have stated that the standalone films would be referred to as the Star Wars anthology series [17] (albeit the word anthology has not been used in any of the titles, instead carrying the promotional "A Star Wars Story" subtitle). Focused on how the Rebels obtained the Death Star plans introduced in the 1977 film, the first anthology film, Rogue One , was released on December 16, 2016 to favorable reviews and box office success. The second, Solo: A Star Wars Story , centered on a young Han Solo with Chewbacca and Lando as supporting characters, was released on May 25, 2018 to mixed reviews and underperformance at the box office. Despite this, more anthology films are expected to be released, [57] following a hiatus after 2019's The Rise of Skywalker. [58]

Produced for TV

The franchise has three television spin-off films, including a 1978 holiday TV special, and two live-action TV films created in the mid-1980s featuring the Ewoks. Though all three were originally considered semi-canonical to the franchise, they were discarded from the film canon after Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm. [55]

FilmRelease dateDirector(s)Screen writer(s)Network
The Star Wars Holiday Special November 17, 1978 David Acomba and Steve Binder Bruce Vilanch CBS
The Ewok Adventure November 25, 1984 John Korty Bob Carrau
Story by: George Lucas
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor November 24, 1985Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat
Story by: George Lucas

A two-hour Holiday Special focusing on Chewbacca's family was produced for CBS in 1978. Along with the stars of the original film, celebrity guest stars appear in plot-related skits and musical numbers. Lucas loathed the special and forbade it to be reaired or released on home video. [59] An 11-minute animated sequence features the first appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett.

The Ewoks from Return of the Jedi were featured in two spin-off television films, The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor . They were based on stories by Lucas, aired on ABC on the Thanksgiving weekends of 1984 and 1985, respectively, and had international theatrical releases. Warwick Davis reprised his debut role as the main Ewok, Wicket, in a story by Lucas and a screenplay by Bob Carrau. Wicket helps two children rescue their parents from a giant creature. [60] [61] In the sequel, the Ewoks protect their village from invaders, while one of the children from the first film tries to escape. [62] [60] [63]

Television series

After producing the live-action TV films in the mid-1980s featuring the Ewoks, Lucasfilm produced two animated series. The first, Ewoks also focused on the creatures, while the other series, Droids , featured adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO set before the original film. Further animated series began to be released in the 2000s, the first two of which focused on the Clone Wars. Two additional half-hour animated series were ordered, one of which, Star Wars Rebels , ties into the original trilogy, the other, Star Wars Resistance , to the sequel trilogy. Two live-action Star Wars series are currently in development for Disney+, the first of which will be released in 2019.

Additionally, following the conclusion of the first two trilogies in 2005, Lucas continued developing spin-offs in the form of various television series. The only project to be developed and released under his leadership was an animated TV series in late 2008. A theatrical feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars , which was a compilation of episodes, was released "almost [as] an afterthought" [64] [65] and was poorly received both critically and financially. [66] [65] The plot introduces the idea that Anakin trained an apprentice between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and additionally explains Padawan Ahsoka Tano's absence from the latter film. While the character was initially criticized, she had become a fan favorite by the end of the series. [67] [68]

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally aired / releasedShowrunner(s)Network(s)
First airedLast aired
Star Wars:
The Clone Wars
Film August 15, 2008 Dave Filoni Theatrical film
122October 3, 2008March 20, 2009 Cartoon Network
222October 2, 2009April 30, 2010
322September 17, 2010April 1, 2011
422November 16, 2011March 16, 2012
520September 29, 2012March 2, 2013
613February 15, 2014March 7, 2014 Netflix
712November 12, 2019 Disney+
Star Wars:
Shorts4August 11, 2014November 4, 2014Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg & Greg Weisman Disney XD
115October 3, 2014March 2, 2015
222June 20, 2015March 30, 2016Dave Filoni & Simon Kinberg
322September 24, 2016March 25, 2017
416October 16, 2017March 5, 2018
Star Wars:
121October 7, 2018March 17, 2019Athena Yvette Portillo, Justin Ridge
& Brandon Auman
Disney Channel
Shorts12December 10, 2018December 31, 2018 YouTube
2TBALate 2019TBADisney Channel
The Mandalorian 18 [69] November 12, 2019December 31, 2019 [70] Jon Favreau Disney+

Animated series

Nelvana, the animation studio that had animated the animated segment of the Holiday Special was hired to create two animated series. Droids (1985–1986), which aired for one season on ABC, follows the adventures of C-3PO and R2-D2 before the events of A New Hope. [62] [71] [72] Its sister series Ewoks (1985–1987) features the Ewoks before Return of the Jedi and the Ewok movies. [62] [72]

Dave Filoni, supervising director on two Star Wars animated series, was later promoted to oversee the development of future Lucasfilm Animation projects. Dave Filoni.jpg
Dave Filoni, supervising director on two Star Wars animated series, was later promoted to oversee the development of future Lucasfilm Animation projects.

After the release of Attack of the Clones, Cartoon Network produced and aired the micro-series Clone Wars from 2003 to weeks before the 2005 release of Revenge of the Sith, as the series featured events set between those films. [74] [75] It won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program in 2004 and 2005. [76] [77]

Lucas decided to invest in creating his own animation company, Lucasfilm Animation, and used it to create his first in-house Star Wars CGI-animated series. The Clone Wars (2008–2014) was introduced through a 2008 animated film of the same name. [78] Both were accepted to the highest level canon in 2014; all series released afterwards would also be canon. [55] [79] In 2014, Disney XD began airing Star Wars Rebels , the first CGI-animated series produced in the new era. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it follows a band of rebels as they fight the Galactic Empire and helped close some of the arcs in The Clone Wars. [80] [81] [82] [83]

The animated micro-series Star Wars Forces of Destiny debuted in 2017, focusing on the female characters of the franchise. [84] The animated series Star Wars Resistance debuted in late 2018, is anime-inspired, and focuses on a young Resistance pilot shortly before The Force Awakens. [85]

An animated comedy series titled Star Wars Detours was in production with 39 episodes completed as of late 2013, [86] but its release was postponed following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm. [87]


Following the acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. by The Walt Disney Company, various animated series of short-lengthed episodes targeted towards a child-based audience have been developed. Disney Channel, and Star Wars Kids YouTube channels are the platform by which the episodes are distributed.

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally aired / releasedShowrunner(s)Network(s)
First airedLast aired
Star Wars:
Forces of Destiny
116July 3, 2017November 1, 2017Carrie Beck & Dave Filoni YouTube
216March 19, 2018May 25, 2018
Star Wars:
Galaxy of Adventures
123November 30, 2018April 12, 2019Josh Rimes [88]

Live-action series

When Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, this reportedly included 50 written scripts for a proposed live-action television series with the working title Star Wars: Underworld. [89] The series was to be set between the prequel and original trilogies and focus on the criminal and political power struggles as the Empire took over the galaxy. [90] [89] As of late 2018, no news has come of that project, but Disney has announced multiple live-action Star Wars series for their upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, Disney+. [91] [92]

Visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, a subsidiary of Lucasfilm, opened a new division in November 2018 targeted for streaming and episodic television called ILM TV. [93] Based in London with support from the company's locations in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Singapore, it is expected that the new division will work extensively on any current and future live-action Star Wars television series, starting with The Mandalorian . [93]

In other media

From 1976 to 2014, the term Expanded Universe (EU) was an umbrella term for all officially licensed Star Wars storytelling material set outside the events depicted within the theatrical films, including novels, comics, and video games. [101] Lucasfilm maintained internal continuity between the films and television content and the EU material until April 25, 2014, when the company announced all of the EU works would cease production. Existing works would no longer be considered canon to the franchise and subsequent reprints would be rebranded under the Star Wars Legends label, [101] with downloadable content for the massively multiplayer online game The Old Republic the only Legends material to still be produced. The Star Wars canon was subsequently restructured to only include the existing six feature films, the animated film The Clone Wars (2008), and its companion animated series. All future projects and creative developments across all types of media would be overseen and coordinated by the story group, announced as a division of Lucasfilm created to maintain continuity and a cohesive vision on the storytelling of the franchise. [55] Multiple comics series from Marvel and novels published by Del Rey were produced after the announcement.

Star Wars in print predates the release of the first film, with the December 1976 novelization of Star Wars, initially subtitled " From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker ". Credited to Lucas, it was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster. [102] The first "Expanded Universe" story appeared in Marvel Comics' Star Wars #7 in January 1978 (the first six issues being an adaptation of the film), followed by Foster's sequel novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye the following month.


Timothy Zahn authored the Thrawn trilogy, which was widely credited with revitalizing the dormant Star Wars franchise. 10.12.12TimothyZahnByLuigiNovi3.jpg
Timothy Zahn authored the Thrawn trilogy, which was widely credited with revitalizing the dormant Star Wars franchise.

After penning the novelization of the original film, Foster followed it with the sequel Splinter of the Mind's Eye (1978). The novelizations of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) by Donald F. Glut and Return of the Jedi (1983) by James Kahn followed, as well as The Han Solo Adventures trilogy (1979–1980) by Brian Daley, [103] and The Adventures of Lando Calrissian trilogy (1983) by L. Neil Smith. [104] [62]

Timothy Zahn's bestselling Thrawn trilogy (1991–1993) reignited interest in the franchise and introduced the popular characters Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Gilad Pellaeon. [105] [106] [107] [108] The first novel, Heir to the Empire , reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, [109] and the series finds Luke, Leia, and Han facing off against tactical genius Thrawn, who is plotting to retake the galaxy for the Empire. [110] In The Courtship of Princess Leia (1994) by Dave Wolverton, set immediately before the Thrawn trilogy, Leia considers an advantageous political marriage to Prince Isolder of the planet Hapes, but she and Han ultimately marry. [111] [112] Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire (1996), set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, was part of a multimedia campaign that included a comic book series and video game. [113] [114] The novel introduced the crime lord Prince Xizor, another popular character who would appear in multiple other works. [113] [115] Other notable series from Bantam include the Jedi Academy trilogy (1994) by Kevin J. Anderson, [116] [117] the 14-book Young Jedi Knights series (1995–1998) by Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, [117] [118] and the X-wing series (1996–2012) by Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston. [119] [120] [121]

Del Rey took over Star Wars book publishing in 1999, releasing what would become a 19-installment novel series called The New Jedi Order (1999–2003). Written by multiple authors, the series was set 25 to 30 years after the original films and introduced the Yuuzhan Vong, a powerful alien race attempting to invade and conquer the entire galaxy. [122] [123] The bestselling multi-author series Legacy of the Force (2006–2008) chronicles the crossover of Han and Leia's son Jacen Solo to the dark side of the Force; among his evil deeds, he kills Luke's wife Mara Jade as a sacrifice to join the Sith. Although no longer canon, the story is paralleled in The Force Awakens with Han and Leia's son Ben Solo, who has become the dark Kylo Ren. [124] [125] [126] [127]

Three series set in the prequel era were introduced for younger audiences: the 18-book Jedi Apprentice (1999–2002) chronicles the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master Qui-Gon Jinn in the years before The Phantom Menace; the 11-book Jedi Quest (2001–2004) follows Obi-Wan and his own apprentice, Anakin Skywalker in between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones; and the 10-book The Last of the Jedi (2005–2008), set almost immediately after Revenge of the Sith, features Obi-Wan and the last few surviving Jedi.

Although Thrawn had been designated a Legends character in 2014, he was reintroduced into the canon in the 2016 third season of Rebels, with Zahn returning to write more novels based in the character, and set in the new canon. [128] [129]


Marvel Comics published a Star Wars comic book series from 1977 to 1986. [130] [131] [132] [133] Original Star Wars comics were serialized in the Marvel magazine Pizzazz between 1977 and 1979. The 1977 installments were the first original Star Wars stories not directly adapted from the films to appear in print form, as they preceded those of the Star Wars comic series. [134] From 1985–1987, the animated children's series Ewoks and Droids inspired comic series from Marvel's Star Comics line. [135] [136] [137]

In the late 1980s, Marvel dropped a new Star Wars comic it had in development, which was picked up by Dark Horse Comics and published as the popular Dark Empire series (1991–1995). [138] Dark Horse subsequently launched dozens of series set after the original film trilogy, including Tales of the Jedi (1993–1998), X-wing Rogue Squadron (1995–1998), Star Wars: Republic (1998–2006), Star Wars Tales (1999–2005), Star Wars: Empire (2002–2006), and Knights of the Old Republic (2006–2010). [139] [140]

After Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, it was announced in January 2014 that in 2015 the Star Wars comics license would return to Marvel Comics, [141] whose parent company, Marvel Entertainment, Disney had purchased in 2009. [142] Launched in 2015, the first three publications were titled Star Wars , Darth Vader , and the limited series Princess Leia . [143] [144] [145]


Soundtracks and singles

John Williams composed the soundtracks for the nine episodic films; he has stated that he will retire from the franchise following The Rise of Skywalker. [146] He also composed the theme "The Adventures of Han" for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which John Powell composed the rest of the score of. [147] Michael Giacchino composed the score of Rogue One. [147]

Audio novels


Radio adaptations of the films were also produced. Lucas, a fan of the NPR-affiliated campus radio station of his alma mater the University of Southern California, licensed the Star Wars radio rights to KUSC-FM for US$1. The production used John Williams' original film score, along with Ben Burtt's sound effects. [148] [149]

The first was written by science-fiction author Brian Daley and directed by John Madden. It was broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, adapting the original 1977 film into 13-episodes. [150] [148] [149] Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels reprised their film roles. [150] [148]

The overwhelming success, led to a 10-episode adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back debuted in 1983. [151] Billy Dee Williams joined the other two stars, reprising his role as Lando Calrissian. [152]

In 1983, Buena Vista Records released an original, 30-minute Star Wars audio drama titled Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell, written by Daley. [149] [153] In the 1990s, Time Warner Audio Publishing adapted several Star Wars series from Dark Horse Comics into audio dramas: the three-part Dark Empire saga, Tales of the Jedi , Dark Lords of the Sith , the Dark Forces trilogy, and Crimson Empire (1998). [153] Return of the Jedi was adapted into 6-episodes in 1996, featuring Daniels. [148] [153]

Video games

The Star Wars franchise has spawned over one hundred [154] computer, video, and board games, dating back to some of the earliest home consoles. Some are based directly on movie material, while others rely heavily on the non-canonical Star Wars Expanded Universe (rebranded as Star Wars Legends and dropped from the canon in 2014). The Star Wars games have gone through three significant development eras, marked by a change on leadership on the people developing the games: The early licensed games, the games developed after the creation of Lucasarts, and the games created after the closure of Lucasart, whom were licensed to EA Games, and include an EA Star Wars logo.

Early licensed games (1979–1993)

The first era is the one of the early licensed games (1979-1993), and happened during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras of gaming. At the time videogame graphics were so simple that video-games barely featured any kind of narrative. Video-games mostly consisted on retellings of the original trilogy films, during the 8-bit era focusing most of the time on a single scene of a film. Lucas had licensed the rights to Star Wars video-games. The first officially licensed Star Wars electronic game was Kenner's 1979 table-top Star Wars Electronic Battle Command. [155] [156] In 1982, Parker Brothers published the first Star Wars video game for the Atari 2600, The Empire Strikes Back . [157] It was followed in 1983 by Atari's rail shooter arcade game Star Wars , which used vector graphics and was based on the Death Star trench run scene from the 1977 film. [158] The next game, Return of the Jedi (1984), used more traditional raster graphics, [159] with the following game The Empire Strikes Back (1985) returning to vector graphics. [160] Star Wars was released for Nintendo in 1991, followed by a sequel the next year. Super Star Wars was also released in 1992, followed by two sequels over the next two years.

LucasArts and modern self-published games (1993–2014)

The second era is the one of LucasArts and modern self-published games (1993-2014). It started after Star Wars creator George Lucas took interest into the increasing success of the videogame market, and decided to founded his own video-game development company Lucasarts, deciding Star Wars video-games should be developed by his own company, so he could have more creative control in them and their narratives (though he wouldn't regain the license until 1993). During this era, the games graphics evolved enough for games to be able to tell complex narratives, which started retelling the stories of the films, until eventually having their own original narratives set in the same continuity as the films, with voice overs and CGI-cut scenes. Lucasfilm had started its own video game company in 1982, becomong known for adventure games and World War II flight combat games. In 1993, LucasArts released Star Wars: X-Wing , the first self-published Star Wars video game and the first space flight simulation based on the franchise. [161] It was one of the best-selling games of 1993, and established its own series of games. [161] The Rogue Squadron series released between 1998 and 2003 also focused on space battles set during the films.

Dark Forces (1995), a hybrid adventure game incorporating puzzles and strategy, [162] was the first Star Wars first-person shooter. [163] It featured gameplay and graphical features not then common in other games, made possible by LucasArts' custom-designed game engine, the Jedi. [163] [162] [164] [165] The game was well received, [166] [167] [168] and followed by four sequels. [169] [170] The series introduced Kyle Katarn, who would appear in multiple games, novels, and comics. [171] Katarn is a former stormtrooper who joins the rebellion and becomes a Jedi, [163] [172] [173] a plot arc similar to that of Finn in The Force Awakens. [124] A massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Star Wars Galaxies , was in operation from 2003 until 2011. After Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the games developed during the first two eras were discarded from the canon in 2014 and reassigned to the non-canonical Star Wars Legends label. In addition to that Lucasarts was closed by Disney in 2014.

EA Star Wars (2014–present)

The third era, is the EA Star Wars (2014-present), the games during this era are considered canonical to the franchise, the video-game rights were reassigned to EA games due to LucasArts closure by Disney. And feature more influence from the Star Wars film-makers. Disney partnered with Lenovo to create the augmented reality game Jedi Challenges, released in November 2017. [174] [175] In August 2018, it was announced that Zynga would publish free-to-play Star Wars mobile games. [176] The Battlefront games received a canonical reboot in 2017, and Jedi: Fallen Order will be release in late 2019.

Theme park attractions

In addition to the Disneyland ride Star Tours (1987) and its renovation as Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (2011), many live attractions have been held at Disney parks, including the traveling exhibition Where Science Meets Imagination, the Space Mountain spin-off Hyperspace Mountain, a walkthrough Launch Bay, and the nighttime A Galactic Spectacular . An immersive themed area called Galaxy's Edge is planned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2019, [177] and a themed hotel will open at Walt Disney World in mid-2019. [178]

TitlePark(s)Opening dateClosing dateStatus
Live attractions
Star Tours Disneyland January 9, 1987 (1987-01-09)July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)Closed
Tokyo Disneyland July 12, 1989 (1989-07-12)April 2, 2012 (2012-04-02)
Disney's Hollywood Studios December 15, 1989 (1989-12-15)September 7, 2010 (2010-09-07)
Disneyland Paris April 12, 1992 (1992-04-12)March 16, 2016 (2016-03-16)
Star Wars Weekends Disney's Hollywood Studios1997 (1997)2015 (2015)
Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination Multiple locations October 19, 2005 (2005-10-19)March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23)
Jedi Training Academy DisneylandJuly 1, 2006 (2006-19-01)November 15, 2015 (2015-11-15)
Disney's Hollywood StudiosOctober 9, 2007 (2007-10-09)October 5, 2015 (2015-10-05)
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue Disney's Hollywood StudiosMay 20, 2011 (2011-05-20)Operating
DisneylandJune 3, 2011 (2011-06-03)
Tokyo DisneylandMay 7, 2013 (2013-05-07)
Disneyland ParisMarch 26, 2017 (2017-03-26)
Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain DisneylandNovember 14, 2015 (2015-11-14)May 31, 2017 (2017-05-31)Closed
Hong Kong Disneyland June 11, 2016 (2016-06-11)Operating
Disneyland ParisMay 7, 2017 (2017-05-07)
Star Wars Launch Bay DisneylandNovember 16, 2015 (2015-11-16)
Disney's Hollywood StudiosDecember 4, 2015 (2015-12-04)
Shanghai Disneyland Park June 16, 2016 (2016-06-16)
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple Disney's Hollywood StudiosDecember 1, 2015 (2015-12-01)
DisneylandDecember 8, 2015 (2015-12-08)
Disneyland ParisJuly 11, 2015 (2015-07-11)
Hong Kong DisneylandJune 25, 2016 (2016-06-25)
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Disney's Hollywood StudiosJune 17, 2016 (2016-06-17)
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run DisneylandMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)

Multimedia projects

A multimedia project involves works released across multiple types of media. Shadows of the Empire (1996) was a multimedia project set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi that included a novel by Steve Perry, a comic book series, a video game, and action figures. [113] [114] The Force Unleashed (2008–2010) was a similar project set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that included a novel, a 2008 video game and its 2010 sequel, a graphic novel, a role-playing game supplement, and toys. [179] [180]


George Lucas, creator of the franchise George Lucas cropped 2009.jpg
George Lucas, creator of the franchise

The success of the Star Wars films led the franchise to become one of the most merchandised franchises in the world. While filming the original 1977 film, George Lucas decided to take a $500,000 pay cut to his salary as director in exchange for full ownership of the franchise's merchandising rights. The first six films produced approximately US$20 billion in merchandising revenue. [181]

Kenner made the first Star Wars action figures to coincide with the release of the film, and today the original figures are highly valuable. Since the 1990s, Hasbro holds the rights to create action figures based on the saga. Pez dispensers began to be produced in 1997. [182] Star Wars was the first intellectual property to be licensed in Lego history. [183] Lego has produced animated parody short films and mini-series to promote their Star Wars sets. [184] The Lego Star Wars video games are critically acclaimed bestsellers. [185] [186]

In 1977, the board game Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star was released, [187] not to be confused with the board game with the same name published in 1990. [188] A Star Wars Monopoly and themed versions of Trivial Pursuit and Battleship were released in 1997, with updated versions released in subsequent years. The board game Risk has been adapted in two editions by Hasbro: The Clone Wars Edition (2005) [189] and the Original Trilogy Edition (2006). [190] Three Star Wars tabletop role-playing games have been developed: a version by West End Games in the 1980s and 1990s, one by Wizards of the Coast in the 2000s, and one by Fantasy Flight Games in the 2010s.

Star Wars trading cards have been published since the first "blue" series, by Topps, in 1977. [191] Dozens of series have been produced, with Topps being the licensed creator in the United States. Some of the card series are of film stills, while others are original art. Many of the cards have become highly collectible with some very rare "promos", such as the 1993 Galaxy Series II "floating Yoda" P3 card often commanding US$1,000 or more. While most "base" or "common card" sets are plentiful, many "insert" or "chase cards" are very rare. [192] From 1995 until 2001, Decipher, Inc. had the license for, created and produced a collectible card game based on the franchise.


Star Wars features elements such as knighthood, chivalry, and archetypes related to the fantasy genre. [193] The Star Wars galaxy, unlike science fiction that features sleek and futuristic settings, is portrayed as dirty and grimy in Lucas's concept of a "used future". [194] Lucas made a conscious effort to parallel scenes and dialogue between films, and especially the journey of Anakin Skywalker in the prequels with that of his son Luke. He has collectively referred to the first six episodic films as "the tragedy of Darth Vader," [195] and said that the theme of the saga is redemption. [196]

The final scene in The Last Jedi depicts servant children playing with a toy of Luke Skywalker, and one boy using the Force to grab a broom. According to Inverse , this symbolizes that "the Force can be found in people with humble beginnings." [197]

Historical influences

Political science has been an important element of Star Wars since the franchise launched in 1977, focusing on a struggle between democracy and dictatorship. Darth Vader's design, initially inspired by Samurai armor, also incorporated a German military helmet. [198] [199] Originally, Lucas conceived of the Sith as a group that served the Emperor in the same way that the Schutzstaffel served Adolf Hitler; this was condensed into one character in the form of Darth Vader. [200] Stormtroopers borrow the name of Nazi "shock" troopers. Imperial officers wear uniforms resembling those of German forces during World War II, [201] and political and security officers resemble the black-clad SS down to the stylized silver death's head on their caps. World War II terms were used for names in the films; e.g. the planets Kessel (a term that refers to a group of encircled forces) and Hoth (Hermann Hoth was a German general who served on the snow-laden Eastern Front). [202] Shots of the commanders looking through AT-AT walker viewscreens in The Empire Strikes Back resemble tank interiors, [203] and space battles in the original film were based on World War I and World War II dogfights. [193]

Palpatine being a chancellor before becoming the Emperor in the prequel trilogy alludes to Hitler's role as chancellor before appointing himself Führer . [201] Lucas has also drawn parallels to historical dictators such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and politicians like Richard Nixon. [204] [205] [lower-alpha 4] The Great Jedi Purge mirrors the events of the Night of the Long Knives. [208] The corruption of the Galactic Republic is modeled after the fall of the democratic Roman Republic and the formation of an empire. [209] [210]

On the inspiration for the First Order formed "from the ashes of the Empire", The Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams spoke of conversations the writers had about how the Nazis could have escaped to Argentina after WWII and "started working together again." [11]

Cultural impact

Lightsaber blue.svg
StormTrooper Blaster.jpg
The lightsaber and the blaster have become an iconic part of the franchise and have appeared throughout popular culture.

The Star Wars saga has had a significant impact on popular culture, [211] with references to its fictional universe deeply embedded in everyday life. [212] Phrases like "evil empire" and "May the Force be with you" have become part of the popular lexicon. [213] The first Star Wars film in 1977 was a cultural unifier, [214] enjoyed by a wide spectrum of people. [215] The film can be said to have helped launch the science fiction boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, making science fiction films a blockbuster genre and mainstream. [216] The widespread impact made it a prime target for parody works and homages, with popular examples including Hardware Wars , Spaceballs , The Family Guy Trilogy , Robot Chicken: Star Wars , and its sequels Star Wars – Episode II and Episode III .

In 1989, the Library of Congress selected the original Star Wars film for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." [217] The Empire Strikes Back, was selected in 2010. [218] [219] 35mm reels of the 1997 Special Editions were the versions initially presented for preservation because of the difficulty of transferring from the original prints, [220] [221] but it was later revealed that the Library possessed a copyright deposit print of the original theatrical releases. [222]


The original Star Wars film was a huge success for 20th Century Fox, and was credited for reinvigorating the company. Within three weeks of the film's release, the studio's stock price doubled to a record high. Prior to 1977, 20th Century Fox's greatest annual profits were $37 million, while in 1977, the company broke that record by posting a profit of $79 million. [193] The franchise helped Fox to change from an almost bankrupt production company to a thriving media conglomerate. [223]

Star Wars fundamentally changed the aesthetics and narratives of Hollywood films, switching the focus of Hollywood-made films from deep, meaningful stories based on dramatic conflict, themes and irony to sprawling special-effects-laden blockbusters, as well as changing the Hollywood film industry in fundamental ways. Before Star Wars, special effects in films had not appreciably advanced since the 1950s. [224] The commercial success of Star Wars created a boom in state-of-the-art special effects in the late 1970s. [223] Along with Jaws , Star Wars started the tradition of the summer blockbuster film in the entertainment industry, where films open on many screens at the same time and profitable franchises are important. [225] [215] It created the model for the major film trilogy and showed that merchandising rights on a film could generate more money than the film itself did. [214]

The original Star Wars trilogy is considered one of the best film trilogies in history. [226] Lucas has often stated that the entire trilogy was intended to be considered one film. However, he said that his story material for Star Wars was too long for a single film, prompting Lucas to split the story into multiple films. [193] [227] [228] Numerous filmmakers have been influenced by Star Wars, including Damon Lindelof, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, John Lasseter, [229] David Fincher, Joss Whedon, John Singleton, and Kevin Smith, [230] and would-be Star Wars directors J. J. Abrams and Gareth Edwards. [231] Lucas's concept of a "used future" particularly influenced Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982) and Alien (1979), James Cameron's Aliens (1986) as well as The Terminator (1984), Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and George Miller's Mad Max 2 . [230] Christopher Nolan cited Star Wars as an influence when making the 2010 blockbuster film, Inception . [232]

Regarding the return and expansion of the franchise, Lawrence Kasdan noted that the spin-offs were expanding the franchise into more of a shared universe beyond the previously linear saga, adding that one of the strengths of the franchise was how it all fell under the same continuity in comparison to other franchises. Kasdan also contrasted Star Wars to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, noting that Star Wars features less comedy than the latter, and adding that he felt a more comedic approach would "not be Star Wars" to him. [233] [234]

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote in his book The Great Movies , "Like The Birth of a Nation and Citizen Kane , Star Wars was a technical watershed that influenced many of the movies that came after." It began a new generation of special effects and high-energy motion pictures. The film was one of the first films to link genres together to invent a new, high-concept genre for filmmakers to build upon. [230] Finally, along with Steven Spielberg's Jaws , it shifted the film industry's focus away from personal filmmaking of the 1970s and towards fast-paced, big-budget blockbusters for younger audiences. [193] [235] [236]

Some critics have blamed Star Wars and Jaws for "ruining" Hollywood by shifting its focus from "sophisticated" films such as The Godfather , Taxi Driver , and Annie Hall to films about spectacle and juvenile fantasy, and for the industry shift from stand-alone, one and done films, towards blockbuster franchises with multiple sequels and prequels. [237] One such critic, Peter Biskind, complained, "When all was said and done, Lucas and Spielberg returned the 1970s audience, grown sophisticated on a diet of European and New Hollywood films, to the simplicities of the pre-1960s Golden Age of movies... They marched backward through the looking-glass." [237] [238] In an opposing view, Tom Shone wrote that through Star Wars and Jaws, Lucas and Spielberg "didn't betray cinema at all: they plugged it back into the grid, returning the medium to its roots as a carnival sideshow, a magic act, one big special effect", which was "a kind of rebirth". [236]

Fan works

The Star Wars saga has inspired many fans to create their own non-canon material set in the Star Wars galaxy. In recent years, this has ranged from writing fan fiction to creating fan films. In 2002, Lucasfilm sponsored the first annual Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards, officially recognizing filmmakers and the genre. Because of concerns over potential copyright and trademark issues, however, the contest was initially open only to parodies, mockumentaries, and documentaries. Fan fiction films set in the Star Wars universe were originally ineligible, but in 2007, Lucasfilm changed the submission standards to allow in-universe fiction entries. [239] Lucasfilm has allowed but not endorsed the creation of fan fiction, as long as it does not attempt to make a profit. [240]


As the characters and the storyline of the original trilogy are so well known, educators have used the films in the classroom as a learning resource. For example, a project in Western Australia honed elementary school students storytelling skills by role-playing action scenes from the movies and later creating props and audio/visual scenery to enhance their performance. [241] Others have used the films to encourage second-level students to integrate technology in the science classroom by making prototype lightsabers. [242] Similarly, psychiatrists in New Zealand and the US have advocated their use in the university classroom to explain different types of psychopathology. [243] [244]

See also

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<i>Star Wars: The Force Unleashed</i> (project) multimedia series

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is an unfinished multimedia project developed by LucasArts along with Dark Horse Comics, Lego, Hasbro, and Del Rey Books. It consists of a video game released in September 2008, a second video game released in October 2010, two corresponding tie-in novels, action figures, a comic book, a reference book, a role-playing game supplement, and a book on the making of the game.

Star Wars expanded to other media includes all Star Wars fictional material produced by Lucasfilm or officially licensed by it outside of the original Star Wars films and television series. Intended as an enhancement to and extension of the theatrical films produced by George Lucas, the spin-off material was moderated by Lucasfilm, and Lucas reserved the right to both draw from and contradict it in his own works. This includes an array of derivative Star Wars works produced in conjunction with, between, and after the original trilogy (1977–1983), prequel trilogy (1999–2005), and sequel trilogy (2015–2019) of films, and includes books, comic books, video games, and television series.

<i>Star Wars Forces of Destiny</i> television series

Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a 2D animated web series by Lucasfilm Animation released through Disney's YouTube channel. Set across multiple eras of the Star Wars franchise, it is a collection of two- to three-minute shorts centering on female characters featured in previous Star Wars installments. The series premiered on July 3, 2017, beginning the daily release of a set of eight episodes; these episodes subsequently began broadcasting on Disney Channel on July 9. An additional eight episodes were released in Fall 2017, and a second season of eight episodes were released in 2018.


Informational notes

  1. The film's release was preceded by its novelization in November 1976.
  2. Lucas started by researching the inspiration behind Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon comic, leading him to the works of author Edgar Rice Burroughs—the John Carter of Mars series in particular.
  3. Played by Jake Lloyd as a kid in Episode I
  4. In his early drafts, Lucas used the plot point of a dictator staying in power with the support of the military. In his comment (made in the prequel trilogy era) Lucas attributed this to Nixon's supposed intention to defy the 22nd Amendment, [206] but the president was actually impeached and never ran for a third term. Fellow Republican President Ronald Reagan sought to repeal the movement after leaving the office. [207]


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Further reading