Star Wars is an epic-space opera multimedia franchise that George Lucas created. It began with the 1977 film and quickly became a global pop-culture sensation. It has since been expanded to include other media such as television series and movies, as well novels, comic books and attractions at theme parks, and themed areas. This creates an all-encompassing fictional universe. In 2020, its total value was estimated at US$70 billion, and it is currently the fifth-highest-grossing media franchise of all time.
Retroactively, Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) was the first Star Wars film. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) followed. This formed the original Star Wars trilogy. Later, Lucas returned to filmmaking to direct a prequel trilogy. It consisted of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999), episode II: Attack of the Clones(2002) and Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith(2005). Lucas sold his production company and relinquished his franchise ownership in 2012. The sequel trilogy was produced in Episode VII (2015), Chapter VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) and Episode X: The Rise of Skywalker (2018).
The Academy Awards nominated all nine films in the “Skywalker saga”, with the wins going to the first two releases. Together with the theatrical live action “anthology” films Rogue One (2016) and Solo (2018), the combined box office revenue of the films equated to over US$10 billion, which makes it the second-highest-grossing film franchise of all time. In late 2023, a second film, Rogue Squadron is scheduled for release. There are a number of films in development, including an independent trilogy.
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The Star Wars series depicts the adventures and adventures of characters who live “a long time ago” in a galaxy far, away. In this universe, humans and many alien species (often humanoid), co-exist with robots or ‘droids to assist them in their daily lives. Space travel between planets is possible due to lightspeed hyperspace technology. From small spacecraft like the Star Destroyers to large capital ships like the Star Destroyers to large space stations such the Death Stars, there are many types of spacecraft. Telecommunications include two-way audio, audiovisual screens, as well as holographic projections.
The Force, a mystical power that is also known as the Force, was described in the original film by the filmmakers as “an energy field made by all living things… [that] binds together the galaxy”. The Force can be used to grant superpowers such as telekinesis and telepathy. Two major knightly orders are at war with one another. They are the Jedi, peacekeepers in the Galactic Republic, who use non-attachment, arbitration, and fear to control their Force, and the Sith who manipulate fear and aggression to harness the Force. Although Jedi Knights are not limited in number, the Dark Lords of the Sith or ‘Darths’ (or ‘Darths) are meant to have only two members: their master and their apprentice.
The number of Force-wielders is very small in comparison to the rest of the population. Jedi and Sith prefer to use a weapon called a lightsaber. This blade of energy can cut through almost any surface and deflect energy bolts. Laser-powered blaster guns are used by the rest of humanity, soldiers and renegades. Criminal syndicates like the Hutt cartel dominate the outer reaches. Both governments and gangsters often employ bounty hunters. Smuggling and slavery are two examples of illegal activities.
The Star Wars movie series is centered around three sets trilogies. These nine films are collectively called the “Skywalker Saga”. Non-chronologically, they were made. Episodes IV-VI (the original trilogy), Episodes I-III and Episodes VII to IX (the sequel trilogy) were released between 1997 and 2003. Each trilogy is about a particular generation of Force-sensitive Skywalker families. The original trilogy focuses on Luke Skywalker’s heroic growth. The prequels give the backstory to Anakin Skywalker while the sequels focus on Luke’s nephew Kylo Ren.
Parallel to the production of the sequel trilogy, a series that would be anthology was in development. Jay Rasulo, chief financial officer at Disney, called it origin stories. Rogue One (2016) tells the story about the rebels who stole the Death Star plans right before Episode V. Solo (2018) is Han Solo’s backstory. It also features original trilogy co-protagonists Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and the prequel trilogy villain Darth Malul.
Two of the Star Wars films that Lucasfilm is currently developing were confirmed at Disney Investor Day 2020. Patty Jenkins is directing the film Rogue Squadron. It is due for release December 22, 2023. Unspecified is the second film of Taika Waititi. He was co-writing a Star Wars movie with Krysty Wilkins-Cairns in May 2020. Rian Johnson, the Last Jedi director and writer, is also working on a trilogy that will be independent of the Skywalker saga. Kathleen Kennedy and Kevin Feige announced in September 2019 that they would be working together to create a Star Wars movie. Director J. D. Dillard announced that a film was in development with writer Matt Owens.
The Skywalker saga
George Lucas had hoped to adapt the Flash Gordon serial in 1971. However, he was unable to obtain the rights so he started his own space opera. After directing American Graffiti (1973), Lucas wrote a two-page synopsis that 20th Century Fox invested in. He had already written the screenplay for the first time in 1974. After the 1977 film’s success, Lucas decided to use it as the basis for a complex serial. Lucas created the backstory for the sequel and decided to make the series a trilogy of trilogies. The original trilogy’s two extra installments were self-financed by Lucasfilm and would see most of the cast return.
Star Wars appeared on May 25, 1977. It was first published as Episode IV : A New Hope, in the 1979 book The Art of Star Wars. Episode 5: The Empire Strikes back was also released on May 21, 1980. It enjoyed wide critical and financial success. Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, was the final film in the trilogy. It was released May 25, 1983. The original trilogy tells the story of Luke Skywalker’s quest for Jedi training, his battle with Darth Vader the evil Imperial agent, and the struggles of the Rebel Alliance to liberate the galaxy from the grips of the Galactic Empire.
Gary Kurtz, producer, claims that loose plans for a prequel trilogy emerged during the outline of the first two films. Lucas stated that he had the nine-film series planned in 1980. However, due to the stress of the original trilogy, Lucas had decided to cancel any further sequels by 1981. Lucas explained in 1983 that he had never written a complete script. As the stories developed, he would save certain ideas and take them down. I kept removing all the good parts and kept telling myself that I would make more movies one day.
Lucas was inspired by technical advances made in the late 1980s or early 1990s to create computer-generated imagery (CGI) to think that it might be possible for his story to be retold. Lucas said that the prequels would prove to be too expensive in 1989. He stated in 1992 that he was planning to create the prequel trilogy. In 1997, a theatrical rerelease was made of the original trilogy. It featured the same style of CGI as the films from 20 years ago.
Episode 1: The Phantom Menace released on May 19, 1999. Episode 2: Attack of the Clones was released May 16, 2002. Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith was the first PG-13 movie in the series. It was released May 19, 2005. While the first two films received mixed reviews, the third was viewed more favorably. The trilogy starts 32 years prior to Episode IV. It follows Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi training and his eventual fall from Grace and transformation into Sith Lord Darth Vader. Lucas, together with the original trilogy has referred to the six first episodic films as “the tragedy and Darth Vader”.
Before releasing the first film, Lucas had planned three trilogies consisting of nine films. This was made possible by the success of the second. This was announced to Times in 1978 and confirmed that he had already outlined them in 1981. The sequel trilogy was in various stages of development. It would focus on the rebuilding the Republic, Luke’s return in a similar role to Obi-Wan in his original trilogy, Luke’s sister (not yet determined as Leia), Han and Leia, R2-D2 or C-3PO. After beginning to work on the prequel trilogy Lucas insists that Star Wars was a six-part series, and there would not be a sequel trilogy.
Lucas made the decision to give up the franchise and leave it in the hands other filmmakers. He announced in January 2012 that he would no longer make Star Wars movies. The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm in October 2012. They also announced that Episode VII would release in 2015. Kathleen Kennedy, co-chairman and executive producer of new Star Wars feature movies, was elected president of Lucasfilm. Kennedy received the story plans for the sequels from Lucas, but it was revealed that Lucas’s original sequel outline had been lost in 2015. The end of the existing Star Wars Expanded universe meant that the sequel trilogy was complete. This was done to allow filmmakers maximum creative freedom and preserve surprise and discovery for the viewers.
Episode VII The Force Awakens released December 16, 2015. Episode VIII The Last Jedi was released December 13, 2017. Episode II: The Rise of Skywalker was released December 18, 2019, in many other countries. The Force awakens, and Last Jedi were both critically acclaimed and commercial successes. Episode X received mixed reviews from audiences and critics. The sequel trilogy begins 30 years after Episode VII. It focuses on Rey’s journey as a Force-sensitive orphan, accompanied by Luke Skywalker. Rey, along with Finn, an ex-stormtrooper, and Poe Dameron (ace X-Wing Pilot), aid the Resistance led by Leia against the First Order, commanded Han and Leia’s son (and Luke’s nephew), Kylo Ren.
Kennedy and Lucasfilm have said that the standalone films will be called the Star Wars series (though the anthology word has not been used in any titles. Instead, they carry the promotional “A Star Wars Story ” subtitle. The first anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was about how the Rebels got the Death Star plans. It was released to positive reviews and great box office results. The second, Solo : A Star Wars Story was released on May 25, 2018. It received generally positive reviews but did not perform well at the box office. After the hiatus following 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, there will be more anthology movies.
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