George Lucas




Original work


Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)




Films and television






I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

IV: A New Hope (1977)

V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

VIII: Tha Last Jedi (2017)

IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)








Video games


List of Star Wars video games




 Star Wars:X-Wing

   Star Wars: Jedi Knights

   Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

   Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

   Star Wars: Battlefront

   Lego Star Wars

   Star Wars: The Force Unleashed



Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise that consists of a film

series created by George Lucas. The film series has spawned a media franchise

outside the film series called the Expanded Universe including books, television

series, computer and video games, and comic books. These supplements to the film

trilogies have resulted in significant development of the series' fictional

universe. These media kept the franchise active in the interim between the film

trilogies. The franchise portrays a universe which is in a galaxy that is

described as far, far away. It commonly portrays Jedi as a representation of

good, in conflict with the Sith, their evil counterpart. Their weapon of choice,

the lightsaber, is commonly recognized in popular culture. The fictional

universe also contains many themes, especially influences of philosophy and



The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the

title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture

phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen

years after the release of the trilogy's final film, the first in a new prequel

trilogy of films was released. The three prequel films were also released at

three-year intervals, with the final film released on May 19, 2005. Reactions to

the original trilogy were mostly positive, with the last film being considered

the weakest, while the prequel trilogy received a more mixed reaction, with most

of the praise being for the final movie, according to most review aggregator

websites. Some of the films in the series were also nominated for or won Academy

Awards. A sequel trilogy was rumoured at one time but never materialised.


All of the main films have been a box office success, with the overall box

office revenue generated by the Star Wars films (including the theatrical Star

Wars: The Clone Wars) totalling $4.49 billion,[1] making it the

third-highest-grossing film series,[2] behind only the Harry Potter and James

Bond films. The success has also led to re-releases in theaters for the series.







    [hide]  1 Setting

     2 Theatrical films 2.1 Plot overview 2.1.1 Cast and characters


      2.2 Themes

       2.3 Technical information

       2.4 Production history 2.4.1 Original trilogy

         2.4.2 Prequel trilogy

         2.4.3 Sequel trilogy


      2.5 Future releases


    3 Box office performance

     4 Critical reaction 4.1 Academy Awards


    5 Expanded Universe 5.1 Other films

       5.2 Animated series

       5.3 Literature

       5.4 Games

       5.5 Fan works


    6 Attractions

     7 Legacy

     8 See also

     9 Notes

     10 References

     11 Further reading

     12 External links





"Star Wars galaxy" redirects here. For other uses, see Star Wars Galaxy







A fan-made map of the fictional galaxy in Star Wars.

The events depicted in Star Wars media take place in a fictional galaxy. Many

species of alien creatures (often humanoid) are depicted. Robotic droids are

also commonplace and are generally built to serve their owners. Space travel is

common, and many planets in the galaxy are members of a Galactic Republic, later

reorganized as the Galactic Empire.


One of the prominent elements of Star Wars is the "Force", an omnipresent energy

that can be harnessed by those with that ability, known as Force-sensitives. It

is described in the first produced film as "an energy field created by all

living things [that] surrounds us, penetrates us, [and] binds the galaxy

together."[3] The Force allows users to perform various supernatural feats (such

as telekinesis, clairvoyance, precognition, and mind control) and can amplify

certain physical traits, such as speed and reflexes; these abilities vary

between characters and can be improved through training. While the Force can be

used for good, it has a dark side that, when pursued, imbues users with hatred,

aggression, and malevolence. The six films feature the Jedi, who use the Force

for good, and the Sith, who use the dark side for evil in an attempt to take

over the galaxy. In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, many dark side users are

Dark Jedi rather than Sith, mainly because of the "Rule of Two" (see Sith



Theatrical films










The original trilogy (left) and the prequel trilogy (right) DVD box sets of the

film series in Costco.


The film series began with Star Wars, released on May 25, 1977. This was

followed by two sequels: The Empire Strikes Back, released on May 21, 1980, and

Return of the Jedi, released on May 25, 1983. The opening crawl of the sequels

disclosed that they were numbered as "Episode V" and "Episode VI" respectively,

though the films were generally advertised solely under their subtitles. Though

the first film in the series was simply titled Star Wars, with its 1981

re-release it had the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope added to remain consistent

with its sequel, and to establish it as the middle chapter of a continuing



In 1997, to correspond with the 20th anniversary of A New Hope, Lucas released a

"Special Edition" of the Star Wars trilogy to theaters. The re-release featured

alterations to the three films, primarily motivated by the improvement of CGI

and other special effects technologies, which allowed visuals that were not

possible to achieve at the time of the original filmmaking. Lucas continued to

make changes to the films for subsequent releases, such as the first ever DVD

release of the original trilogy on September 21, 2004 and the first ever Blu-ray

release of all six films on September 16, 2011.[10]


More than two decades after the release of the original film, the series

continued with the long-awaited prequel trilogy; consisting of Episode I: The

Phantom Menace, released on May 19, 1999; Episode II: Attack of the Clones,

released on May 16, 2002; and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, released on May

19, 2005.[11]


On August 15, 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars was released theatrically as a

lead-in to the weekly animated TV series of the same name.


Plot overview






A figure in Amsterdam of the Star Wars character, Darth Vader. The plot of the

films centers on how a young Anakin Skywalker succumbs to the dark side and

becomes Darth Vader, who will then be the rival of his children. The character

is said to be one of the greatest in the franchise.[12]

The prequel trilogy follows the life of a young slave named Anakin Skywalker,

who is discovered by the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn on the desert planet Tatooine.

Qui-Gon comes to believe that Anakin is the "Chosen One" foretold by Jedi

prophecy to bring balance to the Force, and he helps liberate the boy from

slavery. The Jedi Council, led by Yoda, sense that Anakin's future is clouded by

fear, but reluctantly allow Qui-Gon's apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi to train Anakin

after Qui-Gon is killed by the Sith Lord Darth Maul. At the same time, the

planet Naboo is under attack, and its ruler, Queen Padmé Amidala, seeks the

assistance of the Jedi to repel the attack. The Sith Lord Darth Sidious secretly

planned the attack to give his alter ego, Senator Palpatine, a pretense to

overthrow the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and take his place.[4]


The remainder of the prequel trilogy chronicles Anakin's gradual fall to the

dark side of the Force as he fights in the Clone Wars, which Palpatine secretly

engineers in order to destroy the Republic and lure Anakin into his service.[5]

Anakin and Padmé fall in love and secretly wed, and eventually Padmé becomes

pregnant. Anakin has a prophetic vision of Padmé dying in childbirth, and

Palpatine convinces him that the dark side holds the power to save her life;

desperate, Anakin submits to the dark side and takes the Sith name Darth Vader.

While Palpatine re-organizes the Republic into the tyrannical Galactic

Empire—appointing himself Emperor for life—Vader participates in the

extermination of the Jedi Order, culminating in a lightsaber battle between

himself and Obi-Wan on the volcanic planet Mustafar.[6]


Obi-Wan ultimately defeats his former apprentice and friend, severing his limbs

and leaving him for dead beside a lava flow. However, Palpatine arrives shortly

afterward and saves Vader, putting him into a black, mechanical suit of armor

that keeps him alive. At the same time, Padmé dies while giving birth to twins

Luke and Leia. The twins are hidden from Vader and are not told who their real

parents are.[6]






Tatooine has two suns, as it is in a binary star system. This shot from A New

Hope remains one of the most famous scenes of the entire saga.[13]

The original trilogy begins 19 years later as Vader nears completion of the

massive Death Star space station, which will allow the Empire to crush the Rebel

Alliance, an organized resistance formed to combat Palpatine's tyranny. Vader

captures Princess Leia, who has stolen the plans to the Death Star and hidden

them in the astromech droid R2-D2. R2, along with his protocol droid counterpart

C-3PO, escapes to Tatooine. There, the droids are purchased by Luke Skywalker

and his step-uncle and aunt. While Luke is cleaning R2, he accidentally triggers

a message put into the droid by Leia, who asks for assistance from Obi-Wan. Luke

later assists the droids in finding the Jedi Knight, who is now passing as an

old hermit under the alias Ben Kenobi. When Luke asks about his father, Obi-Wan

tells him that Anakin was a great Jedi who was betrayed and murdered by



Obi-Wan and Luke hire the smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca

to take them to Alderaan, Leia's home world, which they eventually find has been

destroyed by the Death Star. Once on board the space station, Obi-Wan allows

himself to be killed during a lightsaber rematch with Vader; his sacrifice

allows the group to escape with the plans that help the rebels destroy the Death

Star. Luke himself fires the shot that destroys the deadly space station.[3]


Three years later, Luke travels to find Yoda, now living in exile on the

swamp-infested world Dagobah, in order to start his Jedi training. However, Luke

is interrupted when Vader lures him into a trap by capturing Han and the others.

During a fierce lightsaber duel, Vader reveals that he is Luke's father and

attempts to turn him to the dark side.[7] Luke escapes, and, after rescuing Han

from the gangster Jabba the Hutt a year later, returns to Yoda to complete his

training. However, now over 900 years old, Yoda is on his deathbed. Before he

passes away, Yoda confirms that Vader is Luke's father; moments later, Obi-Wan's

spirit tells Luke that he must face his father before he can become a Jedi, and

that Leia is his twin sister. As the Rebels attack the second Death Star, Luke

confronts Vader as Palpatine watches; both Sith Lords intend to turn Luke to the

dark side and take him as their apprentice.[8]


During the subsequent lightsaber duel, Luke succumbs to his anger and brutally

overpowers Vader, but controls himself at the last minute; realizing that he is

about to suffer his father's fate, he spares Vader's life and proudly declares

his allegiance to the Jedi. An enraged Palpatine then attempts to kill Luke with

Force lightning, a sight that moves Vader to turn on and kill his master,

suffering mortal wounds in the process. Redeemed, Anakin Skywalker dies in his

son's arms. Luke becomes a full-fledged Jedi, and the Rebels destroy the second

Death Star and, with it, the Empire.[8]


Cast and characters


Further information: List of Star Wars films cast members and List of Star Wars











A New Hope


The Empire Strikes Back


Return of the Jedi


The Phantom Menace


Attack of the Clones


Revenge of the Sith


The Clone Wars




Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker


David Prowse

 James Earl Jones (voice only)


Vader: David Prowse

 James Earl Jones (voice only)

 Anakin: Sebastian Shaw

 Hayden Christensen (2004 DVD release)


Jake Lloyd


Hayden Christensen


Anakin: Hayden Christensen

 Vader: James Earl Jones (voice only)


Matt Lanter




Obi-Wan Kenobi


Alec Guinness


Ewan McGregor


James Arnold Taylor






Kenny Baker


Kenny Baker (credit only)







Anthony Daniels


Anthony Daniels (voice only)


Anthony Daniels







Frank Oz (voice and puppeteering)


Frank Oz (voice and puppeteering / voice only; 2011 3-D re-release)


Frank Oz (voice only)


Tom Kane




Palpatine / Darth Sidious


Mentioned only


Elaine Baker

 Clive Revill (voice only)

 Ian McDiarmid

 (2004 DVD release)


Ian McDiarmid


Ian Abercrombie




Leia Organa


Carrie Fisher



Aidan Barton





Luke Skywalker


Mark Hamill



Aidan Barton





Owen Lars


Phil Brown



Joel Edgerton







Shelagh Fraser



Bonnie Piesse





Grand Moff Tarkin


Peter Cushing



Wayne Pygram







Peter Mayhew



Peter Mayhew





Han Solo


Harrison Ford







Paul Blake

 Maria De Aragon (close-up shots)

 Larry Ward (voice only)





Jabba the Hutt


Uncredited actor (voice only; 1997 Special Edition)


Mentioned only


Larry Ward (voice only)


Uncredited actor (voice only)



Kevin Michael Richardson




Boba Fett


Silent cameo; 1997 Special Edition


Jeremy Bulloch

 Jason Wingreen (voice only)

 Temuera Morrison (voice only; 2004 DVD release)



Daniel Logan





Wedge Antilles


Denis Lawson





Admiral Piett



Kenneth Colley





Lando Calrissian



Billy Dee Williams





Bib Fortuna



Michael Carter

 Erik Bauersfeld (voice only)


Matthew Wood





Admiral Ackbar



Timothy M. Rose

 Erik Bauersfeld (voice only)








Warwick Davis





Qui-Gon Jinn



Liam Neeson


Liam Neeson (voice only)


Mentioned only





Nute Gunray



Silas Carson





Padmé Amidala



Natalie Portman


Catherine Taber




Captain Panaka



Hugh Quarshie





Sio Bibble



Oliver Ford Davies





Jar Jar Binks



Ahmed Best (voice only)





Boss Nass



Brian Blessed (voice only)



Silent cameo








Keira Knightley





Darth Maul



Ray Park

 Peter Serafinowicz (voice only)








Andy Secombe (voice only)








Lewis MacLeod (voice only)





Shmi Skywalker



Pernilla August





Chancellor Valorum



Terence Stamp





Mace Windu



Samuel L. Jackson







Silas Carson





Captain Typho



Jay Laga'aia





Bail Organa



Jimmy Smits





Zam Wesell



Leeanna Walsman





Jango Fett



Temuera Morrison





Dexter Jettster



Ronald Falk (voice only)





Cliegg Lars



Jack Thompson





Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus



Christopher Lee




General Grievous



Matthew Wood (voice only)




Ahsoka Tano



Ashley Eckstein




Asajj Ventress



Nika Futterman





See also: Philosophy and religion in Star Wars and Force (Star Wars)


Star Wars features elements such as knights, witches, and princesses that are

related to archetypes of the fantasy genre.[15] The Star Wars world, unlike

fantasy and science-fiction films that featured sleek and futuristic settings,

was portrayed as dirty and grimy. Lucas' vision of a "used future" was further

popularized in the science fiction-horror films Alien,[16] which was set on a

dirty space freighter; Mad Max 2, which is set in a post-apocalyptic desert; and

Blade Runner, which is set in a crumbling, dirty city of the future. Lucas made

a conscious effort to parallel scenes and dialogue between films, and especially

to parallel the journeys of Luke Skywalker with that of his father Anakin when

making the prequels.[4]


Technical information






Film crew using a CineAlta HD camera, created by Sony and modified by

Panavision. Models of these cameras were used to film the second and third

episode of Star Wars.

All six films of the Star Wars series were shot in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1.

The original trilogy was shot with anamorphic lenses. Episodes IV and V were

shot in Panavision, while Episode VI was shot in Joe Dunton Camera (JDC) scope.

Episode I was shot with Hawk anamorphic lenses on Arriflex cameras, and Episodes

II and III were shot with Sony's CineAlta high-definition digital cameras.[17]


Lucas hired Ben Burtt to oversee the sound effects on A New Hope. Burtt's

accomplishment was such that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

presented him with a Special Achievement Award because it had no award at the

time for the work he had done.[18] Lucasfilm developed the THX sound

reproduction standard for Return of the Jedi.[19] John Williams composed the

scores for all six films. Lucas' design for Star Wars involved a grand musical

sound, with leitmotifs for different characters and important concepts.

Williams' Star Wars title theme has become one of the most famous and well-known

musical compositions in modern music history.[20]


The technical lightsaber choreography for the original trilogy was developed by

leading filmmaking sword-master Bob Anderson. Anderson trained actor Mark Hamill

(Luke Skywalker) and performed all the sword stunts as Darth Vader during the

lightsaber duels in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, wearing

Vader's costume. Anderson's role in the original Star Wars trilogy was

highlighted in the film Reclaiming the Blade, where he shares his experiences as

the fight choreographer developing the lightsaber techniques for the movies.[21]


Production history


Original trilogy


"Original trilogy" redirects here. For the video game, see Lego Star Wars II:

The Original Trilogy.






George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars

In 1971, Universal Studios agreed to make American Graffiti and Star Wars in a

two-picture contract, although Star Wars was later rejected in its early concept

stages. American Graffiti was completed in 1973 and, a few months later, Lucas

wrote a short summary called "The Journal of the Whills", which told the tale of

the training of apprentice C.J. Thorpe as a "Jedi-Bendu" space commando by the

legendary Mace Windy.[22] Frustrated that his story was too difficult to

understand, Lucas then wrote a 13-page treatment called The Star Wars, which had

thematic parallels with Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.[23] By 1974, he

had expanded the treatment into a rough draft screenplay, adding elements such

as the Sith, the Death Star, and a protagonist named Annikin Starkiller. For the

second draft, Lucas made heavy simplifications, and introduced the young hero on

a farm as Luke Starkiller. Annikin became Luke's father, a wise Jedi knight.

"The Force" was also introduced as a supernatural power. The next draft removed

the father character and replaced him with a substitute named Ben Kenobi, and in

1976 a fourth draft had been prepared for principal photography. The film was

titled Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills,

Saga I: The Star Wars. During production, Lucas changed Luke's name to Skywalker

and altered the title to simply The Star Wars and finally Star Wars.[24]






John Williams was in charge for the score of the film series.

At that point, Lucas was not expecting the film to become part of a series. The

fourth draft of the script underwent subtle changes that made it more satisfying

as a self-contained film, ending with the destruction of the Empire itself by

way of destroying the Death Star. However, Lucas had previously conceived of the

film as the first in a series of adventures. Later, he realized the film would

not in fact be the first in the sequence, but a film in the second trilogy in

the saga. This is stated explicitly in George Lucas' preface to the 1994 reissue

of Splinter of the Mind's Eye:



It wasn't long after I began writing Star Wars that I realized the story was

more than a single film could hold. As the saga of the Skywalkers and Jedi

Knights unfolded, I began to see it as a tale that could take at least nine

films to tell—three trilogies—and I realized, in making my way through the back

story and after story, that I was really setting out to write the middle story.


The second draft contained a teaser for a never-made sequel about "The Princess

of Ondos," and by the time of the third draft some months later Lucas had

negotiated a contract that gave him rights to make two sequels. Not long after,

Lucas met with author Alan Dean Foster, and hired him to write these two sequels

as novels.[25] The intention was that if Star Wars were successful, Lucas could

adapt the novels into screenplays.[26] He had also by that point developed an

elaborate backstory to aid his writing process.[27]


When Star Wars proved successful, Lucas decided to use the film as the basis for

an elaborate serial, although at one point he considered walking away from the

series altogether.[28] However, Lucas wanted to create an independent filmmaking

center—what would become Skywalker Ranch—and saw an opportunity to use the

series as a financing agent.[29] Alan Dean Foster had already begun writing the

first sequel novel, but Lucas decided to abandon his plan to adapt Foster's

work; the book was released as Splinter of the Mind's Eye the following year. At

first Lucas envisioned a series of films with no set number of entries, like the

James Bond series. In an interview with Rolling Stone in August 1977, he said

that he wanted his friends to each take a turn at directing the films and giving

unique interpretations on the series. He also said that the backstory in which

Darth Vader turns to the dark side, kills Luke's father and fights Ben Kenobi on

a volcano as the Galactic Republic falls would make an excellent sequel.


Later that year, Lucas hired science fiction author Leigh Brackett to write Star

Wars II with him. They held story conferences and, by late November 1977, Lucas

had produced a handwritten treatment called The Empire Strikes Back. The

treatment is very similar to the final film, except that Darth Vader does not

reveal he is Luke's father. In the first draft that Brackett would write from

this, Luke's father appears as a ghost to instruct Luke.[30]


Brackett finished her first draft in early 1978; Lucas has said he was

disappointed with it, but before he could discuss it with her, she died of

cancer.[31] With no writer available, Lucas had to write his next draft himself.

It was this draft in which Lucas first made use of the "Episode" numbering for

the films; Empire Strikes Back was listed as Episode II.[32] As Michael Kaminski

argues in The Secret History of Star Wars, the disappointment with the first

draft probably made Lucas consider different directions in which to take the

story.[33] He made use of a new plot twist: Darth Vader claims to be Luke's

father. According to Lucas, he found this draft enjoyable to write, as opposed

to the yearlong struggles writing the first film, and quickly wrote two more

drafts,[34] both in April 1978. He also took the script to a darker extreme by

having Han Solo imprisoned in carbonite and left in limbo.[7]


This new story point of Darth Vader being Luke's father had drastic effects on

the series. Michael Kaminski argues in his book that it is unlikely that the

plot point had ever seriously been considered or even conceived of before 1978,

and that the first film was clearly operating under an alternate storyline where

Vader was separate from Luke's father;[35] there is not a single reference to

this plot point before 1978. After writing the second and third drafts of Empire

Strikes Back in which the point was introduced, Lucas reviewed the new backstory

he had created: Anakin Skywalker was Ben Kenobi's brilliant student and had a

child named Luke, but was swayed to the dark side by Emperor Palpatine (who

became a Sith and not simply a politician). Anakin battled Ben Kenobi on the

site of a volcano and was wounded, but then resurrected as Darth Vader.

Meanwhile Kenobi hid Luke on Tatooine while the Republic became the Empire and

Vader systematically hunted down and killed the Jedi.[36]


With this new backstory in place, Lucas decided that the series would be a

trilogy, changing Empire Strikes Back from Episode II to Episode V in the next

draft.[34] Lawrence Kasdan, who had just completed writing Raiders of the Lost

Ark, was then hired to write the next drafts, and was given additional input

from director Irvin Kershner. Kasdan, Kershner, and producer Gary Kurtz saw the

film as a more serious and adult film, which was helped by the new, darker

storyline, and developed the series from the light adventure roots of the first



By the time he began writing Episode VI in 1981 (then titled Revenge of the

Jedi), much had changed. Making Empire Strikes Back was stressful and costly,

and Lucas' personal life was disintegrating. Burned out and not wanting to make

any more Star Wars films, he vowed that he was done with the series in a May

1983 interview with Time magazine. Lucas' 1981 rough drafts had Darth Vader

competing with the Emperor for possession of Luke—and in the second script, the

"revised rough draft", Vader became a sympathetic character. Lawrence Kasdan was

hired to take over once again and, in these final drafts, Vader was explicitly

redeemed and finally unmasked. This change in character would provide a

springboard to the "Tragedy of Darth Vader" storyline that underlies the



Prequel trilogy


After losing much of his fortune in a divorce settlement in 1987, Lucas had no

desire to return to Star Wars, and had unofficially canceled his sequel trilogy

by the time of Return of the Jedi.[39] Nevertheless, the prequels, which were

quite developed at this point, continued to fascinate him. After Star Wars

became popular once again, in the wake of Dark Horse's comic book line and

Timothy Zahn's trilogy of novels, Lucas saw that there was still a large

audience. His children were older, and with the explosion of CGI technology he

was now considering returning to directing.[40] By 1993 it was announced, in

Variety among other sources, that he would be making the prequels. He began

outlining the story, now indicating the series would be a tragic one examining

Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side. Lucas also began to change how the

prequels would exist relative to the originals; at first they were supposed to

be a "filling-in" of history tangential to the originals, but now he saw that

they could form the beginning of one long story that started with Anakin's

childhood and ended with his death. This was the final step towards turning the

film series into a "Saga".[41]


In 1994, Lucas began writing the first screenplay titled Episode I: The

Beginning. Following the release of that film, Lucas announced that he would

also be directing the next two, and began working on Episode II at that

time.[42] The first draft of Episode II was completed just weeks before

principal photography, and Lucas hired Jonathan Hales, a writer from The Young

Indiana Jones Chronicles, to polish it.[43] Unsure of a title, Lucas had

jokingly called the film "Jar Jar's Great Adventure."[44] In writing The Empire

Strikes Back, Lucas initially decided that Lando Calrissian was a clone and came

from a planet of clones which caused the "Clone Wars" mentioned by Obi-Wan

Kenobi in A New Hope;[45][46] he later came up with an alternate concept of an

army of clone shocktroopers from a remote planet which attacked the Republic and

were repelled by the Jedi.[47] The basic elements of that backstory became the

plot basis for Episode II, with the new wrinkle added that Palpatine secretly

orchestrated the crisis.[5]


Lucas began working on Episode III before Attack of the Clones was released,

offering concept artists that the film would open with a montage of seven Clone

War battles.[48] As he reviewed the storyline that summer, however, he says he

radically re-organized the plot.[49] Michael Kaminski, in The Secret History of

Star Wars, offers evidence that issues in Anakin's fall to the dark side

prompted Lucas to make massive story changes, first revising the opening

sequence to have Palpatine kidnapped and his apprentice, Count Dooku, murdered

by Anakin as the first act in the latter's turn towards the dark side.[50] After

principal photography was complete in 2003, Lucas made even more massive changes

in Anakin's character, re-writing his entire turn to the dark side; he would now

turn primarily in a quest to save Padmé's life, rather than the previous version

in which that reason was one of several, including that he genuinely believed

that the Jedi were evil and plotting to take over the Republic. This fundamental

re-write was accomplished both through editing the principal footage, and new

and revised scenes filmed during pick-ups in 2004.[51]


Lucas often exaggerated the amount of material he wrote for the series; much of

it stemmed from the post–1978 period when the series grew into a phenomenon.

Michael Kaminski explained that these exaggerations were both a publicity and

security measure. Kaminski rationalized that since the series' story radically

changed throughout the years, it was always Lucas' intention to change the

original story retroactively because audiences would only view the material from

his perspective.[6][52] When congratulating the producers of the TV series Lost

in 2010, Lucas himself jokingly admitted, "when Star Wars first came out, I

didn't know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you've planned

the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to

other stories – let's call them homages – and you've got a series".[53]


Sequel trilogy


Main article: Star Wars sequel trilogy


The sequel trilogy was a reportedly planned trilogy of films (Episodes VII, VIII

and IX) by Lucasfilm as a sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV,

V and VI) released between 1977 and 1983.[54] While the similarly discussed Star

Wars prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II and III) was ultimately released between

1999 and 2005, Lucasfilm and George Lucas have for many years denied plans for a

sequel trilogy, insisting that Star Wars is meant to be a six-part

series.[55][56] In May 2008, speaking about the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone

Wars, Lucas maintained his status on the sequel trilogy:



"I get asked all the time, 'What happens after Return of the Jedi?,' and there

really is no answer for that. The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and

Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that's

where that story ends."[57]


In January 2012, Lucas announced that he would step away from blockbuster films

and instead produce smaller art-house films. In an interview regarding whether

or not the scrutiny he received from the prequel trilogy and the alterations

made on the original trilogy were a factor on his retirement, Lucas stated:



"Why would I make any more,... when everybody yells at you all the time and says

what a terrible person you are?"[58]


Future releases


At a ShoWest convention in 2005, Lucas demonstrated new technology and stated

that he planned to release the six films in a new 3-D film format, beginning

with A New Hope in 2007.[59] However, by January 2007, Lucasfilm stated on that "there are no definitive plans or dates for releasing the Star

Wars saga in 3-D." At Celebration Europe in July 2007, Rick McCallum confirmed

that Lucasfilm is "planning to take all six films and turn them into 3-D," but

they are "waiting for the companies out there that are developing this

technology to bring it down to a cost level that makes it worthwhile for

everybody".[60] In July 2008, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks

Animation, revealed that Lucas plans to redo all six of the movies in 3D.[61] In

late September 2010, it was announced that The Phantom Menace would be

theatrically re-released in 3-D on February 10, 2012.[62][63] All six films

would be re-released in order, with the 3-D conversion process taking at least a

year to complete per film.[64]


Box office performance






  Release date


  Box office revenue


  Box office ranking




United States






Adjusted for

 inflation (US)


All-time domestic


All-time worldwide




Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope[65]


May 25, 1977
















Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back[66]


May 21, 1980
















Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi[67]


May 25, 1983
















Original Star Wars trilogy















Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace[68]


May 19, 1999
















Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones[69]


May 16, 2002
















Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith[70]


May 19, 2005
















Prequel Star Wars trilogy















Star Wars: The Clone Wars[71]


August 15, 2008















Complete Star Wars film series














Critical reaction






  Rotten Tomatoes








Top Critics




Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope


94% (67 reviews)[72]


88% (17 reviews)[72]


91 (13 reviews)[73]




Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


97% (71 reviews)[74]


89% (18 reviews)[74]


78 (15 reviews)[75]




Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


79% (66 reviews)[76]


79% (20 reviews)[76]


52 (14 reviews)[77]




Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace


57% (186 reviews)[78]


38% (50 reviews)[78]


51 (36 reviews)[79]




Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones


67% (218 reviews)[80]


41% (41 reviews)[80]


53 (39 reviews)[81]




Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


80% (253 reviews)[82]


68% (44 reviews)[82]


68 (40 reviews)[83]




Star Wars: The Clone Wars


19% (153 reviews)[84]


15% (28 reviews)[84]


35 (30 reviews)[85]













Academy Awards


The six films together were nominated for 25 Academy Awards, of which they won

ten. Three of these were Special Achievement Awards.






  Awards Won




A New Hope


The Empire Strikes Back


Return of the Jedi


The Phantom Menace


Attack of the Clones


Revenge of the Sith




Actor in a Supporting Role



 (Alec Guinness)









Art Direction-Set Decoration













Costume Design














 (George Lucas)









Film Editing






















Music (Original Score)
























Screenplay – Original











Sound Editing












Sound (Mixing)














Visual Effects













Special Achievement Award



 (Alien, Creature and Robot Voices)



 (Visual Effects)



 (Visual Effects)






Expanded Universe


Main article: Star Wars Expanded Universe






Cosplay of the Star Wars character, Boba Fett. The popular character was first

incorporated in the Expanded Universe in the television film The Star Wars

Holiday Special until appearing in the main film series.[86]

The term Expanded Universe (EU) is an umbrella term for officially licensed Star

Wars material outside of the six feature films. The material expands the stories

told in the films, taking place anywhere from 25,000 years before The Phantom

Menace to 140 years after Return of the Jedi. The first Expanded Universe story

appeared in Marvel Comics' Star Wars #7 in January 1978 (the first six issues of

the series having been an adaptation of the film), followed quickly by Alan Dean

Foster's novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye the following month.[87]


George Lucas retains artistic control over the Star Wars universe. For example,

the death of central characters and similar changes in the status quo must first

pass his screening before authors are given the go-ahead. In addition, Lucasfilm

Licensing devotes efforts to ensure continuity between the works of various

authors across companies.[88] Elements of the Expanded Universe have been

adopted by Lucas for use in the films, such as the name of capital planet

Coruscant, which first appeared in Timothy Zahn's novel Heir to the Empire

before being used in The Phantom Menace. Additionally, Lucas so liked the

character Aayla Secura, who was introduced in Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars

series, that he included her as a character in Attack of the Clones.[89]


Lucas has played a large role in the production of various television projects,

usually serving as storywriter or executive producer.[90] Star Wars has had

numerous radio adaptations. A radio adaptation of A New Hope was first broadcast

on National Public Radio in 1981. The adaptation was written by science fiction

author Brian Daley and directed by John Madden. It was followed by adaptations

of The Empire Strikes Back in 1983 and Return of the Jedi in 1996. The

adaptations included background material created by Lucas but not used in the

films. Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams reprised their roles

as Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and Lando Calrissian, respectively, except in Return

of the Jedi in which Luke was played by Joshua Fardon and Lando by Arye Gross.

The series also used John Williams' original score from the films and Ben

Burtt's original sound designs.[91]


Other films


In addition to the two trilogies and The Clone Wars film, several other

authorized films have been produced:

 The Star Wars Holiday Special, a 1978 two-hour television special, shown only

  once and never released on video. Notable for the introduction of Boba Fett.

   Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a 1984 American made-for-TV

  film—released theatrically overseas.

   Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, a 1985 American made-for-TV film—released

  theatrically overseas.

   The Great Heep, a 1986 animated television special from the Star Wars: Droids

  TV series.

   Lego Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2, a 2009 official comedy spoof primarily

  based on The Clone Wars film.


Animated series


Following the success of the Star Wars films and their subsequent merchandising,

several animated television series have been created for the younger fan base:

 Star Wars: Droids, also known as Droids, which premiered in September 1985,

  focused on the travels of R2-D2 and C-3P0 as they shift through various

  owners/masters, and vaguely fills in the gaps between the events of Revenge of

  the Sith and A New Hope.

   Star Wars: Ewoks and colloquially as The Ewoks, was simultaneously released

  in September 1985 and focused on the adventures of Wicket and various other

  recognizable Ewok characters from the original trilogy in the years leading up

  to Return of the Jedi.

   Star Wars: Clone Wars animated micro-series created by Genndy Tartakovsky,

  which aired on Cartoon Network from November 2003 to March 2005.

   Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI-animated series continuation of the animated

  movie of the same name, which has been airing on Cartoon Network since October


   Star Wars: Detours[92]: an animated comedy series written by Brendan Hay, who

  is a writer for the comedy news show The Daily Show, and with creative

  consulting from the co-creators of Robot Chicken: Seth Green and Matthew

  Senreich. The series will take place during the original trilogy and the

  setting will be remote from the front line of war.[93]




Main articles: List of Star Wars novels and List of Star Wars comic books


Star Wars-based fiction predates the release of the first film, with the 1976

novelization of Star Wars (ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster and credited to

Lucas). Foster's 1978 novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, was the first Expanded

Universe work to be released. In addition to filling in the time between A New

Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, this additional content greatly expanded the

Star Wars timeline before and after the film series. Star Wars fiction

flourished during the time of the original trilogy (1977–1983) but slowed to a

trickle afterwards. In 1992, however, Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy debuted,

sparking a new interest in the Star Wars universe. Since then, several hundred

tie-in novels have been published by Bantam and Del Rey. A similar resurgence in

the Expanded Universe occurred in 1996 with the Steve Perry novel Shadows of the

Empire, set in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and

accompanying video game and comic book series.[94]


LucasBooks radically changed the face of the Star Wars universe with the

introduction of the New Jedi Order series, which takes place some 20 years after

Return of the Jedi and stars a host of new characters alongside series

originals. For younger audiences, three series have been introduced. The Jedi

Apprentice series follows the adventures of Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice

Obi-Wan Kenobi prior to The Phantom Menace. The Jedi Quest series follows the

adventures of Obi-Wan and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker in between The Phantom

Menace and Attack of the Clones. The Last of the Jedi series follows the

adventures of Obi-Wan and another surviving Jedi almost immediately following

Revenge of the Sith.


Marvel Comics published Star Wars comic book series and adaptations from 1977 to

1986. A wide variety of creators worked on this series, including Roy Thomas,

Archie Goodwin, Howard Chaykin, Al Williamson, Carmine Infantino, Gene Day, Walt

Simonson, Michael Golden, Chris Claremont, Whilce Portacio, Jo Duffy, and Ron

Frenz. The Los Angeles Times Syndicate published a Star Wars newspaper strip by

Russ Manning, Goodwin and Williamson[95][96] with Goodwin writing under a

pseudonym. In the late 1980s, Marvel announced it would publish a new Star Wars

comic by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy. However, in December 1991, Dark Horse

Comics acquired the Star Wars license and used it to launch a number of

ambitious sequels to the original trilogy instead, including the popular Dark

Empire stories.[97] They have since gone on to publish a large number of

original adventures set in the Star Wars universe. There have also been parody

comics, including Tag and Bink.[98]




Main articles: Star Wars computer and video games, List of Star Wars video

games, Star Wars trading card, and Star Wars role-playing games


Since 1977, dozens of board, card, video, miniature, and tabletop role-playing

games, among other types, have been published bearing the Star Wars name,

beginning in 1977 with the board game Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star[99]

(not to be confused with another board game with the same title, published in



Star Wars video games commercialization started in 1982 with Star Wars: The

Empire Strikes Back published for the Atari 2600 by Parker Brothers. Since then,

Star Wars has opened the way to a myriad of space-flight simulation games,

first-person shooter games, role-playing video games, RTS games, and others.


Three different official tabletop role-playing games have been developed for the

Star Wars universe: 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.


The best-selling games so far are the Lego Star Wars and the Battlefront series,

with 12 million and 10 million units respectively.[101][102] Star Wars: Knights

of the Old Republic is also an extremely well known game.[103]


The most recently released games are Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Lego

Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: The

Force Unleashed II, for the PS3, PSP, PS2, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Wii. While

The Complete Saga focuses on all six episodes of the series, The Force

Unleashed, of the same name of the multimedia project which it is a part of,

takes place in the largely unexplored time period between Revenge of the Sith

and A New Hope and casts players as Darth Vader's "secret apprentice" hunting

down the remaining Jedi. The game features a new game engine, and was released

on September 16, 2008 in the United States.[104][105] There are three more

titles based on the Clone Wars which were released for the Nintendo DS (Star

Wars: The Clone Wars – Jedi Alliance) and Wii (Star Wars: The Clone Wars –

Lightsaber Duels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes).


Star Wars trading cards have been published since the first 'blue' series, by

Topps, in 1977.[106] 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$1000 or more. While most "base" or

"common card" sets are plentiful, many "insert" or "chase cards" are very



The board game Risk has been adapted to the series in two editions by Hasbro:

Risk Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Edition[108] (2006) and Risk Star Wars:

Clone Wars Edition[109] (2005).


Fan works


Main article: Star Wars fan films


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.[110]


While many fan films have used elements from the licensed Expanded Universe to

tell their story, they are not considered an official part of the Star Wars

canon. However, the lead character from the Pink Five series was incorporated

into Timothy Zahn's 2007 novel Allegiance, marking the first time a fan-created

Star Wars character has ever crossed into the official canon.[111] Lucasfilm,

for the most part, has allowed but not endorsed the creation of these derivative

fan-fiction works, so long as no such work attempts to make a profit from or

tarnish the Star Wars franchise in any way.[112]








The original ride at Disneyland in 1996.

In 1986, George Lucas established a partnership with the Walt Disney Company and

its Walt Disney Imagineering division to create Star Tours, an attraction that

opened at Disneyland in 1987. The attraction also had subsequent incarnations at

other Disney Parks worldwide, with the exception of Hong Kong Disneyland.


The attractions at Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Tokyo Disneyland

closed on July 27, 2010, September 7, 2010 and April 2, 2012, respectively, in

order to allow the rides to be converted into Star Tours: The Adventures

Continue. The successor attraction opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios on May

20, 2011 and June 3, at Disneyland. The Japan version is expected to open in



The Jedi Training Academy is a live show where children are selected to learn

the teachings of the Jedi Knights and the Force in order to become Padawan

learners. The show is present at the Rebels stage at Disney's Hollywood Studios

and at the Tomorrowland Terrace at Disneyland.


The Walt Disney World Resort's Disney's Hollywood Studios park hosts an annual

festival, Star Wars Weekends during specific dates from May to June. The event

began in 1997.




Main article: Cultural impact of Star Wars










Just like the franchise, it's fictional weapons contained in it such as the

lightsaber and the blaster have been used in popular culture and have been an

iconic part of the franchise.


The Star Wars saga has had a significant impact on modern American pop culture.

Both the films and characters have been parodied in numerous films and


 Notable film parodies of Star Wars include Hardware Wars, a 13-minute 1977

  spoof which Lucas has called his favorite Star Wars parody, and Spaceballs, a

  feature film by Mel Brooks which featured effects done by Lucas' Industrial

  Light & Magic.[113][114]

   Lucasfilm itself made two mockumentaries: Return of the Ewok (1982), about

  Warwick Davis, who portrayed Wicket W. Warrick in Return of the Jedi; and

  R2-D2: Beneath the Dome (2002), which depicts R2-D2's "life story".[115][116]

   There have also been many songs based on, and in, the Star Wars universe.

  "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded two parodies: "Yoda", a parody of "Lola" by The

  Kinks; and "The Saga Begins", a parody of Don McLean's song "American Pie"

  that retells of The Phantom Menace from Obi-Wan Kenobi's perspective.[117]

   In television, the creators of the Robot Chicken series have produced three

  television specials satirizing the Star Wars films ("Robot Chicken: Star

  Wars", "Episode II", and "III"), and are developing an animated comedy series

  based in the Star Wars universe.[118] The creators of the Family Guy series

  have also produced three Star Wars specials titled "Blue Harvest", "Something,

  Something, Something, Dark Side", and "It's a Trap!".[119]


When Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a system of

lasers and missiles meant to intercept incoming ICBMs, the plan was quickly

labeled "Star Wars," implying that it was science fiction and linking it to

Ronald Reagan's acting career. According to Frances FitzGerald, Reagan was

annoyed by this, but Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle told

colleagues that he "thought the name was not so bad."; "'Why not?' he said.

'It's a good movie. Besides, the good guys won.'"[120] This gained further

resonance when Reagan described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire".