- "The greatest adventure series of all time."
- ―Ebert & Roeper
Star Wars is a science fiction franchise comprised of movies, books, comics, video games, toys, and animated shows. It is a fictional universe created by George Lucas. The Star Wars story employs archetypal motifs common to science fiction, political climax and classical mythology, as well as musical motifs of those aspects.
As one of the foremost examples of the space opera sub-genre of science fiction, Star Wars has become part of mainstream popular culture, as well as being one of the highest-grossing series of all time.
- "George Lucas has achieved what few artists do; he has created and populated a world of his own. His 'Star Wars' movies are among the most influential, both technically and commercially, ever made."
- ―Ebert & Roeper
The Star Wars story has been presented in a series of American films, which have spawned a large quantity of books and other media, which have formed the Expanded Universe. The Star Wars mythos is also the basis of many toys and games of varying types. The films and novels employ common science fiction motifs.
Whereas Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, a science fantasy franchise that has enjoyed long-lasting popularity in American popular culture, is portrayed by its makers to take on a rational, scientific and progressive approach to storytelling, Star Wars has a strong mythic quality alongside its political and scientific elements.
Unlike the heroes of earlier space set sci-fi film and TV series such as Star Trek, the heroes of Star Wars are not militaristic types but romantic individualists. College literature professors have remarked that the Star Wars saga, with its struggle between good and evil, democracy and empire, can be considered a national epic for the United States. The film has many visual and narrative similarities to John Ford's "The Searchers" that also provides a clue to the relationship between Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker.
The strong appeal of the Star Wars story probably accounts for its enduring popularity; it has also been postulated that this popularity is based on nostalgia. Many Star Wars fans first saw the films as children, and the revolutionary (for the time) special effects and simple, Manichean story made a profound impact.
The Star Wars films show considerable similarity to Japanese Jidaigeki films, as well as Roman mythology. Lucas has stated that his intention was to create in Star Wars a modern mythology, based on the studies of his friend and mentor Joseph Campbell. He has also called the first movie's similarity to the film The Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa) a "homage".
The Star Wars films portray a world full of grime and technology that looks like it has been used for years, unlike the sleek, futuristic world typical of earlier science fiction films. In interviews, Lucas tells of rubbing the new props with dirt to make them look weatherworn. Lucas may have been inspired by the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western films of the 1960s, which performed a similar function on the Western many years earlier. It is tempting to speculate that this break from traditional science fiction film influenced the cyberpunk genre that emerged around 1984.
Officially-licensed Star Wars novels have been published since the original movie was released in 1977. Although these novels are licensed by Lucas (meaning he shares in the royalties), he retains ultimate creative control over the Star Wars universe, forcing Lucas Licensing to devote considerable ongoing effort to ensuring continuity between different authors' works and Lucas' films. Occasionally, elements from these novels are adopted into the highest tier of Star Wars canon, the movies. Books, games, and stories that are not directly derived from the six movies of Star Wars are known as the Extended or Expanded Universe (EU for short). Lucas has said that he does not deeply involve himself in the EU, choosing instead to concentrate mainly on his movies instead of "…the licensing world of the books, games and comic books."
- "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.…"
- ―the saying at the beginning of every official Star Wars movie, show, game, etc.
The line "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.…," which appears at the beginning of every Star Wars film, is the only way the Star Wars galaxy has been defined in relation to the real world. It is alluding to the classic fairy tale line "Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…" and variations thereof. It may reflect that the films are to be interpreted as the myths of the future, as opposed to literally meaning that the events take place in the past. Lucas himself intentionally left the details open to interpretation.
The saga shows an "ancient" galactic civilization thousands of years old. The setting is totally unrelated to Earth, the Milky Way Galaxy or reality, which gives it more liberty, in a sense. The Star Wars galaxy prominently features humans that (coincidentally?) look like those from Earth. Their civilization was able to develop space travel, terraform, build ecumenopoleis, and build space colonies 200,000 years "ago", according to the Expanded Universe.
The titular Star Wars originally referred to the Galactic Civil War which takes place in the original trilogy. However, when considering the prequels and the Expanded Universe, these events are only a portion of the millennia-spanning war between the Sith and the Jedi/Galactic Republic.
Star Wars also merges science with supernatural elements that strongly relate to epic stories and fairy tales (eg. magic, knights, witches, princes, and "whimsical" alien races such as Ewoks, Wisties, etc).
While the scope of Star Wars history spans many thousands of years among all of the Star Wars history recorded and over 5,100 years in all the fiction produced to date (from Tales of the Jedi to Star Wars: Legacy), the films span only two generations.
Later novels from a series dubbed The New Jedi Order opened up the Star Wars setting with alien beings known as the Yuuzhan Vong that came from a different galaxy, much to the surprise of some fans. All species and events prior to this series considered only one single galaxy.
- "I've never seen the movies as any kind of phenomenon because I have to live with them and work with them and they're just another movie that I make. It's no harder or easier than anything else I do. It's just that they became really popular for whatever reason while something else didn't. But I like all the movies I make, and I put just as much work into all of them. And it's hard to tell why some of them really become popular and some of them don't. I mean I know the basic rules, yet when something like Star Wars becomes such an incredible phenomenon there's no way to explain it."
- ―George Lucas
The original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) takes place during the Galactic Civil War, in which the ragtag Rebel Alliance battles the menacing Galactic Empire in an epic struggle between good and evil. Young farmboy Luke Skywalker, training to become the last (and the first of a new generation) of the mystical warriors known as the Jedi, may be the only person who can stand against the Dark Lords of the Sith, Darth Vader and his master Emperor Palpatine.
The prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III) portrays the events leading to the Galactic Civil War, with the fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Empire, from the Battle of Naboo between Naboo and the Trade Federation through the Clone Wars against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. These wars are secretly orchestrated by the Sith under the mysterious Darth Sidious, who secretly controls both sides. The prequel trilogy specifically tells the tale of Anakin Skywalker, Luke and Leia's father, a former Tatooine slave who is trained as a Jedi after the Battle of Naboo but gradually turns to evil and becomes Darth Vader.
The films draw extensively on archetypal figures and themes of classical literature. They are based on the concept of "the Force," an energy that can be controlled by someone born with innate ability and trained to perfect his, her, or its skill. The Force can be used to move objects, read or control minds, or even influence the outcome of large battles. A person trained in the use of the "light side" of the Force for good is a Jedi; someone trained in using the "dark side" for evil is either a Sith or a Dark Jedi.
The original idea for Star Wars was conceived in the early 1970s and went through many revisions, providing plenty of material for the films. The original Star Wars movie (Episode IV) was first released in 1977, but the novelization was released six months earlier, in 1976. The sixth Star Wars film (Episode III) was released in 2005. There were originally to be nine films in three trilogies (some accounts claim twelve films in four trilogies); however, Lucas has stated that he does not intend to make any more Star Wars films after Episode III.
All of the original films were shot at, among other locations, Elstree Studios. Episode I was filmed at Leavesden Studios and the subsequent prequels were filmed in Sydney, Australia. Tunisia has served as the location for filming scenes set on the desert planet Tatooine.
Together, the six movies have made a grand total of $4,327,000,000 in the box office.
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (May 19, 1999)
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (May 16, 2002)
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (May 19, 2005)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (May 25, 1977)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (May 21, 1980)
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (May 25, 1983)
George Lucas has tinkered repeatedly with the original trilogy. For the Special Editions of Episodes IV through VI, the films were extensively cleaned up and restored, and Lucas took this opportunity to make a number of changes, adding previously cut scenes and new effects. The Special Editions were released in theaters in early 1997, and on VHS later that year. Further changes were made for the films' initial DVD release in September 2004. In 2006, Lucas finally released the original trilogy in unaltered form on DVD.
At a ShoWest convention in 2005, George Lucas demonstrated new technology and stated that he was planning to release all six films in a new 3D film format, beginning with A New Hope in 2007. This did not materialize, but on September 28, 2010, the official site announced the 3D release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace coming to theaters in 2012.
Lucas also hinted in the past that he would release his definitive, often called "archival" editions of all six Star Wars films in one set on a next-generation home-video format in 2007.[source?] This release was to coincide with, and celebrate, the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars saga. These "archival" editions were never released, or announced.
- Lightsaber combat occurs in each of the films, usually around a control room.
- Loss of limbs (in every movie except The Phantom Menace; instead, Darth Maul's entire body was cut in half). While this may seem cruel for such fantasy and youth-oriented movies, in the world of Star Wars it seems not that tragic: lost limbs are almost always replaced with next-to-perfect cybernetic parts. Also, the usage of lightsabers prevents bleeding, immediately cauterizing wounds.
- The phrase "I have a bad feeling about this" or some minor variant thereof.
- The number 1138 appears in each Star Wars movie (in Return of the Jedi it exists on a prop but is not visible onscreen) as an Easter egg for Lucas' first movie, THX 1138.
- Each movie involves the line: "Noooooo!"
- In the second installments of both the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy (Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back respectively), there is a chase through an asteroid field.
- Also, the second installments of both trilogies prominently feature bounty hunters.
- At the end of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn is cremated. At the end of Return of the Jedi, the body of Anakin Skywalker is cremated.
- In all of the films except Revenge of the Sith, the heroes are faced with a monster-like creature:
- The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Jar Jar Binks vs. sando aqua monster, colo claw fish, and an opee sea killer
- Attack of the Clones: Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé vs. a reek, an acklay and a nexu
- Revenge of the Sith originally had a nos monster that Obi-Wan Kenobi faced on Utapau, but the scene was cut from the final version of the film.
- A New Hope: Luke Skywalker vs. dianoga
- The Empire Strikes Back: Luke vs. wampa, the Millennium Falcon's crew vs. exogorth
- Return of the Jedi: Luke vs. rancor; Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian vs. sarlacc
- Every Star Wars movie includes a rescue mission.
- The Phantom Menace: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon rescue Queen Amidala from the Trade Federation droids.
- Attack of the Clones: Anakin and Padmé attempt to rescue Obi-Wan from the Geonosians; a phalanx of Jedi end up rescuing all three.
- Revenge of the Sith: Anakin and Obi-Wan rescue Palpatine from General Grievous and Count Dooku.
- A New Hope: Luke, Chewbacca, and Han rescue Princess Leia from Darth Vader.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Luke tries to rescue Han, Leia, and Chewbacca from Darth Vader, but fails.
- Return of the Jedi: Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt.
There are certain repeated elements between the original and prequel trilogies.
- The opening crawls of all even-numbered movies have some words in all caps to show emphasis; those of the odd-numbered films do not.
- Each movie of the prequel trilogy opens with a shot featuring a Republic starship (Republic Cruiser, Naboo Cruiser and a Republic attack cruiser respectively) while all three original trilogy movies open with a shot of an Imperial Star Destroyer. (This latter theme was copied by Timothy Zahn to open the three books of his Thrawn Trilogy.)
- In Episodes I and IV, Obi-Wan meets the youngest male Skywalker (Anakin and Luke, respectively).
- Both male Skywalkers (Anakin in Episode I and Luke in Episode IV) are raised on Tatooine and leave to become Jedi.
- In Episodes I and IV, the main protagonist helps win a battle at the end of the film (Anakin destroys the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship and Luke destroys the Death Star).
- The titles of each episode are similar when comparing the trilogies. Each trilogy's first entry, The Phantom Menace and A New Hope, has a title alluding to a mysterious enemy of the major galactic order. The second entries' titles, Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back, refer to the galactic government mounting a military attack against a rebellion, while the third acts, Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, refer to the ultimate victory of a decimated, Force-based religious order.
- In the first part of each trilogy (Episodes I and IV), the mentor of the main protagonist is killed by a Sith Lord (Qui-Gon by Darth Maul in Episode I, Obi-Wan by Darth Vader in Episode IV).
- In Episodes I and IV, there is a starfighter battle to destroy a key installation (Death Star, Droid Control Ship). In Episodes II and V there are land battles. In Episodes III and VI, there are major space battles involving large fleets.
- In the second part of each trilogy (Episodes II and V), the main protagonist suffers the loss of his right hand (Anakin in Episode II, Luke in Episode V).
- At the end of the middle episodes in the trilogy (Episodes II and V), the main protagonist (Anakin in II, Luke in V) puts his arm around the main female character (Padmé in II, Leia in V) beside the two droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.
- In the second part of each trilogy (Episodes II and V) the main characters have to escape from an asteroid field (Obi-Wan Kenobi in II and Han Solo and Princess Leia in V).
- In the third part of each trilogy (Episodes III and VI), Palpatine encourages Anakin and Luke, respectively, to finish off their defeated opponents (which happen to be Palpatine's apprentices); Anakin gives in to Palpatine's wishes, while Luke doesn't.
- In the third part of each trilogy, Anakin observes a life-or-death struggle between Palpatine (who is using Force lightning) and another opponent (Mace Windu in III, and Luke in VI). In both cases, Anakin/Darth Vader comes to the aid of the weaker combatant (Palpatine himself in III, Luke in VI), who is begging for aid.
- The Fetts play crucial roles in the films: Jango Fett is the template for the Clone Army, and Boba Fett captures Han Solo.
- Cantinas filled with a variety of species are visited in Episodes II and IV. In both cantinas, Obi-Wan cuts someone's arm off.
- In Episodes II, IV, V, and VI, someone bangs his head: Jango Fett in II, a stormtrooper in IV, Luke in V, and Lando and Chewbacca in VI. (C-3PO also gets his head banged when he is strapped to Chewbacca's back in V.)
- In the second installment of each trilogy (II and V), the main love relation is established (Anakin and Padmé in Episode II, Han and Leia in Episode V).
- Each film was released in May (II was released on the 16th, I and III were released on the 19th, V was released on the 21st, and IV and VI were released on the 25th).
- In the first film of each trilogy, two main characters escape from space to a planet nearby: two Jedi in Episode I, and two droids in Episode IV.
- The third movie of each trilogy begins with a rescue mission of a kidnapped person: Chancellor Palpatine in Episode III, and Han Solo in Episode VI.
- Episodes I, V, and VI all feature (seemingly) bottomless pits and characters falling into them after a climactic duel.
- Episodes I and VI end with a funeral involving cremation of a Jedi (Qui-Gon in Episode I and Anakin in Episode VI) followed by a celebration for a victory in a crucial battle (the Battle of Naboo in Episode I and the Battle of Endor in Episode VI).
- The climaxes of Episodes I and VI feature three major, simultaneous battles: a space battle, a land battle, and a lightsaber duel.
The Expanded Universe (or EU) is the continuation of the movies. It plays a major role in the storyline. One can read books from the prequel-era, between the movies, or post-Episode VI. There are also several books dealing with the lives of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian just before the movies. There are even books about the briefly shown Wedge Antilles. Some notable characters include the twins Jaina and Jacen Solo, the strong but angry Mara Jade, the pilot-turned-Jedi Corran Horn, and the tactical genius Grand Admiral Thrawn.
The books set during or after the Star Wars Original Trilogy follow Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and other minor characters, as well as the growth of the New Republic. The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers is the first book chronologically set after Return of the Jedi, but the first Expanded Universe story written was Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye.
In the Expanded Universe, the Galactic Empire suppresses alien species because most Imperials are xenophobic, but this idea appears in the films only subtly (or, arguably, not at all). The idea of the Empire enslaving aliens is an analogy to racism. In the Young Jedi Knights series, there is even an example of reverse discrimination, when a group of aliens form the "Diversity Alliance" seeks revenge on all Humans, by means of a viral plague, for the crimes of the Empire. Young Jedi Knights also deals with drug abuse, the homeless, and effects of disability; it is more prone to discussing modern issues than any other Star Wars series.
The post-Episode VI EU has often been criticized as being too dark and depressing, such as the Yuuzhan Vong invasion that kills several major characters, and trillions of deaths in the war. Critics often point to the fact that George Lucas wanted a saga with an ultimately happy ending, yet the current direction of the EU indicates a revival of the Sith that even Luke Skywalker cannot stop.
The Saga chronologically begins with the so-called Big Bang, the creation of the universe. Billions of years the galaxy was slowly formed, and there are novels as the Darth Bane trilogy, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan, and Knight Errant, in which both the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order exist. Thousands years later, there are series about the training of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Naboo Crisis. This is where the story truly begins, although numerous games and comics have been set before.
The story from then revolves around the Skywalker family and their friends and adversaries. The Skywalkers are involved in every important event from now. They go through numerous wars, the last known being Cade Skywalker and the Second Imperial Civil War.
- Star Wars the radio adaptation, NPR 1981, was followed by adaptations of the next two films of the series. These adaptations were written by science fiction author Brian Daley, who also wrote three novels detailing the adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca prior to their appearance in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
There are four official feature-length works besides the primary films of the two trilogies.
- The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
The first three of these are live-action, and were originally made for TV, though the 1984 Ewok film was shown in theaters in some locations outside the U.S. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated theatrical feature kicking off the 2008 TV series.
The Star Wars Holiday Special became famous for featuring Boba Fett's first appearance. An originally minor detail, the Wookiee food wookiee-ookiees became a cult symbol in the Star Wars fan universe, spawning plays on its name such as wookiee-cookiees (a Star Wars–themed dessert) and the term "Wookiee Hooky" (the act of skipping school or work to see a Star Wars film, particularly if it has just been released).
Additionally, other filmmakers with no connection to Lucasfilm have made films that salute, document, parody, or unofficially extend Star Wars.
The documentary The People vs. George Lucas is a platform for fans to talk about their take on many Star Wars matters.
The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards is a Lucasfilm-sponsored contest of short films made by Star Wars fans about, referencing, and parodying the Star Wars phenomenon.
Animated TV shows
- Star Wars: Droids
- Star Wars: Ewoks
- Star Wars: Clone Wars
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Untitled Star Wars animated television series (forthcoming)
Four cartoon series have been based on Star Wars. The first two began in 1985, Clone Wars in 2003 and The Clone Wars in 2008. Ewoks featured the adventures of the Ewoks prior to Return of the Jedi. Droids featured the adventures of C-3PO and R2-D2 between Episode III and Episode IV. Clone Wars and The Clone Wars features the adventures of the Jedi as they fight against the Confederacy of Independent Systems in the Clone Wars, set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Live-action TV shows
A live-Action TV show was announced by LucasFilm in 2008, but little more has been heard since then.
- In 1984-1985, George Lucas executive produced two live television episodes of a short-series called "Ewok Adventures." These take place before the Battle of Endor and follow the brief adventures of the Towani family after they are marooned on Endor. The two episodes were named "The Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage" and "Ewoks: The Battle for Endor", and Warwick Davis returned to once again play the plucky Ewok Wicket W. Warrick. One odd thing in this series was that Wicket was taught to speak English, an ability he did not reveal at all during the entire Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.
See also: List of books
Star Wars–based fiction predates the release of the first movie, with the novelization of A New Hope (by Alan Dean Foster but credited to George Lucas) released some months before the film itself. Foster also wrote the first original Star Wars novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the 1978 publication of which inaugurated a very successful literary spin-off franchise.
The six Star Wars movies have provided a basis for over a hundred novels. The novels have been officially authorized by Lucasfilm, and were previously published by Bantam Books (with a few early titles published by Ballantine), though Del Rey now holds the contract again. The stories told in these books reach back thousands of years before The Phantom Menace to several generations after Return of the Jedi. Books authorized by Lucas are written by fans of the films, and are part of a collection known as Expanded Universe. The first books considered to be part of the Expanded Universe began to appear in the late 1970s.
The Expanded Universe experienced a revolution in the New Jedi Order (NJO) series, which recently concluded with The Unifying Force. The NJO tells the story of a horrific invasion by the extragalactic species known as the Yuuzhan Vong, and includes the passing of several well known and loved characters.
Some fans of the original Star Wars movies reject the literary works of the Expanded Universe, and insist that only the films and the statements made by George Lucas interpreting his own works can be accepted as canonical. However, numerous statements made by employees at Lucasfilm Ltd. and comments made by Lucas himself indicate that a majority of the works of the Expanded Universe are indeed part of the official universe.
Most of the novels that have been written take place after the events of the films, with a few that take place between the movies, and a growing number set before the films. For some fans, these can be more exciting stories, as they provide narratives for many characters who only have a minor roles, or are only briefly seen, in the movies. One of particular note is Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire, which is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In addition to focusing on relatively minor characters, it bridges some events between the two films. It also includes more scenes of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine scheming together, offering a greater understanding of their relationship (the nature of which was further explored in Episodes I through III).
Perhaps the most widely acclaimed contribution is the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn, which many fans had hoped would be the basis for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. Some consider these novels to have captured the essence of the original movie trilogy.
Aside from books providing narratives, there are also reference books which detail things about the Star Wars universe in a "non-fiction" style, revealing details that cannot fit into a story. Examples include The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, Inside the Worlds of, and the Visual Dictionaries.
Comic books and strips
See also: List of comics
Marvel Comics published adaptations of the original trilogy as well as a Star Wars comic book series which lasted from 1977 to 1986, a total of 107 issues. A wide variety of creators worked on this series, including Archie Goodwin, Howard Chaykin, Al Williamson, Carmine Infantino, Walter Simonson, Michael Golden, Chris Claremont, Whilce Portacio, Mary Jo Duffy, and Ron Frenz. In the 1980s, as part of their Star Comics line oriented towards young children, Marvel also published the short-lived series Ewoks and Droids, based on the Saturday morning cartoons.
Beginning in the 1990s, Dark Horse Comics has published a large number of original adventures set in the Star Wars universe. As of 2006, these mainly include Star Wars: Republic, Star Wars: Empire, Star Wars Tales, Star Wars: Jedi, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Legacy. Dark Horse has also published collections of the Marvel series in seven volumes and the comic strip as Classic Star Wars.
Since 1983, over 120 video games have been published bearing the name of Star Wars, beginning with 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' published for the Atari 2600 by Parker Brothers.
The first games based on the franchise were released on the Atari 2600, the very first, The Empire Strikes Back (1982), the player drove a snowspeeder during the Battle of Hoth, destroying AT-AT walkers. While simplistic, the game captured the essence of the movie as well as technology allowed. Several other games appeared, like Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle (1982), where the player controlled the Millennium Falcon in a mission to destroy the second Death Star, and Jedi Arena (1983), the first game to attempt to simulate a lightsaber battle (in this case, clearly inspired by the A New Hope scene, where Luke Skywalker trains with a seeker). Also in 1983, Star Wars was released based on A New Hope. In this game the player takes on the role of Luke Skywalker towards the end of the film in which Luke battles through many TIE fighters in an attempt to destroy the first Death Star.
Due to the video game crash of 1983, which killed the home console market, no further games based on the franchise were released until 1991, when the platformer Star Wars was released for both the NES and Game Boy, and one year later, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back reused the engine with the plotline of the fifth episode of the saga. It would be still in 1992 that Super Star Wars was released for the SNES (the Super prefix was often used in remakes of 8-bit games), followed by the remaining games in the trilogy: Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (1993) and Super Star Wars: Return of Jedi (1994).
Other early titles include the game Star Wars for the Nintendo Entertainment System (published by JVC) and three other titles for the Atari 2600.
Video game pioneer Atari produced arcade games based on the original trilogy, beginning with Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, which were both flight simulator-style games that utilized vector graphics. The third, Return of the Jedi, used more traditional raster graphics and a '3/4' perspective.
Star Wars: X-wing was the first PC game of the 'new generation' of officially released by LucasArts games in 1993. It returns to the space fighter combat gameplay not seen since the Atari arcade games. Players generally played as a pilot for the Rebel Alliance, completing a variety of goals, culminating in the destruction of the Death Star. This game had sequels, in the form of Star Wars: TIE Fighter, and Star Wars: X-wing Alliance.
The longest running series of computer games is the groundbreaking Dark Forces series. This first person shooter series began in 1995 with Star Wars: Dark Forces. The next in the series was Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, which allowed the player to play as a Jedi. The third game in the Dark Forces series, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, focused more on a third person Jedi adventure than the previous games. And the fourth and latest release was Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, which originated as an expansion pack for Jedi Outcast, but evolved into a game of its own.
Another long running video game series began with Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the Nintendo 64 and continued in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike for the Nintendo GameCube. The first title was also available for PCs, and all were developed by Factor 5 and published by LucasArts. Rogue Squadron III featured emulated versions of the original Atari Star Wars arcade games.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, published in 2003, won "Game of the Year" recognition from several prominent gaming magazines, websites, etc. A sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, was released for the Xbox in December of 2004 and the PC in February of 2005. Bioware released a MMORPG sequel to KOTOR I & II called "Star Wars: The Old Republic" on December 20, 2011, set approximately 300 years after the events of KOTOR II.
Star Wars Galaxies, an MMORPG developed by Sony, was released on June 26, 2003 in the United States, November 7 in Europe, December 23, 2004 in Japan, and in 2006 in Australia. The game was based after the events of the Battle of Yavin, and allowed players to create characters of a variety of species and specializations (such as Bounty Hunter and Smuggler) and choose to ally themselves with the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire.
Star Wars: Battlefront was released in 2004 and is a first/third person shooter game capable of online play where you can play in both trilogies, as all factions, in many different battlefields. Its sequels, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron were released in 2005, 2007, and 2009 respectively.
LEGO Star Wars, a Lego spinoff series in which the characters of Star Wars and most other vehicles and objects are made of LEGO bricks. The second game of the series is LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. The third game of this series, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, combines the first two games. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is a LEGO version of the Clone Wars animated series, taking place during seasons 1 and 2
Two role playing games set in the Star Wars universe have been published: a d6-based game from West End Games and a Wizards of the Coast game using the d20 system on which their popular Dungeons & Dragons is based.
The plot revolves around a small team of certain individuals. The Star Wars movies are unique in providing cast names even to minor characters, whose name is not even mentioned in the dialogue lines, even non-speaking ones that appear for few moments. The characters' backstory or importance is revealed in the Expanded Universe sources. Such examples include Boba Fett and Mon Mothma.
See Category:Individuals for more extensive listings.
Admiral Ackbar | Admiral Piett | Anakin Skywalker | Bail Organa | Beru Lars | Boba Fett | C-3PO | Chewbacca | Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus | Darth Maul | Darth Sidious/Palpatine | Darth Vader | General Grievous | Han Solo | Jabba the Hutt | Jango Fett | Jar Jar Binks | Lando Calrissian | Luke Skywalker | Mace Windu | Nute Gunray | Obi-Wan Kenobi | Owen Lars | Padmé Amidala | Princess Leia | Qui-Gon Jinn | R2-D2 | Shmi Skywalker | Tarkin | Watto | Yoda
Cast and crew
The cast of the movies feature notable actors. Many of them are only guest-starring in brief, even non-speaking roles, like Sofia Coppola and Keisha Castle-Hughes. Notable supporting roles played by acclaimed actors include Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Oliver Ford Davies. In the prequel trilogy, professional models did the non-speaking minor character roles.
Star Wars stresses the self-destructive nature of anger and hate, summed up in Yoda's words ( ) as well as placing one's feelings for certain people aside. For example, Luke Skywalker is told to remain on Dagobah to complete his training rather than rescue his friends from Cloud City, because doing so will "destroy all for which they have fought and suffered."
Star Wars seems to advocate democracy over dictatorship, although it offers no alternative for the corrupt Republic's government. Some people believe that Star Wars instead advocates monarchy over democracy, although this is not supported by much evidence in the films, as the only monarchs portrayed are democratically elected ones.
There appear to be anti-technological messages in the films - the primitive Ewoks and Gungans defeating technological adversaries, and the general idea of technology opposed to humanity - fitting with Lucas' vision. This site explains this theme and others in its analysis of the writing of Star Wars.
The galactic setting of Star Wars is never given a name and is called simply "the galaxy." Since the characters never venture beyond the galaxy and the power of both the Republic and the Empire ends at its borders, the galaxy can be said to serve as a microcosm of both Earth as a whole and an individual nation.
The main story arc in the films traces the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, mirrored by political events occurring on a galactic scale. As Anakin is seduced by the dark side, the Republic slides into despotism and war; when Anakin reclaims the Jedi values of peace and justice, the evil Empire that supplanted the Republic is overthrown by the Rebel Alliance.
Even though all six Star Wars movies are science fiction, there is still a lot of filming done outside a studio on filming locations around the world: <googlemap lat="55.37911" lon="-21.445312" zoom="2" width="750" height="375" controls="large"> 17.224758, -89.614792
32.782945, 10.503101 Ksar Oueld Soltane (not exact location) 60.600116, 7.506409
36.393651, -116.831532 Possible Desolation Canyon 36.400145, -116.787372 20 Mule Team Canyon 36.625723, -117.137604 Stovepipe Wells 36.389178, -116.835029 Most probable Deselation Canyon location 36.36366, -116.803679 Artoo's Palette 36.362053, -116.805975 Sandcrawler Station 32.493547, -114.474792
51.654134, -0.398941 Whippendell Woods (aproximate location) 36.29562, -116.81591 Landspeeder locations 46.625038, 8.033581 Grindelwald 33.347402, 10.491182 Ksar Medenine - Gorfas 40.306637, -123.901309 Redwood Avenue of the Giants 40.484788, -123.906512 Redwoods- Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park 41.912593, -124.128921 Redwood Morrison Creek Rd. Smith River 6#CCC9DB00 41.07339, 14.328307 Caserta Palace 41.07339, 14.328747 41.072654, 14.328715 41.072735, 14.326183 41.072832, 14.326183 41.072824, 14.327148 41.072711, 14.327148 41.072695, 14.327438 41.073415, 14.327513 41.073382, 14.327921 41.073504, 14.327888 41.073528, 14.327352 41.072501, 14.327309 41.072258, 14.331332 41.070519, 14.331418 41.070543, 14.329766 41.069621, 14.329262 41.069209, 14.328296 41.069128, 14.327073 41.068877, 14.327019 6#CCC9DB00 33.724322, 10.749865
33.725018, 10.749521 33.721234, 10.744693 33.729658, 10.738814 33.739383, 10.736861 33.748626, 10.732291 33.76379, 10.730939 33.774849, 10.737119 33.789563, 10.750208 33.807519, 10.751088 33.825221, 10.750723 33.840621, 10.751495 33.854878, 10.752954 33.873907, 10.754414 6#CCC9DB00 33.542611, 9.966794
33.54279, 9.966933 33.543045, 9.967373 33.543849, 9.967175 33.544261, 9.966981 33.544681, 9.967201 33.545119, 9.967427 33.544676, 9.967888 33.545191, 9.968022 33.545137, 9.968285 6#CCC9DB00 34.032888, 8.282833 Sidi Bouhlel 34.020368, 8.288069 34.008629, 8.269958 6#CCC9DB00 33.991196, 7.840977 Oung Jmel 33.966996, 7.84647 33.930257, 7.866898 33.882815, 7.878656 6#CCC9DB00 33.839766, 7.776089 Chott el Jerid 33.846325, 7.781754 33.872162, 7.759309 6#CCC9DB00 33.872696, 7.887068 33.876188, 7.88518 33.880036, 7.883205 33.882316, 7.881145 33.882672, 7.878399 33.881746, 7.877026 33.880107, 7.876682 33.879252, 7.873507 33.877613, 7.870674 33.875475, 7.869043 33.868776, 7.869644 6#CCC9DB00 34.015246, 7.898312 Oung Jamel 33.991053, 7.841492 </googlemap>
Notes and references
- Timeline of galactic history
- The galaxy
- Star Wars Technical Commentaries
- The Force
- Wilhelm scream
- Star Wars on Wikipedia
- TheForce.Net, one of the largest and oldest Star Wars fan sites
- HoloNet News A "news" website based on the Star Wars prequels. It brought readers "current" events from the Expanded Universe of Star Wars. Inactive as of the release of Attack of the Clones.
- 4loms A fan describing his trip to many of the filming locations.
- starwarslocations A site devoted to Star Wars filming locations.