The Star Wars franchise is one of the largest media ventures in the history of entertainment chronicling the adventures of humans in an alternate universe where magic, science, and adventure are a big part of everyone’s life. With over $9 billion at the box office for all films, Star Wars is the second highest grossing film franchise of all time, behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Franchises are not uncommon. By-Lines are recognized by fans regardless of race, age, or location, or are expressions of the franchise they share. The first film’s opening line is “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” and was featured in all eleven films in the franchise. It’s one of the most recognizable lines of this franchise. But this phrase isn’t the most popular phrase to emerge from the world of Star Wars. On May 4th, 2019, as the Star Wars franchise fandom celebrated their love for the films, the phrase “May the force be with you” is repeatedly uttered in different parts of the world, and fans take to social media to celebrate the franchise.
The largest parts of the world of Star Wars are the eleven films that chronicle the adventures of the characters. The franchise consists of all of the Star Wars films, video games, television series, novels, and comics, but the bulk of the events in the franchise take place in the films. To learn more about this franchise, read on.
Episodes and Timeline
The story of Star Wars has the genius at the helm of George Lucas, who had a desire to adapt a sci-fi series but couldn’t. This led to the creation of Star Wars, and on May 25, 1977, the first Star Wars film was released. When Lucas wrote the first screenplay in 1973, he intended the film to be a trilogy of trilogies, spanning nine films in all. After the nine films were made, the storyline underwent an expansion that led to more sequels.
The first film in the first trilogy was titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope . This first film is about a civil war between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to restore the Republic. The Alliance, also known as The Rebellion, advocates democratically-run government, while the Galactic Empire, which holds power, wants autocratic government. This civil war sets the political and general tone of the entire franchise.
It is in Episode VI that we are introduced to the concept of “Force”, the Jedi and the Sith. Mastering a range of subjects including magic, the Jedi are trained in combat. They can unleash magical abilities by using the positive force for power. In this first film, the rebellion led by Princess Leia destroys the Galactic Empire’s Death Star, a superweapon used to destroy planets. This film is the foundation upon which the Star Wars franchise was built. It has been revised several times, with slight changes to the dialogues, action sequences and special effects. The success paved the way for the next two films in the first trilogy.
The second film in the first trilogy is Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The time frame of the film is three years after the events of the first film and we see that the rebels have gathered on the planet Hoth where they make plans to defeat the Empire once and for all. On the other hand, the Empire led by Darth Vader is sending probes across the galaxy to find out where the rebellion originated. Reactions to the film were mixed, with some critics criticizing it, but over time the general feeling towards the film evolved and it is currently considered to be the greatest film in the franchise.
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is the third film and it is a continuation of the actions in Star Wars Episode V. In this film, the rebels can defeat the Empire with the help of Darth Vader, who takes a turn for the better and the takes on the role of a Jedi. Full of revelations for various characters, Return of the Jedi is remembered for the redemption of most of the characters and the victory of The Rebellion.
The next three films were made in 1999, 2002 and 20022005 respectively, but the story predates the events of the first trilogy. As a result, they were named Episode I, Episode II, and Episode III. The first in the trilogy, The Phantom Menace follows the creation of Anakin Skywalker. In this film we experience a more peaceful atmosphere as the autocratic Emperors have not yet taken over and the Sith Lords – who operate with the force on a darker plane – have not yet fully taken over the government.
Attack of the Clones is the second film in the prequel trilogy, and of all the films in the franchise, it received the fewest number of positive reviews, with most critics having mixed feelings about the events in the film. Revenge of the Sith shows the beginning of the political conflict that sparks the actions in the first trilogy. Anakin Skywalker betrays the Jedi and embraces the ways of the Sith so he can save his wife from dying in childbirth, though his plans fail. He can bring Chancellor Palpatine, who is a Sith Lord, to power.
In 2015, storylines resumed from where they left off in 1983’s Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens. The search for Luke Skywalker continues as the Democratic government of the New Republic struggles to reclaim power from the First Order. It was the first film to earn $1 billion and the first made after Disney bought the rights to the film. The Last Jedi had the same success as the first film in the trilogy, all of these two films are responsible for making Star Wars the billion dollar franchise it is today. The standalone films that bring the total number of Star Wars films to ten are: Rogue One and Solo.
Popular Star Wars characters and cast members
For more than four decades, this franchise existed, and there were different characters who took center stage in the action of the movie and also different actors. Here are the characters from the franchise and the people who played them.
Obi Wan Kenobi
Other well-known characters in the franchise include the Sith Lords fighting for an autocracy, including Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and Count Dooku. Dooku was played by Christopher Lee, Darth Maul by Ray Park and Peter Serafinowicz, Sidious by Ian McDiarmid, Clive Revill and Marjorie Eaton.
The droids such as R2-P2, BB-8 and C-3PO are also regular cast members and are voiced by a variety of actors.
News and updates
The next Star Wars film, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is expected to be released on December 20, 2019. But this is not the end of the saga as promised by George Lucas. Disney, which now owns the rights to the films, has decided to make more trilogies and they have announced the speculative dates of the films in the first trilogy. All three films will be released in December 2022, 2024 and 2026.
The Star Wars Battlefront II game is one of the many games based on the films and will soon be releasing an update with scenes from the film Attack of the Clones.