'Star Wars': The History And Evolution Of The Iconic Sci-fi Franchise

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Star Wars films are regarded as among the most iconic movies of all time. Read more to know about the brief history of the Star Wars franchise.

Written By Hrishikesh Gawade | Mumbai | Updated On:
Star Wars

Star Wars is an American epic space opera film franchise, which was later expanded to television serials, comic books, novels, and others. The film franchise revolutionised the sci-fi genre and went on to become one of the biggest film franchises in the world. Read more to know about the history of this iconic franchise:

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History of 'Star Wars'

The original 'Star Wars' trilogy

The first Star Wars movie was released back in 1977. It was called Episode IV – A New Hope, and it was directed and written by George Lucas. It is considered the best Star Wars movie to date by the fans of the franchise. Three years later after a small dispute over the rights of the film, the sequel came into being. It was titled Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and was directed by Irvin Kershner, while Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan were the screenwriters. The plotline was still given by Lucas, who also gave the idea and story for the third Star Wars movie titled Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. While the second movie of the franchise was released in May 1980, the third film was released in May 1983. The director for the movie changed yet again, with Richard Marquand’s addition to the SW family. Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas resumed their roles as screenwriters for the same. These three movies were together called as the Original Star Wars trilogy when the next set trilogy arrived.

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The prequel trilogy

The prequel trilogy came six years after the original trilogy. George Lucas yet again took over the direction, screenplay, and the story of the movie, which was titled Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The visual effects of this film were far superior to the original trilogy. The film is set 32 years before the ‘og’ trilogy and focused on the political part of the Star Wars universe. It has been said by the critics that the Star Wars movie franchise is a political allegory, and fans cannot help but agree. In May of 2002, fans got the much anticipated Episode II, which was titled Attack of the Clones, which is set 10 years after the Battle of Naboo. Lucas had hired Jonathan Hales to polish the draft of the film. The last film of the prequel trilogy was called Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and it was released in the year 2005, in the month of May. The lightsabre duel between Vader and Obi-Wan, on the volcanic planet Mustafar, is one of the most iconic moments of the trilogy. George Lucas was totally responsible for the making of the movie, and worked on all the three aspects of film making, that included writing, screenplay, and directing.

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The Sequel trilogy

The sequel trilogy of Star Wars franchise came in the year 2015. All the three films of the SQ trilogy were released in the month of December, which was quite unique, as all the previous 6 films were released in the month of May. This time Lucas was not at the forefront of filmmaking; instead, JJ Abrams took the lead and went on to direct two of the films from the sequel trilogy. According to Lucas’ original plan for the film franchise, it was supposed to be a six-part film, but the filmmakers agreed to make three more parts, due to the demand of the fans and the high box office ratings. The first film of the trilogy was titled Episode VII – The Force Awakens. It was set 30 years after the destruction of the Death Star.

Next came Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which focused on Rey Skywalker, and her journey to learn the ways of Jedi. She manages to gain enough strength to defeat her own grandfather, Sheev Palpatine, one of the primary antagonists of the series. The last film of the franchise was Episode IX – The Rise of the Skywalker, which concluded the Skywalker trilogy. It was released in December 2019,  and was a huge box office success, like all the previous Star Wars films.

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