Anyone who reads this post has most likely uttered the words: “May the Force be with you” at some point in their lives. That is a small example of how widely Star Wars has influenced popular culture.
In a galaxy far, far away the Star Wars epic is set, this significantly shifted focus from the more dramatic and artistic films of the day. Some critics, a strong minority we’re sure, blame Star Wars for dumbing down moviegoers by showing them what lay beyond the ‘cultured’ European films. Star Wars didn’t just ignite the passion of Sci-Fi lovers but an entire generation, which persists to this day.
George Lucas created a fictional world filled with an array of characters that are human, alien and lovable little droids or small green wisemen. He conceptualised the Force, a magical energy that flows through all things in the universe but can only be accessed by a select few, these special few could also use lightsabers. Political and religious themes abound through the entire film series.
After the release of the 1977 film, A New Hope, Star Wars merchandise was everywhere. Lucas saw the value in the merchandise early and agreed to a $500,000 cut as director for full merchandise ownership. This didn’t seem like a big deal to the media house because film merchandise had never reached the heights that Star Wars would. The merchandise revenue would run into the 10s of billion dollars.
20th Century Fox has Star Wars to thank for taking it from being on the edge of bankruptcy to being one of the most successful media conglomerates around. The franchise has spread to novels, video games, board games, comic books and even entire theme parks.
In 2018 Star Wars was valued at a cool $65 billion landing them at 5th on the highest-grossing media franchise list, the others might surprise you… Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse all pipping Star Wars to the top.
In 1989, The Empire Strikes Back, was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry.