Star Wars Began 34 Years Ago This Month
The world of Science-Fiction movies is celebrating an important anniversary this month. It is difficult to imagine, for those of us that were there when it started, but the Star Wars saga began 34 years ago. The groundbreaking first movie of the series, Star Wars (or The New Hope) was released on May 25, 1977.
George Lucas is the world famous director of the Star Wars saga. After making nine short films in the 1960s and directing 6 major films, Lucas started his own film company, Lucasfilm, Ltd. He directed the low budget hit movie American Graffiti, that was released in 1973 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Based on the movie’s success, 20th Century Fox put up the money ($9.5 million) Lucas needed to write and direct Star Wars.
When it was released, Star Wars was the highest-grossing film ever. Lucas used the profits from just the licensing rights of Star Wars memorabilia to film the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. Through the course of 28 years, Lucas went on to create a total of 6 full-length Star Wars feature films:
- 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 Star Wars series has been an inspiration for toymakers, video games, sci-fi conventions and novels, as well as numerous online fan sites and blogs. There is even, I am told, a tradition among Star Wars fans to celebrate May 4th each year by saluting each other with the greeting of, “May the Fourth be with you.” A reference to “the Force” that Luke Skywalker is to tap into when trying to defeat his enemy.
(Bear with me; the franchise lost me after The Empire Strikes Back. I just couldn’t keep up after that, what with them making prequels and all.)
Still, there is a very loyal following by many diehard Star Wars fans that celebrate the movies and their terrific characters. The Star Wars movies have become a part of our culture. RetroPlanet has Star Wars gift ideas for the sci-fi fan in your life, so be sure to check out items like the Star Wars Yoda Mug and Star Wars Wall Clock. We also have a large assortment of framed film cells that are sure to excite many an avid fan.