Star Wars is a series of science-fiction movies created and directed by the ingenious George Lucas. The series began in the mid-seventies with the release of the first movie in 1977, Star Wars, which was later titled Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Thus, began a series of extraordinary movies that were blockbusters hits, coming on top as the third-most profitable movie series as a whole besides the first and second most profitable movie series, James Bond and Harry Potter. Star Wars is a science fiction epic, but more than just a movie franchise. You see, the movies spawned a TV series, comic books, and prequel films as part of a media franchise. Collectively, they form what is thought of as The Expanded Star Wars Universe. It is a fictional universe of characters, worlds, events, and endless fictional sci-fi things that have been added over the years to the main movies. Star Wars is huge. Hugely popular, hugely prolific and, most impressively, huge in fictional scope. It is the story of a universe.
The franchise in chronological order
The movies in the order that they were released over a period of decades is as follows: First, Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope (1977); successively followed by two sequels, Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars VI: Return of The Jedi (1983).
Several years later came the prequels to these movies, as follows: Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). This marked the end of the so-called “tragedy of Darth Vader”.
A 3D animated feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) was theatrically released. It served as a lead-in to the animated TV series of the same name, which was released in the same year.
Ten years after the release of the final prequel movie Revenge of the Sith, there came the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). As of this writing, a third film in this trilogy is currently in the works, provisionally titled Episode IX set to be released later this year. The total revenue of the film franchise amounts to $9 billion while the whole franchise has raked in a whopping $65 billion.
Following the release of these movies was a series of video games corresponding with the movies, and all the other accouterments of a vast media empire.
Star Wars universe at a glance
With one of the most recognizable quotes in pop-culture, “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” dawned this epic-space opera franchise. The franchise depicts an extensive universe with many alien species inhabiting it. These species share the universe with “droids” – robots with varying levels of artificial intelligence. Several of these alien species are capable of interstellar travel thanks to hyperspace technology.
Their galaxy is a 100 thousand lightyears wide spinning disc with Deep Core at its center. Deep Core is a constellation of different stars and planets which orbit a massive black hole. The Star Wars galaxy is divided into Deep Core, the Core Worlds and the Colonies. Core Worlds are where humanity originated, it is also home to a great number of species. The Colonies are planets where heavy-duty industry and mining takes place and they’re controlled by whoever is incumbent at the time. In addition to these regions, there are also a number of dwarf galaxies.
All life in their universe creates and houses the Force – a kind of energy that flows through and binds the entire universe together. It’s woven into the fabric of their universe. Certain beings with midi-chlorians in their bloodstreams can harness this energy produced by all lifeforms. Midi-chlorians are microscopic lifeforms that can communicate with the Force. Higher midi-chlorian count in one’s blood stream means they’re more sensitive to the Force. Wielding the force allows force-sensitive individuals to manipulate matter (telekinesis), control minds, to see the future, survive the death of their consciousness and the to conjure up lightening.
Different Orders of the Sensitives
Different force-sensitive individuals banded together to form groups, each group with its own ideology concerning the Force.
The Jedi is a group of sensitives who utilize the Force to get a deeper understanding of the Galaxy and protect it. This altruism allows them to survive the death of their consciousness.
The Sith is an order of sensitives who chose the “Dark Side of the Force”, they draw their power from emotions like hatred, greed, avariciousness, fear and jealousy. They are opposed to the Jedi philosophy of pacifism and peace and believe that conflict is what derives evolution of individuals and civilizations.
Other groups include The Nightsisters, the Dagoyan Masters, The Force Wielders and The Force Priestesses.
How the Jedi and the Sith were formed
Different lifeforms came together to form the vast Old Empire after harnessing hyperspace travel. They expanded their territory to the far ends of the galaxy, establishing a common language, currency and common cultural overtones throughout.
The Jedi order protected the Old Empire and created a code of Jedi and a network of temples.
One of the Jedi betrayed the order by harnessing the Dark Side of the Force and was subsequently banished. He founded the Sith with some of his followers. And long war spanning years, ensued. The Sith lost, only one Sith lord survived who established the Rule of Two – every Sith lord will take on a pupil who will attempt to take his place by killing him.
The Republic was dissolved owing to the war and the Jedi helped form a new democracy – the Galactic Republic – with the focus on maintaining peace. And the lore continues.
Star Wars characters
It is organized in chronological order, the story of some main characters and a vast number of supporting characters. All the events occur scattered across a vast fictional galaxy. It has many archetypal science fiction themes identifiable in great works of literature and film throughout time. It explores the frontiers of science endlessly. An interesting thing about the characters of Star Wars collectively is that most of the characters were portrayed over decades, with the prequels coming out 20 years after the original trilogy. For example, take one of the main characters, Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker; he lives out his entire life on film, and it’s quite a fictional life; in real life played over time by two different people. Same is the case with the other characters in chronological order.
That’s a fictional universe! And many today are so invested in this universe they even say their official religion is the force. Star Wars is certainly intoxicating and a great series that has grown into games, toys, TV and printed media.