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Star Wars
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Star Wars

Alternate meaning: Strategic Defense Initiative
Star Wars is the name of the science fantasy movie, literary franchise, and series of video games based on the ideas of writer/director George Lucas, which consist of numerous prequels, sequels, and literary adaptations. The movies revolve around the transition between the Galactic Republic and the Galactic Empire, as well as the Galactic Civil War which erupts between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire in an epic struggle between good and evil. The story is set "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." The phrase appears at the opening of every Star Wars novel, motion picture, and video game.

Table of contents
1 Overview
2 Star Wars movies
3 Star Wars related movies
4 Star Wars related animated TV shows
5 Star Wars books
6 Star Wars comic books
7 Star Wars characters
8 Lists
9 See also
10 External links
11 References

Overview

The Star Wars story has been presented in a series of American movies, which have spawned dozens of books. The Star Wars mythos is also the basis of many toys and games. Though the films and books are set in outer space and employ common science fiction motifs, the plots are humanistic in nature. Star Wars is an outstanding example of the space opera sub-genre of science fiction.

In comparison, Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek also has enjoyed long-lasting popularity in American popular culture. However, whereas Star Trek takes a rational and progressive approach to storytelling, Star Wars has a strong 'mythic' quality to it.

The strong human appeal of the Star Wars story probably accounts for its enduring popularity; it has also been postulated that this popularity is based on nostalgia. Many Star Wars fans first saw the films as children, and their (for the time) revolutionary special effects and simple, Manichean story made a profound impact.

The Star Wars films show considerable similarity to Asian Wuxia "Kung Fu" films, as well as Roman mythology. Lucas has stated that his intention was to create in Star Wars a modern mythology, based on the studies of his friend and mentor Joseph Campbell. He has also called the first movie's incredible similarity to the film Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa) an "homage."

A notable feature of the Star Wars films is that they portray a world full of grime and technology that looks like it has been used for years, not the sleek, futuristic world typical of earlier science fiction films. In one of his many interviews on the making of Star Wars, Lucas told of rubbing the new props with dirt to make them look weatherworn. It is tempting to speculate that this break from traditional science fiction film influenced the cyberpunk genre that emerged around 1984.

The Star Wars franchise goes beyond the five already released films. Officially-licensed Star Wars novels have been published since the original movie was released in 1977. Although these novels have been licensed by Lucas (meaning he shares in the royalties), he has retained ultimate creative control over the Star Wars universe for himself. Thus, the novels are not necessarily an official part of the Star Wars universe, although considerable ongoing effort is spent on the part of LucasFilm Licensing to ensure continuity between different authors works. Occasionally, some elements from these novels have been adopted into the regular Star Wars canon.

The original Star Wars (A New Hope) has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

In 1978 Lucas sued the creators of Battlestar Galactica for its alleged similarity to Star Wars.

Star Wars movies

Listed in order of story time:
  1. (19 May 1999)
  2. (16 May 2002)
  3. (scheduled release 19 May 2005)
  4. (25 May 1977) original title was Star Wars; the first Star Wars movie to be released
  5. (21 May 1980)
  6. (25 May 1983)

Episodes IV - VI were re-released in remastered forms, with additional special effects, changes in some scenes and computer generated characters inserted. The changes met with mixed critical reaction, and a minor controversy remains over George Lucas' refusal to re-release the original 70s and 80s versions on DVD. However, the remastered versions are to be released on September 21, 2004.

With the release of the prequels many minor elements of plot and character were changed from the first trilogy. Some of these elements were changed in the rereleases to become more consistent; others were not.

The recurring leitmotif of the Star Wars Imperial March is one of the best known movie musical themes.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was filmed at Leavesden Film Studios in England.

See also: Revisionism in Star Wars

A very poor quality remake of Star Wars (Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam, The Man Who Saves the World) was done in Turkey in 1982 [1].

Star Wars related movies

Many made-for-TV films have been made about Star Wars. The first was the universally despised Holiday Special, which became famous later on as the first appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett.

After Return of the Jedi, two films, about a family marooned on the forest moon of Endor, were made.

Star Wars related animated TV shows

Three cartoon series have been created based on Star Wars. The first two began in 1985 and Clone Wars began in 2003. Ewoks featured the adventures of the Ewoks prior to Return of the Jedi. Droids featured the adventures of C-3PO and R2-D2 between Episode III and Episode IV. Clone Wars features the adventures of the Jedi as the fight against the Confederacy of Independent Systems in the Clone Wars, set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars books

The six Star Wars movies offer the basis for which dozens of books have been written. Many of the books have been officially authorized by LucasFilm, and are often published by Bantam Books. The stories told by these books extend from a time long before The Phantom Menace, to a time long after Return of the Jedi. Books authorized by Lucas are written by fans of the films, and are part of a collection known as Expanded Universe.

The Expanded Universe has been making its way through a revolution as of late in the New Jedi Order (NJO) series, which recently was wrapped up in The Unifying Force. The NJO has told the story of the galaxy's horrific invasion by the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong, and has seen the passing of many heroic characters.

Many fans of the original Star Wars movies reject the literary works of the Expanded Universe, and insist only the films or statements George Lucas has made interpreting his own works, can be accepted as canonical.

Other books include such titles as , which detail things about the Star Wars universe, and the films, in a "non-fiction" style.

Star Wars comic books

Comic book adaptations have been created for each of the movies, and other comic books and series of comics have been written detailing events not contained in the movies.

See also: Star Wars Comic Books

Star Wars characters

See also: List of Star Wars characters for a more extensive listing

Anakin Skywalker  | Boba Fett  | C-3PO  | Chewbacca  | Count Dooku  | Darth Maul  | Darth Sidious  | Darth Vader  | Han Solo  | Jabba the Hutt  | Jango Fett  | Jar Jar Binks  | Lando Calrissian  | Luke Skywalker  | Obi-Wan Kenobi  | Padmé Amidala  | Palpatine  | Princess Leia  | Qui-Gon Jinn  | R2-D2  | Yoda

Lists

See also

External links

References