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Star Wars
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Star Wars is a space opera franchise that almost everyone should be aware of at this point! Screenwriter and film director George Lucas created Star Wars. The franchise began in 1977 with the release of the first film titled Star Wars (which was later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope a few years later). Star Wars immediately became a success. The sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V) and Return of the Jedi (Episode VI) propelled the series to become a pop culture phenomenon.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, George Lucas brought Star Wars back to theatres in the form of prequel films. A prequel comes before something else; therefore, the prequel films take place before the original trilogy and explain many plot points that occurred in the original trilogy. The Phantom Menace (Episode I) was released in 1999, Attack of the Clones (Episode II) was released in 2002, and Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) was released in 2005. While the prequel films did well in theatres, fans have not been kind to them over time. One element of the prequels, Midichlorians (watch the movies to learn more), was totally ignored and replaced with something else in later films.

In October 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company. Disney immediately announced that it would release Star Wars Episode VII. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII) was released to theatres in 2015 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) was released in 2017. Both films were smash hits. In addition to the main films, there have been some anthology films billed as A Star Wars Story. Two films have been released to date: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) which follows the events leading up to Princess Leia receiving the Death Star schematics, and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) which serves as an origin story for Han Solo and Chewbacca.The Star Wars universe continues to expand. In the 1980s, there were several TV movie specials. There have been various cartoons in recent years including several incarnations of The Clone Wars. There have been hundreds of Star Wars novels, many of them stripped from canon when Disney purchased Lucasfilm. Star Wars books released since 2012 are connected to the films. You can find toys, school supplies, shirts, toothbrushes, and more in stores today. Star Wars is a lasting franchise that will remain in the public view for years to come.

The Star Wars universe continues to expand. In the 1980s, there were several TV movie specials. There have been various cartoons in recent years including several incarnations of The Clone Wars. There have been hundreds of Star Wars novels, many of them stripped from canon when Disney purchased Lucasfilm. Star Wars books released since 2012 are connected to the films. You can find toys, school supplies, shirts, toothbrushes, and more in stores today. Star Wars is a lasting franchise that will remain in the public view for years to come.

 

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Did You Know?

Some of the most popular Star Wars characters include:

Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill): the main character of the original film trilogy. Luke is a main figure in the battles against the Galactic Empire. Luke is a member of the Jedi Order.

Princess Leia Organa (played by Carrie Fisher): princess of the planet Alderaan, a Republic Senator, and an agent of the rebel alliance.

Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford, original trilogy): pilot of the Millennium Falcon and becomes involved in the Rebel Alliance.

Chewbacca: co-pilot with Han Solo.

Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones): the primary bad guy in the original trilogy.

Rey (played by Daisy Ridley): a scavenger left behind by her parents on planet Jakku as a child. Meets BB-8 and Finn, and then becomes involved with the Resistance.

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