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Star Wars Trilogy


The original Star Wars trilogy, formerly marketed as the Star Wars Trilogy (and colloquially referred to as the 'original trilogy'), is the first set of three films produced in the Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas. It was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox, and consists of Star Wars (1977),[b] The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Beginning in medias res, the original trilogy serves as the second act of the nine-episode Skywalker saga. It was followed by a prequel trilogy between 1999 and 2005, and a sequel trilogy between 2015 and 2019. Collectively, they are referred to as the "Skywalker Saga" to distinguish them from spin-off films set within the same universe.[1]




Star Wars Trilogy



The original Star Wars film received widespread acclaim from critics for its storytelling, characters, John Williams' musical score and its groundbreaking visual and sound effects. The film surpassed 1975's Jaws as the highest grossing film of all time, turning science fiction films into a blockbuster genre, until it was surpassed by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982. Both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back have been hailed as among the greatest and important films of all time. With the trilogy's success, Star Wars became a pop culture phenomenon, spawning a multi-million dollar merchandising empire. All three films have been inducted by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


Thousands of actors were assessed in the search for the trilogy's main cast.[15] The selected actors are considered by many viewers to have onscreen chemistry even though some of them were inexperienced, with the notable exceptions of Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing.[16][17] Some, like Ford, have called the dialogue in the scripts clunky, and several lines were unscripted; some of these are considered the most memorable moments in the films.[d]


With this new backstory in place, Lucas decided that the series would be a trilogy of trilogies,[20] designating the first sequel Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in the next draft.[38] Lawrence Kasdan, who had just completed writing Raiders of the Lost Ark, was hired to write the next drafts, and given additional input from director Irvin Kershner. Kasdan, Kershner, and producer Gary Kurtz saw the film as a more serious and adult story, and developed the sequel from the light adventure roots of the first film.[41]


The Star Wars trilogy, unlike science fiction that features sleek and futuristic settings, portrays the galaxy as dirty and grimy in Lucas's concept of a "used universe".[45] This was in part inspired by the period films of Akira Kurosawa, which like the original Star Wars trilogy, often begin in medias res without explaining a complete backstory.[46]


Political science has been an important element of Star Wars since the franchise launched in 1977, focusing on a struggle between democracy and dictatorship. Darth Vader's design, initially inspired by Samurai armor, also incorporated a German military helmet.[47][48] Lucas originally conceived of the Sith as a group that served the Emperor in the same way that the Schutzstaffel (SS) served Adolf Hitler; this was condensed into one character in the form of Vader.[49] Lucas has also drawn parallels between Palpatine and historical dictators such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and politicians like Richard Nixon.[50][51][i] Stormtroopers borrow the name of World War I "shock" troopers,[54] Imperial officers wear uniforms resembling those of German forces during World War II,[55] and political and security officers resemble the black-clad SS down to the stylized silver death's head on their caps. World War II terms were used for names in the films, e.g. the planets Kessel (a term that refers to a group of encircled forces) and Hoth (after Hermann Hoth, a German general who served on the snow-laden Eastern Front).[56] Shots of the commanders looking through AT-AT walker viewscreens in The Empire Strikes Back resemble tank interiors,[57] and space battles in the original film were based on dogfights from both world wars.[58]


The original Star Wars film was re-released theatrically in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1982.[59] All three films were released on various home video formats, including LaserDisc and VHS, until 1996.[60] The trilogy was theatrically re-released in a 1997 "Special Edition", featuring various additions and changes, some of which were negatively received. These versions were released on VHS, replacing the original versions of the films as Lucas's 'original' vision, and were created in part to reinvigorate interest in the saga ahead of the prequel trilogy. The special edition of Star Wars made its broadcast premiere on February 5, 1998 on WB stations across the country (including New York and Los Angeles). Further changes to all three films were made for a DVD release in 2004, intended to bring the films into greater continuity with the prequels. These were re-released in 2006 with bonus discs of the original versions of the films (transferred from the 1993 LaserDiscs).[61] In 2011, original and prequel trilogy box sets were released on Blu-ray, all including another round of alterations.


In 2019, Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm since the 2012 acquisition of the company by Disney, stated that she would not make alterations to Lucas's original trilogy, because "those will always remain his."[63] While promoting The Rise of Skywalker, director J. J. Abrams expressed his hopes that the original versions of the trilogy would be officially released, but said that the powers that be had told him "that that's not necessarily possible". He further said that when making The Force Awakens, he had gotten into a disagreement about the dialogue between Vader and the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back before realizing that different versions of the film were being referred to; he cited the fan-created "Despecialized Editions" of the films, while the other party had recalled the current official version.[64]


The original trilogy was praised for its groundbreaking visual and sound effects, John Williams' music, writing, characters and concept. Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are considered by many to be among the greatest movies ever made,[75] while Return of the Jedi was well-received but not considered to be on par with its predecessors.[76]


The popularity of the films have generated numerous references in popular culture works from TV series such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park and Robot Chicken and films such as Clerks, Free Guy and Toy Story 2, and in the political lexicon, as in Ted Kennedy's nickname for Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. The trilogy's artistic and technological achievements have been influential on other filmmakers, including Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, Joss Whedon, Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan,[90][91] as well as sequel trilogy director J. J. Abrams.


The trilogy's impact has led to future careers of its stars including Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Warwick Davis (Wicket W. Warrick).


The prequel trilogy consists of The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), all directed by George Lucas. The prequels feature Baker, Daniels, Oz, Mayhew and McDiarmid reprising their roles, alongside Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson. After completing his six-film saga, Lucas stated that there would be no further sequels.[92]


In 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm and produced a sequel trilogy. This consists of The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Lucas had little direct involvement in the creation of these films.[93] The new cast features Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson and Andy Serkis, with the main original cast reprising their roles.


The original trilogy is the first installment of films of the Star Wars saga to be produced. These were the movies released from 1977 to 1983. They primarily focus on the Rebel Alliance trying to free the galaxy from the clutches of the Galactic Empire, as well as Luke Skywalker's quest to become a Jedi and face Sith Lord Darth Vader and his master Darth Sidious.


The original film (Star Wars), retroactively subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), was followed by the sequels Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), forming the original Star Wars trilogy. Lucas later returned to the series to direct a prequel trilogy, consisting of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). In 2012, Lucas sold his production company to Disney, relinquishing his ownership of the franchise. This led to a sequel trilogy, consisting of Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017), and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).


The Star Wars franchise depicts the adventures of characters "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away",[6] in which humans and many species of aliens (often humanoid) co-exist with robots (typically referred to in the films as 'droids'), who may assist them in their daily routines; space travel between planets is common due to lightspeed hyperspace technology.[7][8][9] The planets range from wealthy, planet-wide cities to deserts scarcely populated by primitive tribes. Virtually any Earth biome, along with many fictional ones, has its counterpart as a Star Wars planet which, in most cases, teem with sentient and non-sentient alien life.[10] The franchise also makes use of other astronomical objects such as asteroid fields and nebulae.[11][12] Spacecraft range from small starfighters, to huge capital ships such as the Star Destroyers, to space stations such as the moon-sized Death Stars. Telecommunication includes two-way audio and audiovisual screens, holographic projections, and HoloNet (internet counterpart). 041b061a72


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