Exploring the Star Wars Universe

Do you love the Star Wars universe? The series has spanned nine films and many prequels and spinoffs. Star Wars was an instant phenomenon when it debuted and it still continues to attract new fans all the time. There is a certain fascination with the “Star Wars” movies. Almost every child has swung a lightsaber, wishing they were a Jedi at some point in their lives.

The movies are all available on Disney+ and new series have expanded the stories, bringing more depth into the Star Wars Universe.

In 1975, George Lucas wrote a long story about Anakin Skywalker. The story was so long that it needed to be divided into 2 trilogies. Since Lucas thought the second trilogy was more interesting than the first, he decided to film episode four as the first movie.

In May of 1977, when A New Hope was released, it was instantly seen as the biggest adventure film… ever. Critics considered the special effects magnificent and outstanding. In fact, nothing remotely close had ever made it to the big screen before.

On opening day, the Star Wars movie ran in only 32 theatres, but it still produced an amazing $254,309 in ticket sales. By the end of its first run, it had become the most successful film ever in North American history, grossing more than $750 million.

Star Wars: Episode V A New Hope

We all know the story of Star Wars, and if you don’t… where have you been?

The plot starts when Darth Vader captures Princess Leia, but not before she sends a plea for help from Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi through the droid R2D2. Somehow a farm boy (Luke Skywalker), a cocky pilot (Han Solo) and a Wookie need to save the galaxy from the Empire’s Death Star.

Money Lost

Can you believe Universal Studios passed on developing Star Wars because they thought it was a ridiculous idea? In fact, every Hollywood studio passed on the movie… except 20th Century Fox who gave George Lucas 10 million dollars to make the first movie a reality.

When Lucas made his deal with Fox, he was more interested in the control of the film, than he was in his percentage. He wanted all rights to the final cut and all rights to future sequels, merchandise rights, and 40% of the gross. This deal ultimately made Lucas a billionaire.

How to Watch the Star Wars Movies

People like to argue about the correct order to watch the Star Wars movies. The two most common ways are by theatrical release and chronological order. Neither way is wrong. 

The Star Wars Franchise Release Order

If you want to watch the movies in the theatre release order, then this is your marathon:

Original Trilogy
Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Prequel Trilogy
Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Sequel Trilogy
Episode VII – The Force Awaken (2015)
Rogue One (2016) (optional)
Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
Solo (2018) (optional)
Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The Star Wars Franchise Chronological Order

If you want to watch the movies in chronological order (the events in which things happen), your marathon should look like this:

Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Rogue One
Episode IV – A New Hope
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Episode VII – The Force Awaken
Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Expanding the Star Wars Universe

Along with the movies, there are television series that expand the Star Wars Universe (all available on Disney+). There are more series in the process but the available ones right now include:

  • The Mandalorian
  • The Book of Boba Fett
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Andor

Animated Star Wars Series include:

  • Tales of the Jedi
  • Druid and Ewoks
  • The Clone Wars
  • Rebels
  • Resistance

Numerous well-known authors have also penned Star Wars Book: They include

  • Terry Brooks
  • R.A. Salvadore
  • Alexandra Bracken
  • Wil Wheaton

Wikipedia has a fantastic list if you are looking for more books to read.

Why People Love Star Wars

Whether you’re an action-loving junkie or a classic fairy tale enthusiast, the Star Wars movies are a timeless classic. The storylines never seem to lose their relevance, and each movie offers a bit of everything. There’s an adventure, family complications, romance, and action. Not to mention the innovative technology, special effects and lightsabers.

Why I Love Star Wars

I have to admit that I didn’t watch the original Star Wars trilogy until 1985 when I rented (yes rented) the movies from a video store for the weekend. (Millennials will never realize the struggle of having to go to the store and spend time looking for movies to rent. Sometimes we would even rent the machine too, if we didn’t have one at home. It was much harder than telling Alexa to play Game of Thrones. #firstworldproblems)

Since then, I can’t tell you how many times I have watched the trilogy, but I can tell you I watched all the rest of the movies in a theatre as soon as they were released.

I can’t really tell you why I love the universe so much. Maybe it’s the stories, the characters, or the way it all ties together. Maybe the movies make me realize that there’s more to this world than we can imagine. But I know I will continue to watch and re-watch the movies and television shows forever.

Final Thoughts

Star Wars is one of the most influential movies in the history of cinema. Do you agree? How many times you have watched the movies or series? Let me know in the comments.


Until next time

Feature photo by Andrew Martin from Pixabay.

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