A long timeline in a galaxy far far away

by Wes Cummings

Thirty-nine years ago filmmaker George Lucas delivered the low-budget highly unanticipated film Star Wars. During production there was a very high percentage of people who knew that Star Wars was going  to be a flop. Lucas even had his doubts, but little did he know that Star Wars would become one of the most iconic movie franchises in history. Despite all the doubts, the Star Wars (now Star Wars: A New Hope) reeled in $307,263,857 which is $1,201,761,676 in today’s money. The space-themed movie consisted of Luke Skywalker and company trying to take down the oppressive Empire’s special new weapon, The Death Star.

Following Star Wars, Lucas produced a sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. This movie was an exceptional follow-up to the original Star Wars. The Empire Strikes back revealed one of the biggest plot twists in history, and it only made sense for Lucas to give more of what fans wanted and make a little money on the way.  Lucas’ next release capped off the original trilogy. Return of the Jedi was yet another great film and did a great job of concluding the fantastic trilogy.

About 15 years later, Lucas made a very bold decision. He decided to make a prequel trilogy to the Star Wars original trilogy. This trilogy focuses on the rise and fall of fall Anakin Skywalker. Lucas’ first release The Phantom Menace made a ton of money, but it was not particularly popular for fans and critics. The unrest about The Phantom Menace carried on to the next episode in the trilogy, Attack of the Clones. Attack of the Clones was by no means a bad film, but poor acting and dreadful dialogue made it very unlikeable to fans. Despite all the adversity Lucas faced with the first two films, he decided to finalize the prequels. He made Revenge of the Sith, and according to super-fans it totally saved the prequel trilogy. The acting improved, it was action-packed, and the special effects were terrific. It was the final piece to the epic saga that so many people love.

Four billion dollars. That is how much Disney paid Lucas for his beloved Star Wars in 2012. Although Lucas had a very difficult time letting go of Star Wars, he had to hand off the baton to the faster runner. Immediately after Disney made the deal with Lucas, they began to work on a new addition to the saga. In 2015, Disney released The Force Awakens, the first Star Wars film in 10 years. The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi. The movie introduces some new characters but also keeps us in touch with some of our familiar faces. The Force Awakens made the most money out of any Star Wars film ever.

Disney didn’t just stop with another trilogy. They have begun to produce spinoff films too. In December, 2016, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released. Rogue One is the very first Star Wars spin-off film to be made. It takes place days before the 1977 original A New Hope. The story is about how the unlikely rebels attempt to capture the plans for the Empire’s new deadliest weapon, The Death Star. Although Rogue One is only a spin-off film, it has already taken on a better liking by the fans than the prequels. There is talk of many more spin-off films similar to Rogue One. In my opinion, it was everything a Star Wars fan could ask for.

Star Wars has come a long way since the little idea in Lucas’ head. Over the last 40 years the Star Wars saga has kept everyone on the edge of their seat. With Disney in control, and the demand for Star Wars at an all-time high, I don’t see an end to Star Wars any time soon.