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Star Wars

Epic science fantasy space opera saga and media franchise

Top 10 Star Wars related articles

Star Wars
Created byGeorge Lucas
Original workStar Wars (1977)[a][b]
Owned byLucasfilm Ltd.
Print publications
Book(s)List of reference books
Novel(s)List of novels
Short storiesSee list of novels
ComicsList of comics
Comic strip(s)See list of comics
Magazine(s)Star Wars Insider
(1987–present)
Films and television
Film(s)Full list
Live-action

Animated

Short film(s)Reflections (2018)
Television seriesFull list
Television special(s)Holiday Special
(1978)
Television film(s)List of TV films
Games
Role-playingList of RPGs
Video game(s)Full list
Audio
Radio program(s)List of radio dramas
Original musicMusic
Miscellaneous
Toy(s)Merchandise
Theme park attraction(s)List of attractions

Star Wars is an American epic space opera[1] media franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film[b] and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. The franchise has been expanded into various films and other media, including television series, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, and themed areas, comprising an all-encompassing fictional universe.[c] In 2020, its total value was estimated at US$70 billion, and it is currently the fifth-highest-grossing media franchise of all time.

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 filmmaking 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. The subsequently produced sequel trilogy consists of Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017), and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

All nine films of the 'Skywalker saga' were nominated for Academy Awards with wins going to the first two releases. Together with the theatrical live action spin-off films Rogue One (2016) and Solo (2018), the combined box office revenue of the films equated to over US$10 billion and is currently the second-highest-grossing film franchise of all time.[3][4]

Star Wars Intro articles: 38

Premise

The Star Wars franchise depicts the adventures of characters "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away",[5] in which humans and many species of aliens (often humanoid) co-exist with robots, or 'droids', who may assist them in their daily routines; space travel between planets is common due to lightspeed hyperspace technology.[6][7][8] 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, and holographic projections.

A mystical power known as the Force is described in the original film as "an energy field created by all living things ... [that] binds the galaxy together".[9] Through training and meditation, those whom "the Force is strong with" are able to perform various superpowers (such as telekinesis, precognition, telepathy, and manipulation of physical energy).[10] The Force is wielded by two major knightly orders at conflict with each other: the Jedi, peacekeepers of the Galactic Republic who act on the light side of the Force through non-attachment and arbitration, and the Sith, who use the dark side by manipulating fear and aggression. While Jedi Knights can be numerous, the Dark Lords of the Sith (or 'Darths') are intended to be limited to two: a master and their apprentice.[11]

Force-wielders are very limited in numbers in comparison to the population. The Jedi and Sith prefer the use of a weapon called a lightsaber, a blade of energy that can cut through virtually any surface and deflect energy bolts. The rest of the population, as well as renegades and soldiers, use laser-powered blaster firearms. In the outer reaches of the galaxy, crime syndicates such as the Hutt cartel are dominant. Bounty hunters are often employed by both gangsters and governments. Illicit activities include smuggling and slavery.

Star Wars Premise articles: 33

Film

Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s) Refs
Original trilogy
Episode IV – A New Hope May 25, 1977 (1977-05-25) George Lucas Gary Kurtz [12][13]
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back May 21, 1980 (1980-05-21) Irvin Kershner Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan George Lucas [14][15]
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi May 25, 1983 (1983-05-25) Richard Marquand Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas Howard Kazanjian [16][17]
Prequel trilogy
Episode I – The Phantom Menace May 19, 1999 (1999-05-19) George Lucas Rick McCallum [18]
Episode II – Attack of the Clones May 16, 2002 (2002-05-16) George Lucas George Lucas and Jonathan Hales George Lucas [19][20]
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith May 19, 2005 (2005-05-19) George Lucas [21][22]
Sequel trilogy
Episode VII – The Force Awakens December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18) J. J. Abrams J. J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk [16][23]
Episode VIII – The Last Jedi December 15, 2017 (2017-12-15) Rian Johnson Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman [24][25]
Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker December 20, 2019 (2019-12-20) J. J. Abrams Chris Terrio & J. J. Abrams Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and Chris Terrio & J. J. Abrams Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams and Michelle Rejwan [26][27]
Anthology films
Rogue One December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16) Gareth Edwards Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy John Knoll and Gary Whitta Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel [28]
Solo May 25, 2018 (2018-05-25) Ron Howard Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan [29]
Rogue Squadron December 22, 2023 (2023-12-22) Patty Jenkins TBA Kathleen Kennedy [30]

The Star Wars film series centers around three sets of trilogies, which are collectively referred to as the "Skywalker saga".[31] They were produced non-chronologically, with Episodes IVVI (the original trilogy) being released between 1977 and 1983, Episodes IIII (the prequel trilogy) being released between 1999 and 2005, and Episodes VIIIX (the sequel trilogy), being released between 2015 and 2019. Each trilogy focuses on a generation of the Force-sensitive Skywalker family. The original trilogy depicts the heroic development of Luke Skywalker, the prequels tell the backstory of his father Anakin, while the sequels star Luke's nephew, Kylo Ren.

An anthology series set between the main episodes entered development in parallel to the production of the sequel trilogy,[32] described by Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo as origin stories.[33] The first entry, Rogue One (2016), tells the story of the rebels who steal the Death Star plans just before Episode IV.[34][35] Solo (2018) focuses on Han Solo's backstory, also featuring original trilogy co-protagonists Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian and involving prequel trilogy villain Darth Maul.

Lucasfilm has a number of Star Wars films in development, two of which were confirmed during Disney Investor Day 2020. The first will be a film titled Rogue Squadron, which is being directed by Patty Jenkins, and is scheduled for release on December 25, 2023.[36] The second is an unspecified film from Taika Waititi, who in May 2020 was announced to be directing a Star Wars film he was co-writing with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.[37] Additionally, a trilogy independent from the Skywalker saga is being written by The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson.[38][39] In September 2019, it was announced that Kathleen Kennedy and Kevin Feige would collaborate to develop a Star Wars film.[40] In February 2020, a film was announced to be in development from director J. D. Dillard and writer Matt Owens.[41]

The Skywalker saga

Original trilogy

The original trilogy's main cast includes (from left to right) Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader's voice).

In 1971, George Lucas wanted to film an adaptation of the Flash Gordon serial, but could not obtain the rights, so he began developing his own space opera.[42][d] After directing American Graffiti (1973), he wrote a two-page synopsis, which 20th Century Fox decided to invest in.[43][44][45] By 1974, he had expanded the story into the first draft of a screenplay.[46] The 1977 movie's success led Lucas to make it the basis of an elaborate film serial.[47] With the backstory he created for the sequel, Lucas decided that the series would be a trilogy of trilogies.[48] Most of the main cast would return for the two additional installments of the original trilogy, which were self-financed by Lucasfilm.

Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977, and first subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope in the 1979 book The Art of Star Wars.[49] Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980, also achieving wide financial and critical success. The final film in the trilogy, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released on May 25, 1983. The story of the original trilogy focuses on Luke Skywalker's quest to become a Jedi, his struggle with the evil Imperial agent Darth Vader, and the struggle of the Rebel Alliance to free the galaxy from the clutches of the Galactic Empire.

Prequel trilogy

The prequel trilogy's main cast includes (from left to right) Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Natalie Portman (Padmé Amidala), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker),[e] and Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine).

According to producer Gary Kurtz, loose plans for a prequel trilogy were developed during the outlining of the original two films.[50] In 1980, Lucas confirmed that he had the nine-film series plotted,[51] but due to the stress of producing the original trilogy, he had decided to cancel further sequels by 1981.[52] In 1983, Lucas explained that "There was never a script completed that had the entire story as it exists now ... As the stories unfolded, I would take certain ideas and save them ... I kept taking out all the good parts, and I just kept telling myself I would make other movies someday."[53]

Technical advances in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the ability to create computer-generated imagery (CGI), inspired Lucas to consider that it might be possible to revisit his saga. In 1989, Lucas stated that the prequels would be "unbelievably expensive."[54] In 1992, he acknowledged that he had plans to create the prequel trilogy.[55] A theatrical rerelease of the original trilogy in 1997 "updated" the 20-year-old films with the style of CGI envisioned for the new trilogy.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released on May 19, 1999, and Episode II: Attack of the Clones on May 16, 2002. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the first PG-13 film in the franchise, was released on May 19, 2005.[56] The first two movies were met with mixed reviews, with the third being received somewhat more positively. The trilogy begins 32 years before Episode IV and follows the Jedi training of Anakin Skywalker, Luke's father, and his eventual fall from grace and transformation into the Sith lord Darth Vader, as well as the corruption of the Galactic Republic and rise of the Empire led by Darth Sidious. Together with the original trilogy, Lucas has collectively referred to the first six episodic films of the franchise as "the tragedy of Darth Vader".[57]

Sequel trilogy

The sequel trilogy's main cast includes (from left to right) Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron).

Prior to releasing the original film, and made possible by its success, Lucas planned "three trilogies of nine films."[48][58] He announced this to Time in 1978,[59] and confirmed that he had outlined them in 1981.[60] At various stages of development, the sequel trilogy was to focus on the rebuilding of the Republic,[61] the return of Luke in a role similar to that of Obi-Wan in the original trilogy,[58] Luke's sister (not yet determined to be Leia),[50] Han, Leia,[62] R2-D2 and C-3PO.[48][63] However, after beginning work on the prequel trilogy, Lucas insisted that Star Wars was meant to be a six-part series and that there would be no sequel trilogy.[64][65]

Lucas decided to leave the franchise in the hands of other filmmakers, announcing in January 2012 that he would make no more Star Wars films.[66] In October of that year, the Walt Disney Company agreed to buy Lucasfilm and announced that Episode VII would be released in 2015.[67] The co-chairman of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, became president of the company and served as executive producer of new Star Wars feature films.[68] Lucas provided Kennedy his story treatments for the sequels during the 2012 sale,[69] but in 2015 it was revealed Lucas's sequel outline had been discarded.[70][71] The sequel trilogy also meant the end of the existing Star Wars Expanded Universe, which was discarded from canon to give "maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience."[2]

Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released on December 16, 2015, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi on December 13, 2017, and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker on December 18, 2019, in many countries.[f] The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were both critical and box office successes.[72][73] Episode IX received a mixed reception from critics and audiences.[74] The sequel trilogy starts 30 years after Episode VI and focuses on the journey of the Force-sensitive orphan Rey, guided by Luke Skywalker. Along with ex-stormtrooper Finn and ace X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, Rey helps the Resistance, led by Leia, fight the First Order, commanded by Han and Leia's son (and Luke's nephew), Kylo Ren.

Anthology films

Lucasfilm and Kennedy have stated that the standalone films would be referred to as the Star Wars anthology series[34] (though the word anthology has not been used in any of the titles, instead carrying the promotional "A Star Wars Story" subtitle). Focused on how the Rebels obtained the Death Star plans introduced in the 1977 film, the first anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was released on December 16, 2016, to favorable reviews and box office success. The second, Solo: A Star Wars Story, centered on a young Han Solo with Chewbacca and Lando as supporting characters, was released on May 25, 2018, to generally favorable reviews and underperformance at the box office. Despite this, more anthology films are expected to be released,[75] following a hiatus after 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.[76]

Star Wars Film articles: 44

Television

The Star Wars franchise has been spun off to various television productions, including two animated series released in the mid-1980s. Further animated series began to be released in the 2000s, the first two of which focused on the Clone Wars. After Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, only the later one remained canon. Eight live-action Star Wars series will be released on Disney+. The first, The Mandalorian, premiered on November 12, 2019. Star Wars won the 2020 Webby Award for Television & Film in the category Social.[77] Disney+ later released the Ewoks movies and animated series, along the animated first appearance of Boba Fett, and the Clone Wars animated micro-series in a section called Star Wars Vintage, that section will also include the Droids animated series in the future.[78][79] Certain aspects of the original Clone Wars micro-series are considered to not contradict the canon, while others do.[80]

Series

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally releasedShowrunner(s)Status
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
Animated series
Droids113September 7, 1985 (1985-09-07)November 30, 1985 (1985-11-30)ABCMiki Herman & Peter Sauder[81]Released
SpecialJune 7, 1986 (1986-06-07)
Ewoks113September 7, 1985 (1985-09-07)November 30, 1985 (1985-11-30)
213September 13, 1986 (1986-09-13)December 13, 1986 (1986-12-13)
The Clone WarsFilmAugust 15, 2008 (2008-08-15)Theatrical releaseDave Filoni[82]
122October 3, 2008 (2008-10-03)March 20, 2009 (2009-03-20)Cartoon Network
222October 2, 2009 (2009-10-02)April 30, 2010 (2010-04-30)
322September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17)April 1, 2011 (2011-04-01)
422September 16, 2011 (2011-09-16)March 16, 2012 (2012-03-16)
520September 29, 2012 (2012-09-29)March 2, 2013 (2013-03-02)
613March 7, 2014 (2014-03-07)Netflix
712February 21, 2020 (2020-02-21)May 4, 2020 (2020-05-04)Disney+
RebelsShorts4August 11, 2014 (2014-08-11)September 1, 2014 (2014-09-01)Disney XD
115October 3, 2014 (2014-10-03)March 2, 2015 (2015-03-02)
222June 20, 2015 (2015-06-20)March 30, 2016 (2016-03-30)
322September 24, 2016 (2016-09-24)March 25, 2017 (2017-03-25)Justin Ridge[82]
416October 16, 2017 (2017-10-16)March 5, 2018 (2018-03-05)Dave Filoni
ResistanceShorts12December 10, 2018 (2018-12-10)December 31, 2018 (2018-12-31)Disney ChannelJustin Ridge[83]
121October 7, 2018 (2018-10-07)March 17, 2019 (2019-03-17)
219October 6, 2019 (2019-10-06)January 26, 2020 (2020-01-26)
The Bad Batch1TBAMay 4, 2021 (2021-05-04)[84]TBADisney+Jennifer Corbett[85]In production
Visions110[86]2021 (2021)[86]TBATBAIn development
Animated micro-series
Clone Wars110November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07)November 20, 2003 (2003-11-20)Cartoon NetworkGenndy Tartakovsky[87][88]Released
210March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26)April 8, 2004 (2004-04-08)
35March 21, 2005 (2005-03-21)March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)
Blips18May 3, 2017 (2017-05-03)September 4, 2017 (2017-09-04)YouTubeN/A
Forces of Destiny116July 3, 2017 (2017-07-03)November 1, 2017 (2017-11-01)Carrie Beck and Dave Filoni[89]
216March 19, 2018 (2018-03-19)May 25, 2018 (2018-05-25)
Galaxy of Adventures136November 30, 2018 (2018-11-30)July 13, 2019 (2019-07-13)Josh Rimes[90]
219March 13, 2020 (2020-03-13)October 2, 2020 (2020-10-02)[91][g]
Roll Out116August 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)April 1, 2020 (2020-04-01)Hideo Itoyanagi[94]
Live-action series
The Mandalorian18November 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)December 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)Disney+Jon Favreau[95]Released
28October 30, 2020 (2020-10-30)December 18, 2020 (2020-12-18)
3TBATBATBAPre-production[96]
The Book of Boba Fett1[97]TBADecember 2021 (2021-12)[97]TBAJon Favreau and Dave Filoni[97]Filming
Andor112[98]2022[98]TBATony Gilroy[99]
Obi-Wan Kenobi16[100]2022[100]TBADeborah Chow[101]Pre-production
The Acolyte1[102]TBATBATBALeslye Headland[102]In development
Ahsoka1[103]TBATBATBAJon Favreau and Dave Filoni[103]
Lando1[102]TBATBATBAJustin Simien[102]
Rangers of the New Republic1[103]TBATBATBAJon Favreau and Dave Filoni[103]
Game shows
Jedi Temple Challenge110June 10, 2020 (2020-06-10)August 5, 2020 (2020-08-05)StarWarsKids.comAhmed BestReleased

Films

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenplay by Story by Producer(s) Network
Ewok movies
The Ewok Adventure November 25, 1984 (1984-11-25) John Korty Bob Carrau George Lucas Thomas G. Smith and Patricia Rose Duignan ABC
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor November 24, 1985 (1985-11-24) Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat Thomas G. Smith and Ian Bryce

Television special

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenplay by Story by Producer(s) Network
Star Wars Holiday Special November 17, 1978 (1978-11-17) Steve Binder Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps, Bruce Vilanch, Rod Warren, and Mitzie Welch Joe Layton, Jeff Starsh, Ken Welch, and Mitzie Welch CBS

Star Wars Television articles: 50

Fictional timeline

The Acolyte (TV series)Skywalker sagaThe High Republic (Star Wars)
Star Wars ResistanceStar Wars RebelsThe Bad Batch (Star Wars)The Clone Wars (TV series)Star Wars sequel trilogyRangers of the New RepublicAhsoka (TV series)The Book of Boba FettThe MandalorianRogue OneStar Wars TrilogyAndor (TV series)Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV series)Solo: A Star Wars StoryStar Wars prequel trilogy

The Star Wars canon fictional universe spans multiple eras, of which three are focused around each of the film trilogies. The following eras were defined in January 2021:[104]

The Expanded Universe of spin-off media depicts different levels of continuity, which were deemed non-canonical and rebranded as Legends on April 25, 2014, to make most subsequent works align to the episodic films, The Clone Wars film, and television series.[2]

Star Wars Fictional timeline articles: 12

In other media

From 1976 to 2014, the term Expanded Universe (EU) was an umbrella term for all officially licensed Star Wars storytelling material set outside the events depicted within the theatrical films, including novels, comics, and video games.[115] Lucasfilm maintained internal continuity between the films and television content and the EU material until April 25, 2014, when the company announced all of the EU works would cease production. Existing works would no longer be considered canon to the franchise and subsequent reprints would be rebranded under the Star Wars Legends label,[115] with downloadable content for the massively multiplayer online game The Old Republic the only Legends material to still be produced. The Star Wars canon was subsequently restructured to only include the existing six feature films, the animated film The Clone Wars (2008), and its companion animated series. All future projects and creative developments across all types of media would be overseen and coordinated by the story group, announced as a division of Lucasfilm created to maintain continuity and a cohesive vision on the storytelling of the franchise.[2] Multiple comics series from Marvel and novels published by Del Rey were produced after the announcement.

Print media

Star Wars in print predates the release of the first film, with the December 1976 novelization of Star Wars, initially subtitled "From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker". Credited to Lucas, it was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster.[116] The first "Expanded Universe" story appeared in Marvel Comics' Star Wars #7 in January 1978 (the first six issues being an adaptation of the film), followed by Foster's sequel novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye the following month.

Novels

Timothy Zahn authored the Thrawn trilogy, which was widely credited with revitalizing the dormant Star Wars franchise.

After penning the novelization of the original film, Foster followed it with the sequel Splinter of the Mind's Eye (1978). The novelizations of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) by Donald F. Glut and Return of the Jedi (1983) by James Kahn followed, as well as The Han Solo Adventures trilogy (1979–1980) by Brian Daley,[117] and The Adventures of Lando Calrissian trilogy (1983) by L. Neil Smith.[118][119]

Timothy Zahn's bestselling Thrawn trilogy (1991–1993) reignited interest in the franchise and introduced the popular characters Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Gilad Pellaeon.[120][121][122][123] The first novel, Heir to the Empire, reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list,[124] and the series finds Luke, Leia, and Han facing off against tactical genius Thrawn, who is plotting to retake the galaxy for the Empire.[125] In The Courtship of Princess Leia (1994) by Dave Wolverton, set immediately before the Thrawn trilogy, Leia considers an advantageous political marriage to Prince Isolder of the planet Hapes, but she and Han ultimately marry.[126][127] Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire (1996), set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, was part of a multimedia campaign that included a comic book series and video game.[128][129] The novel introduced the crime lord Prince Xizor, another popular character who would appear in multiple other works.[128][130] Other notable series from Bantam include the Jedi Academy trilogy (1994) by Kevin J. Anderson,[131][132] the 14-book Young Jedi Knights series (1995–1998) by Anderson and Rebecca Moesta,[132][133] and the X-wing series (1996–2012) by Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston.[134][135][136]

Del Rey took over Star Wars book publishing in 1999, releasing what would become a 19-installment novel series called The New Jedi Order (1999–2003). Written by multiple authors, the series was set 25 to 30 years after the original films and introduced the Yuuzhan Vong, a powerful alien race attempting to invade and conquer the entire galaxy.[137][138] The bestselling multi-author series Legacy of the Force (2006–2008) chronicles the crossover of Han and Leia's son Jacen Solo to the dark side of the Force; among his evil deeds, he kills Luke's wife Mara Jade as a sacrifice to join the Sith. Although no longer canon, the story is paralleled in The Force Awakens with Han and Leia's son Ben Solo, who has become the dark Kylo Ren.[139][140][141][142]

Three series set in the prequel era were introduced for younger audiences: the 18-book Jedi Apprentice (1999–2002) chronicles the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master Qui-Gon Jinn in the years before The Phantom Menace; the 11-book Jedi Quest (2001–2004) follows Obi-Wan and his own apprentice, Anakin Skywalker in between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones; and the 10-book The Last of the Jedi (2005–2008), set almost immediately after Revenge of the Sith, features Obi-Wan and the last few surviving Jedi.

Although Thrawn had been designated a Legends character in 2014, he was reintroduced into the canon in the 2016 third season of Rebels, with Zahn returning to write more novels based in the character, and set in the new canon.[143][144]

Comics

Marvel Comics published a Star Wars comic book series from 1977 to 1986.[145][146][147][148] Original Star Wars comics were serialized in the Marvel magazine Pizzazz between 1977 and 1979. The 1977 installments were the first original Star Wars stories not directly adapted from the films to appear in print form, as they preceded those of the Star Wars comic series.[149] From 1985 to 1987, the animated children's series Ewoks and Droids inspired comic series from Marvel's Star Comics line.[150][151][152] According to Marvel comics former Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter, the strong sales of Star Wars comics saved Marvel financially in 1977 and 1978.[153] Marvel's Star Wars series was one of the industry's top selling titles in 1979 and 1980.[154] The only downside for Marvel was that the 100,000 copy sales quota was surpassed quickly, allowing Lippincott to renegotiate the royalty arrangements from a position of strength.[155]

In the late 1980s, Marvel dropped a new Star Wars comic it had in development, which was picked up by Dark Horse Comics and published as the popular Dark Empire series (1991–1995).[156] Dark Horse subsequently launched dozens of series set after the original film trilogy, including Tales of the Jedi (1993–1998), X-wing Rogue Squadron (1995–1998), Star Wars: Republic (1998–2006), Star Wars Tales (1999–2005), Star Wars: Empire (2002–2006), and Knights of the Old Republic (2006–2010).[157][158]

After Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, it was announced in January 2014 that in 2015 the Star Wars comics license would return to Marvel Comics,[159] whose parent company, Marvel Entertainment, Disney had purchased in 2009.[160] Launched in 2015, the first three publications were titled Star Wars, Darth Vader, and the limited series Princess Leia.[161][162][163]

First announced as Project Luminous at Star Wars Celebration in April 2019, full details of a publishing initiative called Star Wars: The High Republic were revealed in a press conference in February 2020. Involving the majority of the current officially licensed publishers, a new era set 200 years before the Skywalker Saga will be explored in various books and comics. These include ongoing titles by Marvel and IDW Publishing, written by Cavan Scott and Daniel José Older respectively, that will both premiere in August 2020.[164]

Audio

Soundtracks and singles

John Williams composed the soundtracks for the nine episodic films; he has stated that he will retire from the franchise with The Rise of Skywalker.[165] He also composed Han Solo's theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story; John Powell adapted and composed the rest of the score.[166] Michael Giacchino composed the score of Rogue One.[166] Ludwig Göransson scored and composed the music of The Mandalorian.[167] Williams also created the main theme for Galaxy's Edge.[168]

Audio novels

The first Star Wars audio work is The Story of Star Wars, an LP using audio samples from the original film and a new narration to retell the story, released in 1977. Most later printed novels were adapted into audio novels, usually released on cassette tape and re-released on CD. As of 2019, audio-only novels have been released not directly based on printed media.[169]

Radio

Radio adaptations of the films were also produced. Lucas, a fan of the NPR-affiliated campus radio station of his alma mater the University of Southern California, licensed the Star Wars radio rights to KUSC-FM for US$1. The production used John Williams's original film score, along with Ben Burtt's sound effects.[170][171]

The first was written by science-fiction author Brian Daley and directed by John Madden. It was broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981, adapting the original 1977 film into 13 episodes.[172][170][171] Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels reprised their film roles.[172][170]

The overwhelming success, led to a 10-episode adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back debuted in 1983.[173] Billy Dee Williams joined the other two stars, reprising his role as Lando Calrissian.[174]

In 1983, Buena Vista Records released an original, 30-minute Star Wars audio drama titled Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell, written by Daley.[171][175] In the 1990s, Time Warner Audio Publishing adapted several Star Wars series from Dark Horse Comics into audio dramas: the three-part Dark Empire saga, Tales of the Jedi, Dark Lords of the Sith, the Dark Forces trilogy, and Crimson Empire (1998).[175] Return of the Jedi was adapted into 6-episodes in 1996, featuring Daniels.[170][175]

Video games

The Star Wars franchise has spawned over one hundred[176] computer, video, and board games, dating back to some of the earliest home consoles. Some are based directly on the movie material, while others rely heavily on the non-canonical Expanded Universe (rebranded as Star Wars Legends and removed from the canon in 2014). Star Wars games have gone through three significant development eras, marked by a change in leadership among the developers: the early licensed games, those developed after the creation of LucasArts, and those created after the closure of the Lucasfilm division by Disney and the transfer of the license to Electronic Arts.

Early licensed games (1979–1993)

The first officially licensed electronic Star Wars game was Kenner's 1979 table-top Star Wars Electronic Battle Command.[177][178] In 1982, Parker Brothers published the first Star Wars video game for the Atari 2600, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,[179] followed soon the year later by Star Wars: Jedi Arena, the first video game to depict lightsaber combat. They were followed in 1983 by Atari's rail shooter arcade game Star Wars, with vector graphics to replicate the Death Star trench run scene from the 1977 film.[180] The next game, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1984), has more traditional raster graphics,[181] while the following Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1985) has vector graphics.[182]

Platform games were made for the Nintendo Entertainment System, including the Japan-exclusive Star Wars (1987), an international Star Wars (1991), and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1992). Super Star Wars (1992) was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, with two sequels over the next two years.

LucasArts and modern self-published games (1993–2014)

Lucasfilm founded its own video game company in 1982, becoming best known for adventure games and World War II flight combat games, but as George Lucas took more interest in the increasing success of the video game market, he wanted to have more creative control over the games and founded his own development company, LucasArts. Improved graphics allowed games to tell complex narratives, which allowed for the retelling of the films, and eventually original narratives set in the same continuity, with voice-overs and CGI cutscenes. In 1993, LucasArts released Star Wars: X-Wing, the first self-published Star Wars video game and the first space flight simulator based on the franchise.[183] It was one of the best-selling video games of 1993 and established its own series of games.[183] The Rogue Squadron series was released between 1998 and 2003, also focusing on space battles set during the films.

Dark Forces (1995), a hybrid adventure game incorporating puzzles and strategy,[184] was the first Star Wars first-person shooter.[185] It featured gameplay and graphical features not then common in other games, made possible by LucasArts' custom-designed game engine, the Jedi.[185][184][186][187] The game was well received,[188][189][190] and it was followed by four sequels.[191][192] The series introduced Kyle Katarn, who would appear in multiple games, novels, and comics.[193] Katarn is a former stormtrooper who joins the Rebellion and becomes a Jedi,[185][194][195] a plot arc similar to that of Finn in the sequel trilogy films.[139] A massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Star Wars Galaxies, was in operation from 2003 until 2011. After Disney bought Lucasfilm, LucasArts ceased its role as a developer in 2013, although it still operates as a licensor.[196]

EA Star Wars (2014–present)

Following its acquisition of the franchise, Disney reassigned video game rights to Electronic Arts. Games made during this era are considered canonical, and feature more influence from the Star Wars filmmakers. Disney partnered with Lenovo to create the augmented reality video game Jedi Challenges, released in November 2017.[197][198] In August 2018, it was announced that Zynga would publish free-to-play Star Wars mobile games.[199] The Battlefront games received a canonical reboot in 2017. Jedi: Fallen Order was released in November 2019 and Star Wars: Squadrons was released in October 2020.

Theme park attractions

In addition to the Disneyland ride Star Tours (1987) and its successor, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (2011), many live attractions have been held at Disney parks, including the travelling exhibition Where Science Meets Imagination, the Space Mountain spin-off Hyperspace Mountain, a walkthrough Launch Bay, and the night-time A Galactic Spectacular. An immersive themed area called Galaxy's Edge (2019) opened at Disneyland and opened at Walt Disney World in mid-2019.[200] A themed hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, is currently under construction at Walt Disney World.[201]

Title Park(s) Opening date Closing date
Star Tours Disneyland January 9, 1987 (1987-01-09) July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
Tokyo Disneyland July 12, 1989 (1989-07-12) April 2, 2012 (2012-04-02)
Disney's Hollywood Studios December 15, 1989 (1989-12-15) September 7, 2010 (2010-09-07)
Disneyland Paris April 12, 1992 (1992-04-12) March 16, 2016 (2016-03-16)
Star Wars Weekends Disney's Hollywood Studios 1997 (1997) November 2015 (2015)
Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination Multiple locations October 19, 2005 (2005-10-19) March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23)
Jedi Training Academy Disneyland July 1, 2006 (2006-19-01) November 15, 2015 (2015-11-15)
Disney's Hollywood Studios October 9, 2007 (2007-10-09) October 5, 2015 (2015-10-05)
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue Disney's Hollywood Studios May 20, 2011 (2011-05-20) N/A (Operating)
Disneyland June 3, 2011 (2011-06-03)
Tokyo Disneyland May 7, 2013 (2013-05-07)
Disneyland Paris March 26, 2017 (2017-03-26)
Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain Disneyland November 14, 2015 (2015-11-14) May 31, 2017 (2017-05-31)
Hong Kong Disneyland June 11, 2016 (2016-06-11) N/A (Operating)
Disneyland Paris May 7, 2017 (2017-05-07)
Star Wars Launch Bay Disneyland November 16, 2015 (2015-11-16)
Disney's Hollywood Studios December 4, 2015 (2015-12-04)
Shanghai Disneyland Park June 16, 2016 (2016-06-16)
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple Disney's Hollywood Studios December 1, 2015 (2015-12-01)
Disneyland December 8, 2015 (2015-12-08)
Disneyland Paris July 11, 2015 (2015-07-11)
Hong Kong Disneyland June 25, 2016 (2016-06-25)
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Disney's Hollywood Studios June 17, 2016 (2016-06-17)
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Disneyland May 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
Disney's Hollywood Studios August 29, 2019 (2019-08-29)
Star Wars: Millennium Falcon - Smugglers Run Disneyland May 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
Disney's Hollywood Studios August 29, 2019 (2019-08-29)
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Disney's Hollywood Studios December 5, 2019 (2019-12-05)
Disneyland January 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)

Multimedia projects

A multimedia project involves works released across multiple types of media. Shadows of the Empire (1996) was a multimedia project set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi that included a novel by Steve Perry, a comic book series, a video game, and action figures.[128][129] The Force Unleashed (2008–2010) was a similar project set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that included a novel, a 2008 video game and its 2010 sequel, a graphic novel, a role-playing game supplement, and toys.[202][203]

Merchandising

George Lucas made much of his fortune by retaining his rights to the franchise's merchandising.

The success of the Star Wars films led the franchise to become one of the most merchandised franchises in the world. While filming the original 1977 film, George Lucas decided to take a $500,000 pay cut to his salary as director in exchange for full ownership of the franchise's merchandising rights. By 1987, the first three films have made US$2.6 billion in merchandising revenue.[204] By 2012, the first six films produced approximately US$20 billion in merchandising revenue.[205]

Kenner made the first Star Wars action figures to coincide with the release of the original film, and today the original figures are highly valuable. Since the 1990s, Hasbro holds the rights to create action figures based on the saga. Pez dispensers began to be produced in 1997.[206] Star Wars was the first intellectual property to be licensed in Lego history.[207] Lego has produced animated parody short films and mini-series to promote their Star Wars sets.[208] The Lego Star Wars video games are critically acclaimed bestsellers.[209][210]

In 1977, the board game Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star was released.[211][k] A Star Wars Monopoly and themed versions of Trivial Pursuit and Battleship were released in 1997, with updated versions released in subsequent years. The board game Risk has been adapted in two editions by Hasbro: The Clone Wars Edition (2005)[213] and the Original Trilogy Edition (2006).[214] Three Star Wars tabletop role-playing games have been developed: a version by West End Games in the 1980s and 1990s, one by Wizards of the Coast in the 2000s, and one by Fantasy Flight Games in the 2010s.

Star Wars Trading Cards have been published since the first "blue" series, by Topps, in 1977.[215] Dozens of series have been produced, with Topps being the licensed creator in the United States. Each card series are of film stills or original art. Many of the cards have become highly collectible with some very rare "promos", such as the 1993 Galaxy Series II "floating Yoda" P3 card often commanding US$1,000 or more. While most "base" or "common card" sets are plentiful, many "insert" or "chase cards" are very rare.[216] From 1995 until 2001, Decipher, Inc. had the license for, created, and produced the Star Wars Customizable Card Game.

Star Wars In other media articles: 182