A+E: May The Fourth Be With You
by Ed Crowe
The space opera film series Star Wars was created by writer and director George Lucas, who was also responsible for writing and directing the classic film American Graffiti. Since the the first theatrical release in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has become one of the most successful and influential motion picture series in the history of filmmaking.
Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, along with rising from the ashes in the 21st century, this film franchise has touched so many generations. What is also significant about Star Wars is that it actually took four years to film and release it to the public. The reasoning behind this was due to the multiple locations of filming such as Tunisia and Death Valley, as well as soundstages in England.
Nevertheless, when it was released on May 25, 1977, it took the world by surprise. While the film was only released in 42 different theaters, the film earned almost $3 million in the first week. The movie also grossed $100 million by the end of that summer, which is truly remarkable. The film was also retitled and later renamed, Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977).
Mr. Tommy Johnson, a visual art teacher here at St. John Bosco, actually experienced the original theatrical release of Episode IV and realized then what a great movie it was. Ever since, Mr. Johnson has watched the other movies as well as television series and considers himself a huge fan of the entire franchise.
“I sat through that movie three times because the father that took us did not come back in time, but I remember the introduction because I can never finish reading the abstract at the beginning of the film,” said Tommy Johnson.
Mr. Johnson can also recall the space guns and the sound effects in film, which was another component that made him so interested in the film at a young age, so much so that he watched it multiple times in one sitting without being bored.
However, the most influential as well as recognizable piece of the film that stuck with Mr. Johnson as well as other future fans was the soundtrack at the moment the screen read, “Star Wars.” Years later, the Star Wars main theme is recognizable to people who aren’t even fans of the films.
Since the first Star Wars movie was so successful, Lucas decided to follow up with two sequels, Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi (1983), which were once again highly successful films. By then, the Star Wars franchise began to thrive in the late 80s and early 90s through the release of videos and a merchandise line.
However, 20 years after the first Star Wars was released, Lucasfilm relaunched the film series with a string of prequels, which gave the backstory of Luke Skywalkers’ father and the events leading to the creation of the sinister Darth Vader. Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones (2002), and Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith (2005) additionally became great successes under the franchise.
Furthermore, with an incredible film like Star Wars, comes the fans who admire the characters and every part of it. Senior Maximus Stober considers himself a die hard fan and describes his passion for these films and the new concepts they present.
“[It is] Endless. everything you see can be new. The sci-fi concepts and the art styles are what truly make me a true fan of this franchise,” said Maximus.
Maximus has been a huge fan of Star Wars for a long time and has been keeping up with the recent television shows related to the Star Wars story. While many people have not watched the entire series, there are more young people who enjoy watching the Star Wars series The Mandalorian as well as Andor.
Another major fan of this saga who took a different approach to becoming a so-called Star Wars “nerd” is Mr. Ruben Solorza. His introduction to the Star Wars universe started through the old video games, which later gave him the interest to watch the films and later in his life the television series as well.
“The old Playstation 2 video games, specifically Battlefront I and II. And then I watched all the movies, and my parents were fans as well, so my dad would always have them on the TV,” said Mr. Solorza.
He also says that his brother would play the popular video game, Lego Star Wars, which he remembers as one of the best memories he has with his brother. It is through these memories that this franchise has provided many people with a sense of happiness.
Recently, movie theaters have brought back, Return of the Jedi in preparation for the 40-year anniversary of the release, which will be celebrated on May 25th 2023. These films bring people closer together and the more recent shows present new insight into our world. Ultimately, one has to ask: where would we be without Star Wars?