When Star Wars Episode 3 was released in movie theaters in May of 1977 it was little more than a dream of one aspiring movie director and producer, George Lucas. In 30 years the Star Wars franchise has evolved into a multi million dollar franchise, attracting fans worldwide, and is the 3rd highest grossing film series only behind James Bond and Harry Potter.
Here’s a quick look back at some Star Wars History:
1971: George Lucas begins creating Star Wars
1975: George Lucas creates Industrial Light and Magic
- 1976, 22, March: Filming on Star Wars IV: A New Hope begins with a budget of 11 million.
- 1977, 25, March: Star Wars IV: A New Hope is released in theaters. The film earns 979 million worldwide.
- 1979, 5, March: Filming on Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back begins. Irvin Kershner directs.
- 1980, 1, May: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back is released in theaters. It becomes the highest grossing film of 1980. It initially receives some mixed reviews from critics, but today is generally considered to be one of the best by the fans.
- 1982, 11, January: Filming on Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi begins. Lucas again funds the film on his own but due to his quitting the writers guild, he doesn’t get his friend Spielburg as director. Welsh film director Richard Marquand directs instead.
- 1983, 25, May: Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi is released in theaters. It’s the first of the films to use THX technology. The film receives positive reviews from critics.
- 1993: It’s announced that Lucas will be filming the prequel trilogy
- 1997: All three Star Wars films are re-released in theaters as special editions. The films had be reworked to digitally remaster video and audio effects.
- 1997: Filming on Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace begins
- 1999, 19, May: Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace is released in theaters, reviews from critics are mixed. The film goes on to become the 12th highest grossing film of all time.
- 2000: Filming on Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones begins
- 2002, 16, May: Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones is released, reviews from critics are mixed as dialogue and special effect elements are criticized
- 2003, 30, June: Filming on Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith begins
- 2003: Star Wars: Clones Wars, a Star Wars cartoon based on the events occurring between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith begins airing on Cartoon network
- 2005, 19, May: Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith is released in theaters to positive reviews
- 2008: Star Wars: Clone Wars, a CGI movie is released in theaters to mostly negative reviews
- 2008: Star Wars: Clone Wars, a CGI TV show on cartoon network airs to coincide with the movie in theaters, it becomes the highest series debut on the network ever.
So….What’s next for the mega franchise?
Although another Star Wars movie may never be released in theaters, the Star Wars universe ever expands by breaking new boundaries whether it be with new product releases, a world traveling orchestra playing the classical music from the movies, or a planned live-action TV Series.
Live-action TV Series?
Could the Star Wars universe be expanded upon more extensively by creating a prime time TV series on a network such as ABC, NBC, CBS, or FOX? Just take the show Lost for example, a show with a story line so complex and extending, it could never have been fitted into even a movie trilogy. Thus it’s creators fit the Lost series in 6 different seasons that lasted for 6 years. Could the creation of a Star Wars TV show go above and beyond where the original trilogy and the prequels ever did? Probably not, but if done the right way the a TV series could recapture a new kind of magic in the Star Wars universe, perhaps a new chapter.
the Emperor and Darth Vader are heard about — people talk about them — but you never see them because it doesn’t take place where they actually are. There are stormtroopers and all that, but there are no Jedis -George Lucas
In 2005 Lucas announced the creation of a Star Wars live action TV series. It’s been 5 years since the announcement but the TV series is expected to debut sometime between 2010 and 2012. The story line is not expected to focus on those in the original trilogy or even the prequels but will take place in the Star Wars universe. The series is expected to focus on minors characters between the end of Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. As we wait to hear more, the Star Wars universe continues to expand in the minds of fans worldwide. Lucas kept fans waiting almost 15 years more for the prequels, how bad is it waiting a couple more for a live action TV show?