Star Wars is one of the most popular film series and branded merchandise in our history. The impact of the Star Wars franchise is enormous, far-reaching, and sometimes even life-changing. Having started in the 1970s, Star Wars continue developing and growing in popularity.
The first Star Wars film was released in 1977 and immediately became the brand name licensed for use on a great variety of products. In the 1990s, the Star Wars branded goods included comic book series for children, the series of books for adults, DVD release of the original Star Wars trilogy, video and computer games, magazines for kids, and many other commodities.
In 1999, Lego introduced a theme based on the Star Wars series. Lego Star Wars covers eight main films, including the Star Wars: Rebels TV series, The Clone Wars movie and TV series, and anthology films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Also, some Expanded Universe sets have been released within the period of 2008-2013. Lego Star Wars is still favored by both children and adults.
The Star Wars Battlefront video game is another example of brand's popularity. Electronic Arts, a video game company that produces the Battlefront franchise, revealed that they sold more than 14 million copies of the game across all platforms in 2016. Another universally popular Star Wars merchandise is a lightsaber, the weapon used by the film characters such as Jedi and Sith. The rich variety of lightsabers is represented on the market – from the low-priced plastic toys to the deluxe copies of the famous sword with sound effects and LED lighted tubes.
The extensive range of Star Wars Saga merchandise also includes the amazing Star Wars toys beloved by kids and adults. Large companies such as Disney, Kenner, and Hasbro released the series of toys and action figures devoted to the film characters. Star Wars toys became immensely popular among the fans collecting different series and editions of the toys.
Another evidence of the saga’s wide renown comes from the Star Wars books. A large number of books and graphic novels has been published during and after the original trilogy. Interestingly, George Lucas chose to include some of the elements from the novels in the films.
Rogue One: How did Disney change the Star Wars series?
Rogue One is a part of the brand-new trilogy created by the Disney Company after they purchased Lucasfilm along with its Star Wars properties. It was declared earlier that the story ends at the close of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. However, after fans of the saga accepted the fact that the Star Wars series ended, Disney resurrected the movie.
Having become a new production company to develop and produce Star Wars, Disney made some major changes in the legendary series. The first direct prequel the company released could eliminate much of the underlying distaste. Being closely connected to the original movie, Rouge One tells a completely unique and unknown story. Another remarkable change is the absence of a traditional crawl at the beginning. As well as The Clone Wars, the film opens with a newsreel-style summation of the conflict. Despite the changes Disney brought to the Star Wars saga, it is still incredibly popular, and its ardent fans are waiting for the new films to be released.
Top 10 immensely interesting facts about Star Wars
After 30 years of the Star Wars history, many ideas, stories, and characters remain unknown. Here are 10 most exciting facts about the movie series you probably didn't know:
- Alec Guinness, the actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, thought of Star Wars as “fairy-tale rubbish.” This rubbish, however, earned him 2% of the box office gross, which is over $95 million.
- George Lucas originally planned a monkey wearing a mask and carrying a cane to play Yoda. Also, Yoda's species is not mentioned in any film, and he has a different number of toes in different films. In The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Revenge of the Sith, the Grand Master has four toes, but in The Phantom Menace, he has only three toes.
- George Lucas has set an example of goodwill by using Star Wars screenings to raise money for charities around the world. Such acts of generosity reflect and spread the main theme of Star Wars, i.e. fighting injustice. The most recent charity campaign, Star Wars: Force for Change, supports UNICEF Kid Power program seeking to improve the lives of children in need all over the world.
- The language of Ewok is a combination of Nepalese and Tibetan languages. Interestingly, no character in the original trilogy has ever mentioned the word ‘Ewok.’ Furthermore, the Wookiees were meant to play the Ewok part in the story, but they were considered too technologically advanced for the plot.
- Peter Cushing who played Grand Moff Tarkin claimed his costume boots to be rather comfortless. He refused to wear them and insisted his feet were never in the shot. So Grand Moff Tarkin was wearing slippers during many of his scenes.
- James Earl Jones who is famous for providing the voice of Darth Vader didn't actually produce the famous breathing effect. It was Ben Burtt, a sound designer who collected sounds with the help of a scuba breathing apparatus. He placed a microphone inside the mouthpiece of the apparatus, breathed in it in different ways, and recorded the sound which was used for Vader's breathing.
- While filming Star Wars: Episode VII, Harrison Ford broke his ankle when the door on the Millennium Falcon fell on him. About the year later, J.J. Abrams imparted that he broke his back trying to help get Harrison Ford out from under that door.
- George Lucas considered the idea of making another ending for Return of the Jedi. We would see how Luke removes dying Vader's helmet, puts it on, and turns to the dark side proclaiming "Now I am Vader."
- Chewbacca's voice is an eclectic mix of lions, bears, badgers, walruses, and other dying animals.
- George Lucas unconcernedly told Mark Hamill over the lunch that Disney was going to film the new Star Wars trilogy, and Luke Skywalker would be just written out of the script if Mark did not want to be involved. Hamill agreed to reprise the role immediately but pretended to also be indifferent about it so that it didn’t look like he was too excited for this role.
Having experienced many changes, challenges, and wide-ranging critique, Star Wars keeps its legendary place in the film industry. Every new film has fans on the edge of their seats and makes them look forward to the release of the next part of the famous saga.