Star Wars is an American epic space-opera media franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. The franchise has been expanded into various films and... (retroactively titled Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope) is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Walton Lucas Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. Lucas is best known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts, and Industrial..., produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century-Fox. It stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew. It is the first installment of the original Star Wars trilogy, the first of the franchise to be produced, and the fourth episode of the “Skywalker saga”.
Lucas had the idea for a science-fiction film in the vein of Flash Gordon around the time he completed his first film, THX 1138 (1971), and began working on a treatment after the release of American Graffiti (1973). Star Wars focuses on the journey of Luke Skywalker is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the original film trilogy of the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. Portrayed by Mark Hamill, Luke first appeared in Star Wars (1977), and... (Hamill), who along with Han Solo is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. The character first appeared in the 1977 film Star Wars portrayed by Harrison Ford, who reprised his role in The Empire... (Ford) and the wizened Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (/ˈoʊbiːˌwɑːn kəˈnoʊbiː/), also known as Ben Kenobi, is a character in the Star Wars franchise. Within the original trilogy, Obi-Wan is a Jedi Master as a supporting character and is portrayed by English actor... (Guinness), attempt to free Rebellion leader Princess Leia Organa is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, portrayed in films by Carrie Fisher. Introduced in the original Star Wars film in 1977, Leia is princess of the planet Alderaan, a member... (Fisher) from the clutches of the Galactic Empire and the Sith lord Darth Vader is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Born Anakin Skywalker, the character is a primary antagonist in the original trilogy and a primary protagonist in the prequel trilogy. Star Wars creator George... (Prowse, voiced by Jones). The heroes, in league with the Rebel Alliance, attempt to destroy the Empire’s planet-destroying space station, the The Death Star is a fictional mobile space station and galactic superweapon featured in the Star Wars space-opera franchise. The first version, which appears in the original 1977 film Star Wars, is stated to be more....
Star Wars was released in a limited number of theaters in the United States on May 25, 1977, and quickly became a blockbuster hit, leading to it being expanded to a much wider release. The film opened to critical acclaim, most notably for its groundbreaking visual effects. It grossed a total of $775 million, surpassing Jaws (1975) to become the highest-grossing film at the time until the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). When adjusted for inflation, Star Wars is the second-highest-grossing film in North America (behind Gone with the Wind) and the fourth-highest-grossing film in the world. It received ten Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), winning seven. In 1989, it became one of the first 25 films that was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. At the time, it was the most recent film in the registry and the only one chosen from the 1970s. In 2004, its soundtrack was added to the U.S. National Recording Registry. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important films in the history of motion pictures.
The film has been reissued multiple times with Lucas’s support—most significantly with its 20th-anniversary theatrical “Special Edition”—incorporating many changes including modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, re-edited shots, remixed soundtracks and added scenes. The film became a “pop-cultural phenomenon” and launched an industry of tie-in products, including novels, comics, video games, amusement park attractions, and merchandise including toys, games, clothing and many other spin-off works. The film’s success led to two critically and commercially successful sequels, The Empire Strikes Back, also known as Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan,... (1980) and Return of the Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan and George... (1983), and later to a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, two anthology films and various spin-off TV series.