What is Star Wars All About?
Star Wars is a cinematic saga that tells a story that happened “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”. Star Wars is about how dark evil creatures known as the Sith orchestrated the democratic republic’s overthrow by turning it into a dictatorial empire, while a rebellion tries to fight them with the help of the enlightened Sith’s ‘counterparts’, the Jedi.
Episode IV: A New Hope was the first film about Star Wars made by George Lucas. The production tells the story of Princess Leia, who is arrested for being part of the resistance and for stealing the plans of the secret imperial weapon, the Death Star.
But before Darth Vader can catch the plans, Leia puts them on the R2-D2 droid. The droid, along with C3-PO, goes after Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is when we meet Luke Skywalker, a young man who always wanted to leave Tatooine and get to know the universe, but was prevented by his uncles, who feared the boy would become like his father, Anakin Skywalker. In later films, Luke is trained by master Yoda and becomes a great Jedi.
Star Wars fell into public’s grace not only for the story, but for presenting an unreal universe and transforming it into something truthful to our eyes. In addition, human characters mix with other creatures in a convincing way, as is the case of Han Solo and his fellow, Chewbacca. There are also many characters with a deep charismatic profile, such as Luke, the hero of the film, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and the droids. Even Darth Vader, an iconic villain in the world of cinema, is able to show a particular style. He is a villain who can, in fact, be regarded as a hero.
In the first two trilogies (the original and the prequel), the focus is on two characters – Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, his son. Anakin Skywalker is a Jedi who ends up turning to the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader, one of the most powerful and successful Sith and right arm of the Emperor Palpatine. Later he redeems himself, returns to the Light Side and kills his master, helping the rebellion.
In the new trilogy, thirty years after the fall of the Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat: the First Order, which assumes the role that previously belonged to the Sith. The new hero is Rey who tries to keep the Jedi legacy alive. During her journey she ends up developing a complex love/hate relationship with the First Order’s Supreme Leader in command, Kylo Ren (son of Han Solo and Princess Leia).
Cinema as we know it owes a lot to the Star Wars’ release back in 1977.
The foundation of modern cinema began with the film Shark in 1975. Steven Spielberg’s film was the first blockbuster in cinematic history. It created concepts that began to redefine the seventh art, as a production focused on entertainment. But the cinema revolution was only completed in 1977, when George Lucas released Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope, which, at the time, was called ‘just’ Star Wars.
Several problems during the production and filming of Star Wars forced George Lucas to finance part of the film from his own pocket. In exchange, the studio ‘gave’ him the film’s rights and ownership of all the merchandising that could be derived from his creation. This apparently unimportant event ended up changing not only the cinema, but also a certain way of living.
George Lucas, owner of the film’ rights, which is filled of charismatic characters, launched the film products licensing, creating a huge fan community. Since then, Fan clubs, memorabilia, collectors, discussion groups, fan conventions have been created. What was initially ‘just a film’, became a whole fictional universe, made of films, comics, books, games and many other things, all related and describing events that were taking place within the Star Wars universe.
So, if you like cable TV or watching a movie on DVD today, know that this recent habit in human history has become popular thanks to Star Wars and the VCR. In fact, all these common and everyday things exist, thanks to the saga.
The process of telling the stories in various parts (in trilogies, basically), also occurred with Star Wars, who adapted the theatrical structure of the Ternary and its division into acts – beginning, middle and end – for a saga of three films.
Can we then say that Star Wars ‘changed the world’? Yes, it has changed the cinema, implemented new behaviors in modern society and modified the way people relate to entertainment
Why Star Wars is the Best Saga Ever Made?
Learning About The Force
One of the most important elements in Star Wars is the ” Force “, a ubiquitous energy that can be used by those with the ability to do so, known as Force Sensitive.
It is described in the first produced film as an “energy field created by all living beings, which surrounds us, permeates us, and holds the galaxy together.” Later, we found it can be felt better by those who have a greater number of midi-clorians, which are a kind of microorganisms that live in symbiosis with humans.
The Force allows its users to do various supernatural deeds, and can also amplify certain physical characteristics, such as speed, reflexes and impulse. These abilities vary amongst the characters and can be improved through training. Although Force is used for good, there is a dark side that, when reached, fills its carrier with hatred, aggression and evil.
Nothing is as magical as hearing Yoda explain what the Force is, and how “its energy surrounds us and binds us”, as he lifts the X-wing out of the swamp – pure movie magic.
The Battle Between Good and Evil: The Jedi and The Sith
The battle between good and evil (Jedi and Sith), is something epic during the saga. The Jedi, who use the Force for good, and the Sith, who use its dark side for evil, in the attempt to dominate the galaxy.
The Jedi have been the inspiration for multiple generations over the past decades, since the days of Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda. From the adventures of the prequels where we saw the Jedi Order’s best days, to the excellent animated series Clone Wars and so on. Now, a new chapter in the Jedi’s history has opened, with Rey starting out in search for the learning from the legendary Luke Skywalker.
On the other side is the Dark Side, Sith or not, followers of the use of force through the most basic emotions, and whose greatest examples are Darth Vader, the Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious and of course, Kylo Ren. Dark Side practitioners have been a problem for those who defend all that is good and just.
What Star Wars fan never dreamed of wielding a lightsaber? Know how to fight like a real Jedi? Or as a Lord Sith? The lightsabers are one of the most easily recognizable weapons in the cinema, and since its first appearance they have generated fascination among the public.
The lightsaber fights are an essential part of the films franchise. Their sequences are even some of the most successful in the saga.
One of the best Star Wars duel takes place in The Empire Strikes Back and is also one of the most iconic scenes, when Darth Vader cuts Luke’s hand and confesses that he is his father. The moment is known even for those who have never seen the movies. So far, there’s no fighting scene more epic than this.
In Revenge of the Sith another epic battle took place. Very close to the end, when Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader)’s transition to the Dark Side of the Force is almost complete and he confronts his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. A fight with incredible stunts, fantastic blows, a perfect setting, with a spectacular outcome, showing why Anakin turned into Darth Vader.
Flying Millennium Falcon
Few ships are as legendary as the Millennium Falcon, the personal ship of the smuggler named Han Solo. At first, the ship looks more like an old, rusty freighter. This external disguise hides its true face and the fact that its indeed the coolest, the fastest and strangest ship ever seen in the galaxy.
It may looked like a ‘piece of junk’ but what other ship could turn three Star Destroyers inside out while being chased by a handful of TIE fighters and then lose them in an asteroid field?
The Millennium Falcon story is a great adventure. It all started when gambler Lando Calrissian won it on a bet. Lando drove it on many adventures until he lost his ship to a sabbatical match against Han Solo. The smuggler used it to improve his smuggling operations until he started helping the Rebel Alliance.
Millennium Falcon was a key element in some of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest victories over the Galactic Empire. In the Battle of Yavin, the ship saved Luke Skywalker from Darth Vader. Three years later, Lando would return the ship and command the rebel fleet in the decisive attack against the Second Death Star in Endor.
During the early years of the New Republic, the Millennium Falcon was essential in the fight against the Great Admiral Thrawn and the Empire.
In their own way, C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8, steal the show in some scenes and are characters of great influence in the story.
Every Star Wars fan has a special affection for C-3PO. Due to its incredible linguistic ability, C-3PO fulfills, throughout the saga, the role of interpreter and he is classified as a protocol droid.
Always close to its loyal companion R2-D2, both have become the most beloved characters in the saga. Built before the Invasion of Naboo by Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace, C-3PO is a somewhat fearful and pessimistic droid and adds the right dose of humor to the saga.
The astromechanical droid R2-D2, on the other hand, became famous by playing the hero in several moments, winning the public’s heart.
Last but not least, the BB-8 is a spherical robot with free movement on its dome shaped head. Through artificial intelligence it can communicate with almost all species in the galaxy, including humans.
Everyone loves the captivating BB-8, Poe Dameron’s droid that follows Rey and Finn. With multiple skills, communicative and humorous in its own way, BB-8 is the heart of The Force Awakens.
The Amazing Soundtrack
Star Wars’ soundtrack is the most famous soundtrack in cinema, from its creation to the present day.
Composed by maestro John Williams – Regarded as a musical genius that would be considered one of the greatest erudite composers of all times, if he lived before the 20th century alongside legends such as Wagner, Verdi, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and others.
The soundtrack is an icon and won the prize for Best Original Soundtrack in 1977. After all, what would Darth Vader’s entrance be without the imperial march?
It also contributed to make the first Star Wars film sequence, Episode IV – A New Hope, from 1977, the “most impressive opening in the history of cinema”, according to the research conducted in 1999 for the annual nomination of the best ‘something’ of the Century.
The Expanded Universe
Besides the movies, Star Wars has its story also told in spin-offs, or extra material derived from the original, released in several formats and considered “official” in the saga’s chronology.
This means that we can find some accounts in the comics about what Darth Vader did between the movies IV and V (remembering that at the end of Episode IV he is on a hunt and is not caught in the Death Star explosion). In the same way, in the Clone Wars cartoon series we can see deeper into the unfolding of the Clonic Wars cited in the classical trilogy and shown only superficially in the prequel trilogy.
We can also mention games, books and other materials whose stories are part of the Star Wars saga, complementing it and enriching its history.
Star Wars Trilogies
In the cinema, Star Wars is a story told in trilogies. When George Lucas wrote the original script for the saga, he adapted the format of the Theatre Ternary on three scales, dividing the main story into three smaller parts and taking each of these smaller parts and dividing them again, this time into trilogies.
In other words, the main story created by Lucas should be told in nine films. However, aware of the difficulties of producing something so big – and expensive – the author first tried to sell only the first part of the middle trilogy. The commercial success of Episode IV – A New Hope, therefore, enabled him to produce Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI – Return of The Jedi. This first trilogy is the ‘classic’, the original, from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
George Lucas has released a total of six films, divided into two trilogies: the one that tells the journey of Luke Skywalker (original trilogy) and the one dedicated to the story of Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader (prequel trilogy).
The original trilogy tells the Rebel Alliance’s story and its struggle against the Empire, which commands the galaxy with an iron fist in a despotic and authoritarian system. The films show how Luke Skywalker joins the rebels, connects with the Force, and begins his Jedi training. He is considered by the rebels as “the last hope against the Emperor”.
In this prequel trilogy (however, chronologically previous to the original trilogy), we see that the story of Star Wars is actually the journey of Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father, who ceases to be a Jedi and becomes a Sith Lord known as Darth Vader, the Emperor’s right-hand man, and how he helps him overthrow the present Galactic Republic and create the Empire.
The trilogy that began in 2015 with Episode VII – The Force Awakens does not necessarily tell the story imagined by Lucas, since he sold the franchise to Disney. Little use was made of George Lucas’ original idea. Still, it continues to be a sequence of previous films, and shows how the New Republic, founded after the Empire’s fall, came to be commanded by the enigmatic Snoke, the New Order’s leader.