List of Star Wars films and television series
The Star Wars franchise has spawned multiple films and television series. The franchise started with a film trilogy, later expanded to an ennealogy of three trilogies. The original trilogy was released between 1977 and 1983, the prequel trilogy between 1999 and 2005, and a sequel trilogy began in 2015. Theatrical spin-off films, television specials and TV series are set between the main films. There have been several animated Star Wars series, and the first live-action series will be released in 2019.
- 1 Film
- 1.1 Skywalker saga
- 1.1.1 Original trilogy
- 1.1.2 Prequel trilogy
- 1.1.3 Sequel trilogy
- 1.2 Standalone films
- 1.3 Planned spin-off trilogies
- 1.4 Technical information
- 1.5 Box office performance
- 1.6 Critical response
- 1.1 Skywalker saga
- 2 Television
- 2.1 Films and special
- 2.2 Animated series
- 2.3 Live-action series
- 3 Unproduced projects
- 4 Parodies
- 5 See also
- 6 References
The Star Wars film series centers around a trilogy of trilogies (also referred to as the "Skywalker saga" or the "Star Wars saga"). They were released out of sequence: the original (Episodes IV, V, VI, 1977, 1980, 1983), prequel (Episodes I, II, III, 1999, 2002, 2005), and sequel (Episodes VII, VIII, IX, 2015, 2017, 2019) trilogy. The first two trilogies were released on three year intervals, the sequel trilogy films two years apart. Each trilogy centers on a generation of the Force-sensitive Skywalker family. The prequels focus on Anakin Skywalker, the original trilogy on his son Luke, and the sequels on Luke's nephew Kylo Ren.
Several spin-off films have been released theatrically. An animated film, The Clone Wars (2008), was released as a pilot to a TV series of the same name. An anthology series set between the main episodes entered development in parallel to the production of the sequel trilogy, described by Disney CFO Jay Rasulo as origin stories. The first entry, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), tells the story of the rebels who steal the Death Star plans directly before Episode IV. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) focuses on Han's backstory, also featuring Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian.
Two spin-off film trilogies are planned: one by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and the other by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. The latter is scheduled to be released in December of 2022, 2024, and 2026.
|Film||Release date||Director||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producer(s)|
|May 25, 1977||George Lucas||George Lucas||George Lucas||Gary Kurtz|
|May 21, 1980||Irvin Kershner||Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan||George Lucas||Gary Kurtz|
|May 25, 1983||Richard Marquand||Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas||George Lucas||Howard Kazanjian|
|May 19, 1999||George Lucas||George Lucas||George Lucas||Rick McCallum|
|May 16, 2002||George Lucas||George Lucas and Jonathan Hales||George Lucas||Rick McCallum|
|May 19, 2005||George Lucas||George Lucas||George Lucas||Rick McCallum|
|December 18, 2015||J. J. Abrams||Lawrence Kasdan & J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt||Lawrence Kasdan & J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt||Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk|
|December 15, 2017||Rian Johnson||Rian Johnson||Rian Johnson||Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman|
|December 20, 2019||J. J. Abrams||J. J. Abrams & Chris Terrio||J. J. Abrams & Chris Terrio||Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams and Michelle Rejwan|
The episodic films begin with an opening crawl, accompanied by the main Star Wars theme by John Williams, who composes the scores for each film. The first six films have had retroactive changes made after their initial releases, most notably the original trilogy.
Immediately after directing American Graffiti (1973), Lucas wrote a two-page synopsis for the space opera he had been planning, which 20th Century Fox invested in. Lucas expanded his treatment into an overview called The Star Wars, and by 1974, he had written the screenplay's first draft. Lucas negotiated to retain the sequel rights, and cast American Graffiti actor Harrison Ford as Han Solo.
Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977, followed by The Empire Strikes Back on May 21, 1980, and Return of the Jedi on May 25, 1983. The plot of the original trilogy centers on the Galactic Civil War of the Rebel Alliance trying to free the galaxy from the clutches of the Galactic Empire, as well as on Luke Skywalker's quest to become a Jedi.
Episode IV: A New Hope
The original Star Wars film opens with a Rebel spaceship being intercepted by the Empire above the desert planet of Tatooine. Aboard, the deadly Imperial agent Darth Vader and his stormtroopers capture Princess Leia Organa, a secret member of the rebellion. Before her capture, Leia makes sure the droid R2-D2 will escape with stolen Imperial blueprints and a holographic message for the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has been living in exile on Tatooine. Along with C-3PO, R2-D2 falls under the ownership of Luke Skywalker, a farmboy who has been raised by his aunt and uncle. Luke helps the droids locate Obi-Wan, now a solitary old hermit known as Ben Kenobi. He reveals himself as a friend of Luke's absent father, Anakin Skywalker, who was Obi-Wan's Jedi apprentice until being murdered by Vader. He tells Luke he must also become a Jedi. After discovering his family's homestead has been destroyed by the Empire, they hire the smuggler Han Solo, his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca and their space freighter, the Millennium Falcon. They discover that Leia's homeworld of Alderaan has been destroyed, and are soon captured by the planet-destroying Death Star. While Obi-Wan disables its tractor beam, Luke and Han rescue the captive Princess Leia. Finally, they deliver the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance with the hope of exploiting a weakness.
The first rough draft, titled The Star Wars, introduced "the Force" and the young hero Luke Starkiller. Annikin [sic] appeared as Luke's father, a wise Jedi knight. The third draft replaced (a deceased) Annikin with Ben Kenobi. Some months later, Lucas had negotiated a contract that gave him rights to two sequels. By 1976, a fourth draft had been prepared for principal photography. The film was titled The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars. During production, Lucas changed Luke's name to Skywalker and shortened the title to The Star Wars, and finally just Star Wars. At that point, Lucas was not expecting the film to warrant full-scale sequels. The fourth draft of the script underwent subtle changes to become a self-contained story ending with the destruction of the Empire in the Death Star. The intention was that if the film was successful, Lucas could adapt Foster's novels into low-budget sequels. By that point, Lucas had developed a tentative backstory to aid in developing the saga. Star Wars exceeded all expectations. The success of the film and its merchandise sales led Lucas to make Star Wars the basis of an elaborate film serial, and use the profits to finance his filmmaking center, Skywalker Ranch. After the release of the first sequel, the original film was subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope for a rerelease in 1981.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Set three years after the destruction of the Death Star, The Empire Strikes Back begins with the Empire forcing the Rebel Alliance to evacuate its secret base on Hoth. Instructed by Obi-Wan's spirit, Luke travels to the swamp world of Dagobah to find the exiled Jedi Master Yoda. Luke's Jedi training is interrupted by Vader, who lures him into a trap by capturing Han and Leia at Cloud City, governed by Han's old friend Lando. During a fierce duel, Vader reveals a shocking truth about Luke's father.
Owing to financial concerns, Alan Dean Foster's sequel novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye (1978), restricted the story to Luke, Leia, and Darth Vader. But after the success of the original film, Lucas knew a sequel would be granted a reasonable budget, and hired Leigh Brackett to write it from scratch. She finished a draft by early 1978, but died of cancer before Lucas was able discuss changes he wanted made to it. His disappointment with the first draft may have made him consider new directions. Lucas penned the next draft, the first screenplay to feature episodic numbering for a Star Wars story. Lucas found this draft enjoyable to write, as opposed to the yearlong struggle writing the first film, and quickly wrote two more in April 1978. The plot twist of Vader being Luke's father had drastic effects on the series. After writing these drafts, Lucas fleshed out the backstory between Anakin, Obi-Wan, and the Emperor.
With this new backstory in place, Lucas decided that the series would be a trilogy of trilogies, designating the first sequel Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in the next draft. Lawrence Kasdan, who had just completed writing Raiders of the Lost Ark, was hired to write the next drafts, and given additional input from director Irvin Kershner. Kasdan, Kershner, and producer Gary Kurtz saw the film as a more serious and adult story, and developed the sequel from the light adventure roots of the first film.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Set about a year after Vader's revelation, Return of the Jedi sees Luke joining Leia and Lando in a rescue attempt to save Han from the gangster Jabba the Hutt. Afterward, Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training, only to find Yoda on his deathbed. In his last words, Yoda confirms the truth about Luke's father, and that Luke must confront Vader again in order to complete his training. As the rebels lead an attack on the second Death Star, Luke engages Vader in another lightsaber duel as Emperor Palpatine watches; both Sith Lords intend to turn Luke to the dark side and take him as their apprentice.
Kurtz wanted a bittersweet and nuanced ending they had outlined that saw Han dead, the Rebel forces in pieces, Leia struggling as a queen, and Luke walking off alone (like in a Spaghetti Western)—while Lucas wanted a happier ending, partly to encourage toy sales. This led to tension between the two, resulting in Kurtz leaving the production.
Loose plans for a prequel trilogy were developed during the outlining of the original trilogy. Technical advances in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the ability to create computer-generated imagery, inspired him to consider that it might be possible to revisit his saga.
The prequel trilogy consists of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, released on May 19, 1999; Episode II: Attack of the Clones, released on May 16, 2002; and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, released on May 19, 2005. The plot focuses on the fall of the Galactic Republic, as well as the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Set 32 years before the original film, The Phantom Menace begins with two Jedi who, acting as negotiators of the Republic, discover that the corrupt Trade Federation has formed a blockade around the planet Naboo. Sith Lord Darth Sidious has secretly caused the blockade to give his alter ego, Senator Palpatine, a pretense to overthrow and replace the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, encounter a native of Naboo who helps them find the Queen of Naboo. With Queen Padmé Amidala, they escape the blockade, but not without their starship being damaged. Landing on Tatooine for repairs, they meet a nine-year-old slave named Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon helps liberate the boy by betting with his master in a podrace, believing him to be the "Chosen One" prophesied by the Jedi to bring balance to the Force. Sidious dispatches his Sith apprentice, Darth Maul, to attack the queen's Jedi protectors. Arriving on Coruscant so the queen can plead Naboo's crisis before the Republic Senate, Anakin is brought before the Jedi Council, where Yoda senses that he possesses too much fear to be trained. The Jedi are ordered to accompany the queen back to Naboo, where she pleads to the natives for their help in the battle against the droid army.
The prequels were originally planned to fill in history tangential to the original trilogy, but Lucas realized that they could form the first half of one long story focusing on Anakin. This would shape the film series into a self-contained saga. In 1994, Lucas began writing the screenplay for the first prequel, initially titled Episode I: The Beginning. Following the film's release, Lucas announced that he would be directing the next two.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Ten years after the Battle of Naboo, Attack of the Clones opens with an assassination attempt upon former Queen Padmé Amidala, who is serving as the Senator of Naboo. Obi-Wan and his apprentice Anakin are assigned to protect her; Obi-Wan tracks the killer, while Anakin and Padmé retreat to Naboo. They soon fall in love with each other, albeit secretly due to the Jedi Order's rule against attachment. Meanwhile, Chancellor Palpatine schemes to draw the entire galaxy into the "Clone War" between the Republic army led by the Jedi, and the Confederacy of Independent Systems led by Count Dooku (the former master of Obi-Wan's deceased master Qui-Gon, and Palpatine's new Sith apprentice).
The first draft of Episode II was completed just weeks before principal photography, and Lucas hired Jonathan Hales, a writer from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, to polish it. Lucas used the basic backstory developed for earlier Star Wars films in the concept of an army of clone shock troopers from a remote planet which attacked the Republic and were resisted by the Jedi.
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Revenge of the Sith begins three years into the Clone Wars, with Anakin and Obi-Wan leading a rescue mission to save Chancellor Palpatine from Count Dooku and the droid commander General Grievous. Anakin begins to have prophetic visions of his secret wife Padmé dying in childbirth. Palpatine, who had been secretly engineering the Clone Wars to destroy the Jedi Order, convinces Anakin that the dark side of the Force holds the power to save Padmé's life. Desperate, Anakin submits to Palpatine and is renamed Darth Vader. Palpatine orders the clone army to fire on their Jedi generals, and declares the former Republic an Empire. Vader participates in the extermination of the Jedi, culminating in a lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan on the volcanic planet Mustafar.
Work on Episode III began before Episode II was released, with one scene shot during the earlier film's production. The climactic duel has its basis in the Return of the Jedi novelization, in which Obi-Wan recounts his battle with Anakin that ended with the latter falling "into a molten pit". A rough draft screenplay includes a scene of Palpatine revealing to Anakin that he had willed his conception through the Force.
Prior to releasing the original film, Lucas planned "three trilogies of nine films", but after beginning work on the prequels, insisted that Star Wars was meant to be a six-part series and that there would be no sequel trilogy. However, in late 2012, Disney agreed to buy Lucasfilm and announced a new trilogy, beginning with Episode VII in 2015.
The sequel trilogy focuses on the journey of the orphaned scavenger Rey following in the footsteps of the Jedi with the guidance of Luke Skywalker. Along with ex-stormtrooper Finn, she helps the Resistance led by Leia fight the First Order commanded by Supreme Leader Snoke and his pupil Kylo Ren (Han Solo and Leia's son). Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi on December 15, 2017, and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is due to be released on December 20, 2019.
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, by which time Luke Skywalker has gone missing. The remnants of the Empire have become the First Order, who seek to destroy Luke and the New Republic. They are opposed by the Resistance, led by princess-turned-general Leia Organa. On the planet of Jakku, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron obtains a map to Luke's location, but is captured by stormtroopers under the command of Kylo Ren. Poe's droid BB-8 escapes with the map, and encounters a scavenger girl, Rey. Kylo tortures Poe and learns of BB-8. A defecting stormtrooper, FN-2187, frees Poe, who dubs him "Finn", and both escape in a TIE fighter. Poe is seemingly killed in a crash-landing upon Jakku. Finn finds Rey and BB-8, as the First Order pursues them; they escape together in the impounded Millennium Falcon. The Falcon is recaptured by Han Solo and Chewbacca, working as smugglers again. They agree to help deliver the map inside BB-8 to the Resistance.
In early 2013, Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm officially announced J. J. Abrams as Star Wars Episode VII's director and producer, along with Bryan Burk and Bad Robot Productions. The screenplay for Episode VII was originally set to be written by Michael Arndt, but in October 2013 it was announced that writing duties would be taken over by Lawrence Kasdan and J. J. Abrams.
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
After a battle scene which overlaps with the end of the previous film, The Last Jedi follows Rey's attempt to convince Luke Skywalker to teach her the ways of the Force. She also seeks answers about her past and the conflict between Luke and his nephew Kylo Ren. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey starts using the Force to communicate with Ren. Meanwhile, Leia leads Poe, Finn, Rose Tico, BB-8, and the rest of the Resistance as they are pursued by the First Order, led by Snoke with Kylo as his second in command. After hearing Ren's perspective, Rey disagrees with Luke and leaves him in an attempt to redeem Kylo and achieve peace. In doing this, Rey unwittingly helps Kylo kill Snoke. However, Ren's intentions are to replace Snoke as Supreme Leader, believing that destroying the Jedi and the Resistance is the only way to achieve peace. Rey must choose between Kylo's offer to rule the galaxy with him, or helping the outnumbered Resistance survive on Crait.
In late 2012, it was reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg would write and produce Episodes VIII and IX. Kasdan and Kinberg were later confirmed as consultants on those films. In addition, John Williams, who wrote the music for the previous six episodes, was hired to compose the music for Episodes VII, VIII and IX. On March 12, 2015, Lucasfilm announced that Looper director Rian Johnson would direct Episode VIII with Ram Bergman as producer for Ram Bergman Productions. When asked about Episode VIII in mid-2014, Johnson said "I'm just happy. I don't have the terror I kind of expected I would... I'm sure I will at some point." Principal photography began in February 2016 and wrapped in July 2016. Carrie Fisher had finished filming her scenes, but died on December 27, 2016, approximately a year before the film's release.
Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Production on The Rise of Skywalker was scheduled to begin in 2017. Carrie Fisher was originally slated for a key role in the film, but after her death, her role had to be modified. In January 2017, Lucasfilm stated they would not digitally generate Fisher's performance for the film. In April 2017, Fisher's brother Todd and daughter Billie Lourd gave Disney permission to use unreleased footage from the first two films of the sequel trilogy. Principal photography began on August 1, 2018. J. J. Abrams returned to direct, and co-wrote the film alongside Chris Terrio. Most of the cast of The Last Jedi is set to return, including Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels. They will be joined by Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, on screen for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi.
As Lucas was outlining his trilogy of trilogies, he also imagined making "a couple of odd movies ... [that] don't have anything to do with the Star Wars saga." The first theatrical films set outside the main episodic series were the Ewok spin-off films Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985), which were screened internationally after being produced for television. Although based on story ideas from Lucas, they do not bear Star Wars in their titles, and were considered to exist in a lower level of canon than the episodic films.
After the conclusion of his then six-episode saga in 2005, Lucas returned to spin-offs in the form of television series.
|Film||Release date||Director||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producer(s)||Composer||Initial distributor|
|August 15, 2008||Dave Filoni||Henry Gilroy & Steven Melching & Scott Murphy||George Lucas and Catherine Winder||Kevin Kiner||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Rogue One||December 16, 2016||Gareth Edwards||Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy||John Knoll and Gary Whitta||Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel||Michael Giacchino||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Solo||May 25, 2018||Ron Howard||Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan||Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel||John Powell and John Williams|
The Clone Wars
Preceding the airing of the animated TV series in late 2008, the theatrical feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars was compiled from episodes "almost [as] an afterthought." It reveals that Anakin trained an apprentice between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith; the series explains Padawan Ahsoka Tano's absence from the latter film. The character was originally criticized by fans, but by the end of the series the character had become a fan favorite. The film and series exist in the same level of canon as the episodic and anthology films.
Before selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, and parallel to his development of a sequel trilogy, George Lucas and original trilogy co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan started development on a standalone film about a young Han Solo. In February 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger made public the development of a Kasdan film and Entertainment Weekly reported that it would focus on Han Solo. Disney CFO Jay Rasulo has described the standalone films as origin stories. Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that there was "no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes." The standalone films are subtitled "A Star Wars Story".
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One is set directly before Episode IV: A New Hope and focuses on the eponymous group of rebels who obtain the plans to the Death Star. Its laser was developed by scientist Galen Erso (played by Mads Mikkelsen) after the Empire forcibly abducted him, separating him from his daughter Jyn. Galen secretly sends a defecting Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook, to deliver a message warning of the weapon's existence and revealing its weakness to his rebel friend Saw Gerrera. Under the false promise of her father's liberation, Jyn agrees to help Rebel Alliance intelligence officer Cassian Andor and his droid K-2SO retrieve the message from Saw, now the paranoid leader of an extremist cell of rebels.
The idea for the movie came from John Knoll, the chief creative officer of Industrial Light & Magic. In May 2014, Lucasfilm announced Gareth Edwards as the director of an anthology film, with Gary Whitta writing the first draft for a release on December 16, 2016. The film's title was revealed to be Rogue One, with Chris Weitz rewriting the script, and Felicity Jones in the starring role. Ben Mendelsohn and Diego Luna also play new characters, with James Earl Jones returning to voice Darth Vader. Edwards stated, "It comes down to a group of individuals who don't have magical powers that have to somehow bring hope to the galaxy." The film was the first to feature characters introduced in animated Star Wars TV series, namely The Clone Wars' Saw Gerrera, portrayed by Forest Whitaker in the film. The movie received generally positive reviews, with its performances, action sequences, soundtrack, visual effects and darker tone being praised. The film grossed over US$500 million worldwide within a week of its release.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Solo, the second anthology film, focuses on Han Solo about 10 years before A New Hope. After an escape attempt from his Imperial-occupied home planet of Corellia goes wrong, a young Han vows to return to rescue his girlfriend Qi'ra. Han "Solo" joins the Imperial Academy; however, he is expelled for his reckless behavior. Han and his newfound Wookiee friend Chewbacca resort to a criminal life, mentored by veteran smuggler Beckett. After angering gangster Dryden Vos, Han and his company's lives depend on pulling a heist for him. Without a ship to travel, they hire Lando Calrissian, the captain and owner of the Millennium Falcon.
Before selling Lucasfilm to Disney, George Lucas had hired Star Wars original trilogy veteran Lawrence Kasdan to write a film about a young Han Solo. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca (after serving as a double for the character in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi), Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra, and Woody Harrelson as Beckett. Lucasfilm originally hired Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to direct, but they were fired during principal photography, and replaced by Ron Howard. A twist ending acknowledges one of the major story arcs of The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, while leaving the story open ended for sequels.
Planned spin-off trilogies
Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss will write and produce a trilogy of Star Wars films scheduled to be released in December of 2022, 2024, and 2026. Similarly, Rian Johnson, the writer/director of The Last Jedi, is confirmed to write and direct the first film of a new trilogy he is currently outlining and will start working on after completing his film Knives Out. Both trilogies will differ from the Skywalker-focused films in favor of focusing on new characters and possibly different eras than the main film franchise. According to Kathleen Kennedy, Benioff and Weiss are "working very closely with Rian." Additionally, Buzzfeed has reported that Laeta Kalogridis is currently writing the first movie in a Knights of the Old Republic trilogy.
All films of the Star Wars series were mostly shot with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 in mind. The original and sequel trilogies were filmed with anamorphic lenses. Episodes IV, V, VII, and VIII were filmed in Panavision, while Episode VI was shot in Joe Dunton Camera (JDC) scope. Episode I was shot with Hawk anamorphic lenses on Arriflex cameras, and Episodes II and III were shot with Sony's CineAlta high-definition digital cameras. Episode VII and VIII had select footage shot with 65mm IMAX film cameras, with one scene in Episode VII presented in an aspect ratio of either 1.43:1 or 1.90:1 in most IMAX theaters. Rogue One and Solo were shot on ARRI Alexa 65 cameras with the former using the Ultra Panavision 70 format.
Music and sound effects
Lucas hired Ben Burtt to oversee the sound effects on the original 1977 film. Burtt's accomplishment was such that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with a Special Achievement Award because it had no award at the time for the work he had done. Lucasfilm developed the THX sound reproduction standard for Return of the Jedi. John Williams composed the scores for all eight films. Lucas's design for Star Wars involved a grand musical sound, with leitmotifs for different characters and important concepts. Williams's Star Wars title theme has become one of the most famous and well-known musical compositions in modern music history.
Lucas hired 'the Dean of Special Effects' John Stears, who created R2-D2, Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder, the Jedi Knights' lightsabers, and the Death Star. The technical lightsaber choreography for the original trilogy was developed by leading filmmaking sword-master Bob Anderson. Anderson trained actor Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and performed all the sword stunts as Darth Vader during the lightsaber duels in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, wearing Vader's costume. Anderson's role in the original Star Wars trilogy was highlighted in the film Reclaiming the Blade, where he shares his experiences as the fight choreographer developing the lightsaber techniques for the movies.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Budget||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Refs.|
|North America||Adjusted for
|Star Wars||May 25, 1977||$11,000,000||$460,998,007||$1,608,419,900||$314,400,000||$775,398,007||#15||#83|||
|The Empire Strikes Back||May 21, 1980||$18,000,000||$290,475,067||$886,571,200||$247,900,000||$538,375,067||#88||#174|||
|Return of the Jedi||May 25, 1983||$32,500,000||$309,306,177||$849,356,500||$165,800,000||$475,106,177||#72||#206|||
|Original trilogy total||$61,500,000||$1,060,779,251||$3,344,347,600||$728,100,000||$1,788,879,251|
|The Phantom Menace||May 19, 1999||$115,000,000||$474,544,677||$815,518,000||$552,500,000||$1,027,044,677||#14||#32|||
|Attack of the Clones||May 16, 2002||$115,000,000||$310,676,740||$482,820,000||$338,721,588||$649,398,328||#70||#122|||
|Revenge of the Sith||May 19, 2005||$113,000,000||$380,270,577||$535,701,000||$468,484,191||$848,754,768||#37||#66|||
|Prequel trilogy total||$343,000,000||$1,165,491,994||1,834,039,000||$1,359,705,779||$2,525,197,773|
|The Force Awakens||December 18, 2015||$245,000,000||$936,662,225||$976,279,300||$1,131,561,399||$2,068,223,624||#1||#4|||
|The Last Jedi||December 15, 2017||$200,000,000||$620,181,382||$610,378,200||$712,358,507||$1,332,539,889||#9||#12|||
|Sequel trilogy total||$445,000,000||$1,556,843,607||$1,586,657,500||$1,843,919,906||$3,400,763,513|
|The Clone Wars||August 15, 2008||$8,500,000||$35,161,554||$44,221,300||$33,121,290||$68,282,844||#2,313|||
|Rogue One||December 16, 2016||$200,000,000||$532,177,324||$545,787,800||$523,879,949||$1,056,057,273||#11||#27|||
|Solo||May 25, 2018||$250,000,000||$213,304,279||$206,317,700||$179,157,295||$392,924,807||#173||#277|||
|All films total||$1,308,000,000||$4,563,758,009||$7,561,370,900||$4,667,884,219||$9,232,105,461||#2||#2|
|Star Wars||93% (8.73/10 average rating) (117 reviews)||90 (24 reviews)||N/A|
|The Empire Strikes Back||95% (8.93/10 average rating) (94 reviews)||82 (25 reviews)||N/A|
|Return of the Jedi||81% (7.24/10 average rating) (90 reviews)||58 (24 reviews)||N/A|
|The Phantom Menace||54% (5.97/10 average rating) (222 reviews)||51 (36 reviews)||A−|
|Attack of the Clones||65% (6.6/10 average rating) (250 reviews)||54 (39 reviews)||A−|
|Revenge of the Sith||80% (7.28/10 average rating) (293 reviews)||68 (40 reviews)||A−|
|The Force Awakens||92% (8.23/10 average rating) (412 reviews)||81 (55 reviews)||A|
|The Last Jedi||91% (8.09/10 average rating) (436 reviews)||85 (56 reviews)||A|
|The Clone Wars||18% (4.2/10 average rating) (169 reviews)||35 (30 reviews)||B−|
|Rogue One||84% (7.45/10 average rating) (420 reviews)||65 (51 reviews)||A|
|Solo||70% (6.39/10 average rating) (441 reviews)||62 (54 reviews)||A−|
The ten live-action films together have been nominated for 34 Academy Awards, of which they won seven. The films were also awarded a total of three Special Achievement Awards. Star Wars received seven awards and four nominations, The Empire Strikes Back received one award, one Special Achievement Award and two nominations, Return of the Jedi received one Special Achievement Award and four nominations, The Phantom Menace received three nominations, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith received one nomination each, The Force Awakens received five nominations, Rogue One received two nominations, The Last Jedi received four nominations, and Solo received one nomination.
Five films in the franchise (Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi) were nominated for Best Sound Mixing; two films (Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back) won the award. Six films (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo) were nominated for Best Visual Effects; Star Wars won the award, while The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi received Special Achievement Awards for their visual effects and Star Wars received a Special Achievement Award for its alien, creature and robot voices. Four films (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi) were nominated for Best Original Score; Star Wars won the award. The Force Awakens was nominated for Best Film Editing and Star Wars won the award. The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Star Wars won the award. Four films (Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi) were nominated for Best Sound Editing. Star Wars won Best Costume Design and it also received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness), Best Director (George Lucas), Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Revenge of the Sith received a nomination for Best Makeup.
|Star Wars||The Empire Strikes Back||Return of the Jedi||The Phantom Menace||Attack of the Clones||Revenge of the Sith||The Force Awakens||Rogue One||The Last Jedi||Solo|
|Special Achievement Award||Won[b]||Won[c]||Won[d]|
National Film Registry
In 1989, the Library of Congress selected the original Star Wars film for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The Empire Strikes Back, was selected in 2010. 35mm reels of the 1997 Special Editions were the versions initially presented for preservation because of the difficulty of transferring from the original prints, but it was later revealed that the Library possessed a copyright deposit print of the original theatrical releases. By 2015, Star Wars had been transferred to a 2K scan which can be viewed by appointment.
Three live-action Star Wars spin-off films were created for television in the late 1970s and mid-1980s. The later two featured the Ewoks, which were also the focus of one of two animated series released in the mid-1980s. Further animated series began to be released in 2003, the first two of which focused on the Clone Wars. After Disney's acquisition of LucasFilm, only the later The Clone Wars was kept in the canon of continuity of the episodic Star Wars films. Two additional half-hour animated series were ordered, one of which ties into the original trilogy, the other the sequel trilogy. Two live-action Star Wars series are currently in development for Disney+.
Films and special
Star Wars Holiday Special
|Film||Release date||Director(s)||Screen writer(s)||Network|
|The Star Wars Holiday Special||November 17, 1978||David Acomba and Steve Binder||Bruce Vilanch||CBS|
Produced for CBS in 1978, the Star Wars Holiday Special was a two-hour television special, in the format of a variety show. Stars of the original film and archive footage from the original Star Wars film appeared alongside celebrity guest stars in plot-related skits, musical numbers, and an animated segment, all loosely tied together by the premise of Chewbacca's family waiting for his arrival for the "Life Day" celebration on his home planet, Kashyyyk. George Lucas loathed the special and forbade it to be re-aired or released on home video, with the sole exception of the 11-minute animated sequence that featured the first appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett, which was eventually included as a bonus feature in some of the films' Blu-ray releases.
The Ewoks from Return of the Jedi were featured in two spin-off television films, The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Both aired on ABC on the Thanksgiving weekends of 1984 and 1985, respectively. Warwick Davis reprised his debut role as the main Ewok, Wicket, in both. They are set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Both films were released on VHS, Laser Disc, and on a double-feature DVD. Following Disney's acquisition of the franchise, they were excluded from the canon.
|Film||Release date||Director(s)||Screen writer(s)||Network|
|The Ewok Adventure||November 25, 1984||John Korty||Bob Carrau
Story by: George Lucas
|Ewoks: The Battle for Endor||November 24, 1985||Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat||Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat|
Story by: George Lucas
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
In a story by Lucas and a screenplay by Bob Carrau, the Towani family spaceship shipwrecks on the forest moon of Endor. While trying to repair their ship, the castaway family is split, when a giant creature known as the Gorax kidnaps the parents. Taking pity on the kids, a group of native Ewoks led by Wicket decides to help little Cindel Towani and her older brother Mace, rescue their parents. Among other stylistic choices making the film unique from the Star Wars episodes is the inclusion of a narrator.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
The sequel focuses on the Ewoks protecting their village from marauders led by the evil witch Charal, who kill all the members of the Towani family except for Cindel.
Critical and public response
|The Star Wars Holiday Special||33% (3.5/10 average rating) (9 reviews)|
|The Ewok Adventure||25% (4.2/10 average rating) (12 reviews)|
|Ewoks: The Battle for Endor|
The episodes of these series last approximately 22 minutes.
|Title||Seasons||Episodes||Release year||Supervising Director||Production company||Network|
|The Clone Wars||6||121||2008–2014; 2019||Dave Filoni||Lucasfilm Animation||Cartoon Network (S. 1–5)|
Netflix (S. 6)
Disney+ (S. 7)
|Rebels||4||75||2014–18||Dave Filoni (Seasons 1–2)
Justin Ridge (S. 3–4)
The Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour
Nelvana, the animation studio that produced the animated segment of the Holiday Special, was hired to create two animated series which aired together on ABC: Droids (1985–1986) follows the adventures of C-3PO and R2-D2, and its sister series Ewoks (1985–1987) features Wicket and other members of the titular species, both set before the events of the original trilogy.
The Clone Wars
Lucas decided to invest in creating his own animation company, Lucasfilm Animation, and used it to create his first in-house Star Wars CGI-animated series. The Clone Wars (2008–2014) was introduced through a 2008 animated film of the same name. The series is set between Episode II and Episode III of the main film series. It focuses mainly on the Jedi characters of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as Anakin's Padawan apprentice Ahsoka Tano (an original character created by Lucas for the series), with other characters from the prequel trilogy in supporting roles. The series marked the beginning of Dave Filoni's involvement in Star Wars animation projects.
After Disney's acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, The Clone Wars was cancelled in 2014 before its intended final episodes were completed. The remaining unaired episodes were released on Netflix as "The Lost Missions". The chronological storyline order was released after the series had initially finished airing. The film and series were included in the canon established in 2014. An additional final season will be released in 2019 on the Disney+ streaming service.
In 2014, Disney XD began airing Star Wars Rebels, the first CGI-animated series produced following the Disney acquisition. It follows a band of rebels as they fight the Galactic Empire in the years leading up to A New Hope. It closed some of the arcs introduced in The Clone Wars. Due to the film Rogue One being produced at the same time, the film and the series acknowledged each other. The series also included a canonical version of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the character from the Legends Thrawn trilogy.
The animated series Star Wars Resistance debuted in late 2018, shifting the animation style towards anime-inspired cel-shading visuals, and focuses on a young Resistance pilot Kazuda Xiono before and during The Force Awakens. The first season finale overlaps with The Force Awakens, depicting a holographic version of the scene of the First Order using Starkiller Base to destroy the Senate.
The episodes of these series are distinctively shorter than traditional broadcast, generally lasting from one to three minutes.
|Title||Seasons||Episodes||Release year||Supervising Director||Production company||Network|
|Clone Wars||3||25||2003–05||Genndy Tartakovsky||Cartoon Network Studios||Cartoon Network|
|Forces of Destiny||2||32||2017–||Dave Filoni||Lucasfilm Animation||YouTube|
|Galaxy of Adventures||1||25||2018–19|
After the release of Attack of the Clones, Cartoon Network produced and aired the micro-series Clone Wars from 2003 to weeks before the 2005 release of Revenge of the Sith, as the series featured events set between those films. It won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program in 2004 and 2005.
Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures debuted on the "Star Wars Kids" YouTube channel and website in late 2018. Using stylized animation, the series of shorts recounts key scenes from the saga and will continue until the release of Episode IX. The shorts feature audio from the original films and are animated by Titmouse, Inc.
Critical and public response
|Series||Season||Originally aired||Critical response|
|Star Wars: The Clone Wars||1||October 3, 2008||3.99||March 20, 2009||3.29||90% (10 reviews)||64 (9 reviews)|
|2||October 2, 2009||2.58||April 30, 2010||2.76||N/A||N/A|
|3||September 17, 2010||2.42||April 1, 2011||2.31||N/A||N/A|
|4||September 16, 2011||1.93||March 16, 2012||2.03||N/A||N/A|
|5||September 29, 2012||1.94||March 2, 2013||2.18||N/A||N/A|
|6||February 15, 2014||N/A||March 7, 2014||N/A||100% (6 reviews)||N/A|
|Star Wars Rebels||1||October 3, 2014||2.74||March 2, 2015||0.72||100% (9 reviews)||78% (4 reviews)|
|2||June 20, 2015||0.59||March 30, 2016||0.69||100% (5 reviews)||N/A|
|3||September 24, 2016||0.56||March 25, 2017||0.50||N/A||N/A|
|4||October 16, 2017||TBD||March 5, 2018||0.46||N/A||N/A|
|The Clone Wars||94% |
|2004||Star Wars: Clone Wars||Outstanding Animated Program (More Than One Hour)||–||Won|||
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Justin Thompson||Won|||
|2013||Star Wars: The Clone Wars||Outstanding Special Class Animated Program||–||Won|
|Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||Jim Cummings||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program||Dave Filoni, Kyle Dunlevy, Brian Kalin O'Connell, Steward Lee, Bosco Ng||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music Direction and Composition||Kevin Kiner||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing – Animation||David Acord & Cameron Davis||Nominated|
|2014||Outstanding Special Class Animated Program||–||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Christopher Voy||Won|
|Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Animation||Cameron Davis, David Acord, Frank Rinella, and Mark Evans||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animation||Matthew Wood, Dean Menta, Jeremy Bowker, Erik Foreman, Pascal Garneau, Steve Slanec, Frank Rinella, Dennie Thorpe, Jana Vance, and David Acord||Nominated|
|2015||Outstanding Special Class Animated Program||–||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||Mark Hamill||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program||Christian Taylor||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program||Dave Filoni, Brian Kalin O'Connell, Danny Keller, Steward Lee||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing – Animation||Cameron Davis, David Acord, Frank Rinella, Mark Evans||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation||Matthew Wood, David Acord, Dean Menta, Jeremy Bowker, Steve Slanec, Andrea Gard, Kevin Sellers, Dennie Thorpe, and Jana Vance||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music Direction and Composition||Kevin Kiner||Nominated|
|2017||Star Wars Rebels||Outstanding Children's Program||–||Nominated|
Lucas attempted to develop a live-action series titled Underworld, which was announced in 2005 but eventually dropped following Disney's acquisition of the franchise in 2012. ABC considered the development of a live-action series for their network, but as of 2016, Lucasfilm was focused on making feature films. In November 2017, Bob Iger discussed the development of a Star Wars series for Disney's streaming service Disney+, due to launch in November 2019. At least three live-action TV series are currently in development.
Jon Favreau, who previously voiced characters in The Clone Wars and Solo, wrote and is currently producing a series set three years after Return of the Jedi. It will feature motion capture and cost about "$100 million for 10 episodes." It was filmed between late 2018 and early 2019, and will focus on "the travails of a lone gunfighter ... far from the authority of the New Republic." Dave Filoni directed the first episode, and other directors include Taika Waititi and Bryce Dallas Howard. Pedro Pascal plays the series' titular character, and co-stars include Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Nick Nolte. The first episode will be available with the launch of Disney+ on November 12.
Cassian Andor series
A live-action "spy thriller" series focusing on Cassian Andor before Rogue One will be released on Disney+, with Diego Luna reprising his role. K-2SO will also appear in the series. It will begin filming in October 2019.
In 2005, plans for a live-action television series set between the prequel and original trilogies were announced at Star Wars Celebration. In 2007, Lucas described the project as "one show that will split into four shows, focusing on different characters." It entered development in early 2009. The series was described as "gritty and dark" and was expected to feature characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett, C-3PO, and Emperor Palpatine. Lucas described the series as "more talky. It's more of what I would call a soap opera with a bunch of personal dramas in it. It's not really based on action-adventure films from the '30s—it's actually more based on film noir movies from the '40s!" Producer Rick McCallum revealed the working title, Star Wars: Underworld, in 2012, and that it would focus on criminal and political power struggles in the "period when the Empire is trying to take things over."
Over 100 42-minute episodes were planned, with 50 scripts written. These were mostly second drafts, but due to their complex content, were too expensive to produce. Ronald D. Moore was one of the writers, and extensive artwork including character, costume, and set designs were developed at Skywalker Ranch under the close supervision of Lucas and McCallum. The project was still being considered after Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, including by ABC, with stories being reviewed as of December 2015[update]. According to Kathleen Kennedy,
That's an area we've spent a lot of time, reading through the material that he developed is something we very much would like to explore. ... So our attitude is, we don't want to throw any of that stuff away. It's gold. And it's something we're spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to.
The plot of the anthology film Rogue One was originally pitched as an episode of the series. The story of Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando was planned to be featured and later developed as Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Star Wars Detours is an unaired animated parody series from the creators of Robot Chicken, which was postponed in 2013 and ultimately unaired. Production began in 2012 prior to the Disney acquisition, with 39 episodes completed and 62 additional scripts finished.
In early 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the development of a spin-off film written by Simon Kinberg, reported by Entertainment Weekly to focus on bounty hunter Boba Fett during the original trilogy. In mid-2014, Josh Trank was officially announced as the director of an undisclosed spin-off film, but had left the project a year later due to creative differences, causing a teaser for the film to be scrapped from Star Wars Celebration. In May 2018, it was reported that James Mangold had signed on to write and direct a Fett film, with Kinberg attached as producer and co-writer. However, by October, the Fett film[e] was reportedly no longer in production, with the studio instead focusing on the upcoming The Mandalorian series, which utilizes a similar character design.
In August 2017, it was rumored that films focused on Jabba the Hutt, Jedi Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi were being considered or were in development. Stephen Daldry was reportedly in early negotiations to co-write and direct the Obi-Wan movie. Ewan McGregor has expressed interest in reprising the role of Kenobi, but as of mid-2018 stated that he had no knowledge of such a project.[f] However, former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was later quoted as saying the filmmakers of an Obi-Wan spin-off film had proposed shooting it in Northern Ireland. In February 2019, it was rumored that the project may be produced as a streaming series rather than as a standalone film.
In 2018, critics noted that Solo was intentionally left open for sequels. Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke confirmed that their contracts to play Han Solo and Q'ira extended for additional films, if required. Felicity Jones, who played Jyn Erso in Rogue One, also has the option of another Star Wars film in her contract; notwithstanding her character's fate in Rogue One, it has been speculated that she could return in other anthology films. Kathleen Kennedy expressed being open to making a spin-off about the younger Lando Calrissian as seen in Solo, but confirmed that none was currently in development.
An unannounced film centered around the Mos Eisley Spaceport was reportedly put on hold or cancelled in mid-2018, leading to rumors of the cancellation or postponement of the anthology series. Lucasfilm swiftly denied the rumors as "inaccurate", confirming that multiple unannounced films were in development.
|Return of the Ewok||1982||24-minute fictional mockumentary, focusing on the decision of Warwick Davis to become an actor and act as Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi.|
|R2-D2: Beneath the Dome||2002||20-minute mockumentary, focusing on the "true" story of R2-D2's life. It was made as a side-project by some of the crew of Attack of the Clones, released on television in three installments, and later on DVD.|
- Robot Chicken has produced three television specials satirizing the Star Wars films ("Robot Chicken: Star Wars", "Episode II", and "III"). The success of the specials led to the development animated parody series Star Wars Detours.
- Family Guy has also produced three Star Wars specials titled "Blue Harvest", "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" and "It's a Trap!".
- Phineas and Ferb parody of Star Wars ("Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars", also titled "Episode IVa: May the Ferb Be with You") aired in mid-2014, soon after Disney's acquisition of the franchise.
Lego Star Wars
To promote its sets, Lego has created multiple short films, television specials, and animated series that parody the Star Wars saga. Lego versions of Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and Lando have a cameo appearance aboard the Millennium Falcon in The Lego Movie, with the latter two voiced by their original actors.
|Revenge of the Brick||2005||Short film based on Revenge of the Sith|
|The Quest for R2-D2||2009||Short film based on The Clone Wars|
|Bombad Bounty||2010||Short film that follows up The Quest for R2-D2|
|The Padawan Menace||2011||Half hour TV special|
|The Empire Strikes Out||2012||Half hour TV special|
|The Yoda Chronicles||2013–14||7||Comic television series also known as Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles.|
|Droid Tales||2015||5||Comic television series retelling Episodes I-VI and Rebels episode "Droids in Distress".|
|The Resistance Rises||2016||5||A comedic prequel to The Force Awakens|
|The Freemaker Adventures||2016–2017||26||Comic television series set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.|
|Lego Star Wars: All-Stars||2018–present||12||Comic television series set across all eras.|
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