" A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...."
Such is how every film in the Star Wars franchise begins. From Darth Vader and Princess Leia to lightsabers and TIE Fighters, the Star Wars saga has become an integral part of popular culture.
Star Wars has been around for over 40 years and spanned at least three generations, each of those generations have come to these films with their own points of view; these points of view have also influenced the movies created during these generations.
This guide is only an introduction, a way for a novice or seasoned veteran to the Star Wars universe take, as Luke Skywalker once did, "your first step into a larger world." Settle in, buckle up, and may the Force be with you; we're making the jump to lightspeed!
This interview with Joseph Campbell, an American literature professor most famous for the book The Hero with A Thousand Faces. The interviewer asks Campbell about what elements of The Hero's Journey Campbell sees in Star Wars, and Campbell talks about how George Lucas followed the stages of that journey very closely. Campbell may not have been directly involved in the creation of Star Wars, but through The Hero with A Thousand Faces, he allowed Lucas to add one more face to that hero.
Like many great works of fiction, the Star Wars saga has its start in the mind of one person; the person in question is George Lucas, the founder of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the man often referred to in the Star Wars fan community as "The Maker." Lucas was inspired by history both long ago and unfolding right in front of him, and he used all of those elements to create a multi-billion dollar empire. While it may feel like the story of how Star Wars came to be has been told time and time again, each author brings his or her own point of view to telling a story nearly as interesting and impactful as the films themselves.
There are a lot of creative people in front of and behind the camera who make any film possible; nowhere is that more apparent than in the case of Star Wars. George Lucas had many of the ideas, but without brilliant artists, producers, editors, and a legendary composer, Lucas' vision would not have come to pass in the way it did. There are countless people who contributed to the success of the Star Wars films.
Without the music, Star Wars would not be the same kind of movie. And John Williams is the composer that Star Wars fans have to thank for making such an instantly-recognizable score.
Here you will find the audio of the "Main Title and Attack on the Jakku Village" from John Williams's score for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
George Lucas had the ideas that made Star Wars happen; Ralph McQuarrie had the artwork that brought those ideas to life. While McQuarrie passed away in 2012, his influence continues to be felt in the Star Wars saga at large, with many of his concept pieces being used in new films and television shows. Ralph McQuarrie helped to define the look and feel of Star Wars.
"This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -Obi-Wan "Old Ben" Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
A metal hilt, a blade of colored energy with the power to cut through most objects, and a distinctive hum and crackle that Star Wars fans know all too well. These are the elements that make lightsabers the distinctive movie weapons they are. But beyond being simple energy blades that make a cool noise, lightsabers are symbolic of different aspects of the the philosophy seen within the Star Wars saga.