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Star Wars (Main)

Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. The film series, consisting of two trilogies, has spawned an extensive media franchise called the Expanded Universe including books, television series, computer and video games, and comic books. These supplements to the franchise resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe, keeping the franchise active in the 16-year interim between the two film trilogies. The franchise depicts a galaxy described as far, far away in the distant past, and it commonly portrays Jedi as a representation of good, in conflict with the Sith, their evil counterpart. Their weapon of choice, the lightsaber, is commonly recognized in popular culture. The franchise's storylines contain many themes, with strong influences from philosophy and religion. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years after the release of the trilogy's final film, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released. The three prequel films were also released at three-year intervals, with the final film of the trilogy released on May 19, 2005. In October 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and announced that it would produce three new films, with the first film, Star Wars Episode VII, planned for release in 2015.[1] 20th Century Fox still retains the distribution rights to the first two Star Wars trilogies, owning permanent rights for the original film Episode IV: A New Hope, while holding the rights to Episodes I–III, V, and VI until May 2020.[2] Reactions to the original trilogy were mostly positive, with the last film being considered the weakest, while the prequel trilogy received a more mixed reaction, with most of the praise being for the final film, according to most review aggregator websites. All six of the main films in the series were also nominated for or won Academy Awards. All of the main films have been box office successes, with the overall box office revenue generated by the Star Wars films (including the theatrical Star Wars: The Clone Wars) totalling $4.38 billion,[3] making it the fifth-highest-grossing film series.[4] The success has also led to multiple re-releases in theaters for the series.

2014-04-06 15:28:56

Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars, later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,[4] is a 1977 American epic space opera film[5] written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first installment in the Star Wars series. The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing and Sir Alec Guinness. In the film, a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance plot to destroy the powerful Death Star space station, a devastating weapon created by the evil Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids carrying the stolen plans to the Death Star. After the Empire begins a cruel and destructive search for the droids, Skywalker decides to accompany Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on a daring mission to rescue the owner of the droids, rebel leader Princess Leia, and save the galaxy. Lucas began writing the script to Star Wars after completing his previous film American Graffiti and based the plot outline on Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and the 40's Flash Gordon serials. Lucas approached Alan Ladd, Jr. after United Artists and Universal Pictures rejected his script and the project was planned to be financed and released through 20th Century Fox. During this time, the script underwent numerous changes and Lucas founded Industrial Light & Magic to create the visual effects for the film. Filming began on March 22, 1976, and was shot in various locations in Tunisia, England and Guatemala. During production, Lucas and the crew encountered numerous problems such as weather problems, malfunctioning equipment, as well as budgetary concerns. Eventually, Lucas, along with producer Gary Kurtz and production supervisor Robert Watts, split the crew into three units to meet the studio's deadlines. During post production, sound designer Ben Burtt used various animal roars, cables and other sound effects to create an "organic soundtrack" and composer John Williams used leitmotifs in his score at Lucas' requests. Star Wars was released theatrically in the United States on May 25, 1977. The film earned $460 million in the United States and $314 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the nominal highest-grossing film, and it remained that way until being surpassed by E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in 1983. When adjusted for inflation, it is the second-highest-grossing film in the US and Canada and is the third-highest-grossing in the world as of 2013. Among the many awards the film received, it gained ten Academy Award nominations, winning six; the nominations included Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guinness and Best Picture. The film is often ranked as one of the best films of all time. The film has since been preserved into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in its first year of opening (being the most recent one to do so at the time), with its accompanying soundtrack joining it into the National Recording Registry 15 years later, both being called "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Lucas has re-released the film on several occasions, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition, the 2004 DVD release, and the 2011 Blu-ray release, which have modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, re-edited shots, remixed soundtracks, and added scenes. Following the film's massive success in 1977, it spawned two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), both of which became box office successes and received positive reviews. A prequel trilogy was released between 1999 and 2005. A sequel trilogy is in development, with most of the film's main cast planned to return for Star Wars Episode VII in 2015.

2014-04-06 15:28:56