Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. The franchise depicts a galaxy described as "far, far away" in the distant past, and 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 influences from philosophy and religion.
The first film in the series, Star Wars, was released on May 25, 1977, by 20th Century Fox and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. It was followed by two sequels released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years later, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released; the final prequel was released on May 19, 2005. Reaction to the original trilogy was positive, while the prequel trilogy received a more mixed reaction. All six films were nominated for or won Academy Awards, and all were box office successes; the overall box office revenue generated totals $4.38 billion, making Star Wars the fifth-highest-grossing film series. The series has spawned an extensive media franchise – the Expanded Universe – including books, television series, computer and video games, and comic books, resulting in significant development of the series's fictional universe.
Lucas was not expecting the film to become part of a series. The fourth draft of the script underwent subtle changes that made it more satisfying as a self-contained film, ending with the destruction of the Empire itself by way of destroying the Death Star. However, Lucas had previously conceived of the film as the first in a series of adventures. Later, he realized the film would not in fact be the first in the sequence, but a film in the second trilogy in the saga. This is stated explicitly in George Lucas' preface to the 1994 reissue of Splinter of the Mind's Eye:
It wasn't long after I began writing Star Wars that I realized the story was more than a single film could hold. As the saga of the Skywalkers and Jedi Knights unfolded, I began to see it as a tale that could take at least nine films to tell—three trilogies—and I realized, in making my way through the back story and after story, that I was really setting out to write the middle story.
Later that year, Lucas hired science fiction author Leigh Brackett to write Star Wars II with him. They held story conferences and, by late November 1977, Lucas had produced a handwritten treatment called The Empire Strikes Back. The treatment is similar to the final film, except that Darth Vader does not reveal he is Luke's father. In the first draft that Brackett would write from this, Luke's father appears as a ghost to instruct Luke.
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The above infromation was taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars