Chances are high, that if you belong to a generation that came before Gen-Z, and were an avid movie fan, you have seen at least one of the Star Wars movies in your lifetime! Being one of the biggest movie franchise today, the Star Wars universe has been around for a long, long time- the first movie dating back to 1981. The film series centers around a trilogy of trilogies with the latest film being set to release this December. The focus and context of this trilogy have definitely changed with time, with each film having a different narrative and point of focus than it’s predecessor. So buckle up Star Wars Fans, as we take you down memory lane and ponder upon each trilogy in it’s glory!
Ep IV to VI (1977-1983)
EP IV- A New Hope, EP V- The Empire Strikes Back, EP VI- Return of the Jedi.
Also known as the ‘Original trilogy’, this is where it all began! Like every beginnings, the focus of the trilogy was to set up a universe with establishing characters and narrating a story. The story included a classic retelling of good vs. evil with a couple of iconic plot twists that increased the stakes for their fresh audience. Released in an early age, the films tried to push the boundaries of special effects and was created with a maiden venture in mind, not just merchandise sales. It did a pretty good job of framing up their primary fan base with a story-line and idea way beyond its time. To this date, the original trilogy remains a fan favorite among plenty around the globe!
Ep I to III (1999-2005)
EP I- The Phantom Menace, EP II- Attack of the clones, EP III- Revenge of the Sith.
Despite being released after the original trilogy, these films acted as the ‘Prequel trilogy’ and described what happened 32 years before Ep IV, A New Hope. A trend noticed in these films was the primary focus of pushing special effects due to the blooming of computer generated imagery in the early 2000’s. The films also focused on narrating a story whose end the audience already knew, but in the best way possible. An obstacle faced by this trilogy was that it was affected by competitors such as Titanic(1997), Gladiator(2000) etc. This was one of the reasons it focused on effects and, of course, capitalizing it into a brand.
Ep VII to IX (2015-2019)
EP VII- The Force Awakens, EP VIII-The Last Jedi, EP IX- The Rise of Skywalker
An ongoing production by Disney, the ‘Sequel trilogy’ is based 30 years after Ep VI, Return of the Jedi- and primarily focuses on the story of one of the main characters, Luke Skywalker. The focus of these films is brought back to the story and in-depth character study. At the same time, it has kept most of the prominent camera effects and uses CGI that is comparatively unnoticeable to the first two series. Another fruitful observation is that Disney is set on including more diversity- making sure the Star Wars universe represents all of earth instead of just white males. Overall, their main approach is to expand their world in a modern age, introducing this universe to a newer generation of movie-goers as well as pleasing long-time fans!
Over the years, the franchise has experienced tremendous change, yet is still adhering to it’s main theme and never once has disappointed its audience. Although the release of Ep IX, The Rise of Skywalker, will mark the end of the latest era, there is more to come from the franchise, and fans around the world eagerly expect more!