2.4 The influence of Star Wars: May the force be with you!


The previous blog entries in this chapter were much about the technical part of the filmmaking: the first color films came to exist, how the films were edited and about the Chroma Key technique. In this blog I wanted to talk about a few films that together changed a lot in the film history. Do you know what talking about, I am? George Lucas’ Star Wars of course!

Star wars changed film making in many ways. First, the film had mind-blowing special effects. The first film ‘A new hope’ was released in 1977. The space battles in this film looked more realistic than any other science fiction film. The moving spaceships and the sounds were put together better than in any other movie. Almost every special effect in the film was an effect nobody had ever seen. Lucas wanted scenes to be the way he thought of them and then found the technique to make them happen. He even thought he did not have the technique to make film 1 till 3, so he started of with 4, 5 and 6 and made 1, 2 and 3 years later, when he thought the time was right.


The special effects Lucas used are still used today. He has many different companies that are still involved in special effects used in film today. Check the credits for companies like: LucasFilm, ILM, and/or Skywalker Sound. Also, do you remember seeing a large THX logo before you watch a movie? THX is also a patent filed by none other than George Lucas.

Another groundbreaking fact about the film is that the story of the film is so long, that Lucas needed 6 movies to tell it. This is something that was never done before.  Lucas wanted to tell his story the right way, and not reduced to one film. By doing this Lucas paved the way for movie trilogies like ‘Lord of the Rings’. One story, spread out over different movies.

The six Star Wars movies

A compliment for the film is that is quoted in many other films. How many films do you know that are referenced in another film? Disney features a character from an earlier Disney film sometimes, but there are not many movies that are quoted in text in other movies. A list of these references can be seen by clicking this link: Star wars quotes in other movies.

Star Wars is also one of the first movies to have a whole merchandising line. Before, there were a few Mickey Mouse lunch boxes or puppets, but Star Wars had a whole line of products like action figures, lightsabers, key chains, games. These products are still sold these days. Actually, George Lucas made more money by selling the merchandise than he did with the movies.

Lego Star Wars: one of many parts of the merchandising

Another change Star Wars orchestrated is the way the movies are marketed. These days, when you want to know what the best movies are, you open a newspaper, you see the posters with bus stops or you wait in line at the MacDonald’s and you watch at the screen there. Star Wars was the first movie to be marketed this way.

As you saw Star Wars was a movie that has definitely had a big influence on the movies through the ages.

May the force be with you!


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