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Star Wars: The Complete WIRED Guide

A long time ago, in a remote small town, a young man named George Lucas had an idea for a story:

A simple young farm worker gets a magic sword from an ancient wizard so he can defeat one knight, save a princess and save the world.

Actually, Lucas was not the first to have this idea. Everyone has this idea. Granted, they do not always do it with knights. Sometimes they are cowboys. sometimes it's samurai Sometimes the farmboy is a farmgirl. Sometimes the wizard is a scientist and sometimes the evil knight is a dragon or a cyborg. Sometimes they are weapons instead of swords.

But Lucas knew all that. He was a Northern California kid who was watching movies and racing cars, a Tyro filmmaker in a moment when the American movie became very serious. In the 1

970s, there were genre freaks like The Exorcist and Rocky but the gold standard films were adult stories about violence, sexuality and the betrayal of dreams. Taxi driver The stag hunter The godfather . Heroes in these films have been lost – like the whole time. Sometimes the whole movie made you like bad guys, and sometimes they died anyway!

Lucas rebelled against it. He looked back at the Flash Gordon series and war films of his youth, mixing all of his favorite elements from the stories he had chosen – a historian named Joseph Campbell had helpfully compiled a list. Lucas kept the swords, the magic and the knights.

Then – and this was perhaps his biggest innovation – Lucas kept everything else. Wizards, dragons, princesses, horses, cars, motorcycles, planes, ships, ray guns, teddy bears, his family dog, pirates, car chases, Nazis, gangsters, samurai, dogfights, gunfights, sword fights, fistfights, gladiators, spies, castles and robots. Traveling in space at high speed.

Star Wars, the universe created by George Lucas, now includes 11 feature films at more stages of production, as well as at least half a dozen television series, hundreds of books and comics, dozens of computer games, and an immensely profitable realm of licensed merchandise including puppets and Lego sets, whose popularity literally saved the beloved toy company from bankruptcy.

3 Smart Things About Star Wars Music

  • The movies are actually musicals. Or rather, they are like musicals, with solos (Luke staring at Tatooine's setting sun) and duets ("I Love You" / "I Know") and big Busby Berkeley / Gene Kelly-Stanley Donen numbers (Death Stars), pod races).

  • In 1978, a discovery of the Cantina theme was awarded platinum.

  • In Force Awakens was the sprightly Huttese rap number called "Jabba Flow" by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton . Star Wars is musicals! The secret has finally been revealed.

The timeline for all these stories is rigid, voluminous and confusing. The fourth, fifth and sixth films take place before the first, second and third films. The eighth movie takes place between the sixth and the first. Star Wars Rebels starship appears in Rogue One (which plays just before the first movie) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (the eleventh film, most recently in the current timeline). The television broadcast The Mandalorian takes place between the third movie and the seventh. The various subsidiary stories in books, comics, and games tell stories from tens of thousands of years and an entire galaxy, but the official position of Walt Disney Studios, who bought Lucasfilm in 2012, is that almost anything but the films produced until then Films are not canonical – apocryphal among the sacred texts, even if they are still loved by some fans ghost of a filmmaker. It's now worth billions of dollars, is driving entire industries and subindustries, and has become a seemingly permanent facet of global culture. It is profoundly silly yet strangely deep – a grand, nostalgic romance full of wisdom and love that equates three generations inseparably with childhood, adventure and the definition of good and evil.

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