Star Wars is an influential science fantasy saga and fictional universe created by writer / producer / director George Lucas in the early 1970s. The saga began with the film Star Wars , which was released on May 25 , 1977 . The film, later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope , became a pop culture phenomenon, and spawned five more feature films and an extensive collection of licensed books , comics , video games , spin-off films , television series , toys , and other products — all of which are set within a fictional " galaxy far, far away ."
An example of the space opera genre, the Star Wars story employs archetypal motifs common to both modern science fiction and ancient mythology , as well as the romantic music motifs of those genres. In 2005, Forbes Magazine estimated the overall revenue generated by the entire Star Wars franchise (over the course of its 28-year history) at nearly US $20 billion, making it one of the most successful film franchises of all time.
The Star Wars film series is made up of a total of six feature films. These six films, which technically make up a hexology, are generally split into two trilogies: The "original trilogy" of Episodes IV–VI (released between 1977 and 1983) and the "prequel trilogy" of Episodes I–III (released between 1999 and 2005). The Star Wars film series was shot in an original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The "original trilogy" was shot with anamorphic lenses, while Episode I was shot in Arriscope film format, and Episodes II and III were shot with high-definition digital lenses.