What made Star Wars so big?

Star Wars Fancy Dress

Everyone has heard about Star Wars and knows about the films. I bet there isn’t a person who hasn’t seen at least some of a film! In fact, the first film was not even expected to be as big as it was, with all the large Toy Manufacturers turning down the rights to the toys. Kenner toy company was a smaller company that decided to take a punt, and what a punt it was – over 300 million units were sold! Nowadays, there are loads of toys and Star Wars Fancy Dress available. But why is Star Wars so HUGE?

Back in 1977, the film came out of nowhere to the silver screen. Nothing like it had come out before, with such an immersive universe and amazing special effects that were well ahead of its time. By offering something different, millions were drawn from their homes to watch it.

The story itself was such that suggested an even bigger universe than what was being portrayed. Nowadays, we know that there are so many back stories, with Disney taking the mantle by buying the rights to the films.

Not surprisingly, the films have won countless awards, including the Academy Awards for Best Art DirectionBest Costume DesignBest Film EditingBest Original ScoreBest Sound and Best Visual Effects, as well as the Special Achievement for Sound Effects Editing, going to sound designer Ben Burtt. The films have also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor In A Supporting Role for Sir Alec Guinness as Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi.

To me however, the one thing that has helped make Star Wars so big, is that even though it is in a Galaxy Far Far Away, with spaceships, aliens and mystical forces, it is still relatable for the audience. The actors, the story, the dialogue combined, gave a sense of realism.

We all know from today’s films, that the first film is the BEST. Take Men in Black, the second was still good, but the third was, err, well let’s leave it at that shall we. Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back was arguably better than the first though (we will ignore Episode 1 in this analysis), and all the subsequent films have pushed the story further, pushed the effects, and immersed us all into a bigger and bigger universe that we all want to be part of and see the next film!

Perhaps this explains why the toy and fancy dress ranges are so popular?!