A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....
The Star Wars title card/logo
Star Wars is an American epic space opera media franchise, centered on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of characters "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".
The franchise began in 1977 with the release of the film Star Wars (later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981), which became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. It was followed by the successful sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983); these three films constitute the original Star Wars trilogy. A prequel trilogy was released between 1999 and 2005, which received mixed reactions from both critics and fans. A sequel trilogy began in 2015 with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and continued with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). The first eight films were nominated for Academy Awards (with wins going to the first two films released) and have been commercial successes, with a combined box office revenue of over US$8.5 billion, making Star Wars the second highest-grossing film series. Spin-off films include Rogue One (2016) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
The series has spawned an extensive media franchise including books, television series, computer and video games, theme park attractions and lands, and comic books, resulting in significant development of the series' fictional universe. Star Wars holds a Guinness World Records title for the "Most successful film merchandising franchise". In 2015, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at US$42 billion, making Star Wars the second-highest-grossing media franchise of all time.
In 2012, The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm for US$4.06 billion and earned the distribution rights to all subsequent Star Wars films, beginning with the release of The Force Awakens in 2015. The former distributor, 20th Century Fox, was to retain the physical distribution rights for the first two Star Wars trilogies, was to own permanent rights for the original 1977 film and was to continue to hold the rights for the prequel trilogy and the first two sequels to A New Hope until May 2020. Walt Disney Studios currently owns digital distribution rights to all the Star Wars films, excluding A New Hope. On December 14, 2017, the Walt Disney Company announced its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox, including the film studio and all distribution rights to A New Hope.
Luke Skywalker is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the original film trilogy of the Star Wars franchise, where he is portrayed by Mark Hamill (pictured). He is introduced in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in which he is forced to leave home, and finds himself apprenticed to the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He soon becomes an important figure in the Rebel Alliance, leading the struggle against the Galactic Empire. As the son of former Queen of Naboo and Republic Senator Padmé Amidala and her husband, Anakin Skywalker—a fallen Jedi also known as the Sith Lord Darth Vader—Luke is heir to a family deeply powerful in the Force. He is also the twin brother of Princess Leia Organa of the planet Alderaan, foster daughter of Senator Bail Organa and a leader of the Rebellion who recruited her brother into the cause. The Star Wars expanded universe depicts him as a powerful Jedi Master and eventually the Grand Master of the New Jedi Order, as well as the father of Ben Skywalker, maternal uncle of Jacen Solo and ancestor of Cade Skywalker.
In 2008, Luke Skywalker was selected by Empire magazine as the 54th greatest movie character of all time. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Luke at number 14.
A Wookiee is a member of a race of hairy bipeds in the fictional Star Wars universe. The most famous Wookiee is Chewbacca, a companion to Han Solo. Other prominent Wookiees include Lowbacca (the nephew of Chewbacca, and a Jedi), Tyvokka, Zaalbar, Chuundar, Attichitcuk, Tarfful, and Hanharr. A common, though incorrect, spelling is Wookie (with only one trailing "e"). Another common mistake is Wokiee.
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