Star Wars is an epic American space opera franchise, created by George Lucas and focused on a series of films that began with the homonymous 1977 film. The saga quickly became a global pop culture phenomenon.
The first film was followed by two successful sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and the Return of the Jedi (1983); These three films are the original Star Wars trilogy. A prequel trilogy was released between 1999 and 2005, although to mixed reactions of critics and fans. Finally, a sequel trilogy to complete the nine-episode saga began in 2015 with the Awakening of the force. The first eight films were nominated for the Academy Awards (with wins going to the first two released) and were commercially successful, with a combined box office income of more than US $8.5 billion. Along with the spin-off theater films The Clone Wars (2008), Rogue One (2016), and solo: a Star Wars Story (2018), Star Wars is the second largest blockbuster movie series of all time.
The film series has spawned in other media, including books, TV shows, computer and video games, theme park and land attractions, and comics, resulting in significant development of the fictitious universe of the series. Star Wars has a Guinness World records title for the “most successful merchandising franchise movie”. In 2018, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at the US $65 billion and is currently the fifth largest box office franchise.