A Galaxy, Far, Far Away

The new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” has been a huge box office hit. No wonder, it continues the franchise that started almost 40 years ago and boosted the science fiction genre out of its niche.

When the first movie came out in 1977 nobody could have anticipated the success of the universe created by George Lucas. At the time, science fiction movies were usually box-office-poison. But the story that was set “a long time ago” and “in a galaxy, far, far away” wasn’t about shiny spaceships, time-traveling aliens other sci-fi mumbo jumbo. On the contrary, it was a tale of strangers that become friends and of the everlasting fight of good against evil. It contains elements of coming-of-age movies (the young Luke Skywalker leaving his home), fantasy (the magical Force) and japanese Samurai movies (Lightsabers and sword-fighting). Although it is an American produced movie, most of the original trilogy was shot in Elstree and Pinewood Studios and features Sir Alec Guinnes and Peter Cushing among other great British actors.

The Brand

Let’s have a look how good the franchise did at the box-office, all data is provided by Box Office Mojo:

The newest installment of the franchise “The Force Awakens” grossed $529 million on its opening weekend worldwide – making it the highest-grossing worldwide opening of all time.

The most nominations were for the orignal “Star Wars” in 1977 with 11 nominations – of which the movie won 7.

The 88th Academy Award will take place on February, 28 at the Dolby Theater. “The Force Awakens” is nominated for 5 Oscars in:

  • Film Editing: Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
  • Orignal Score: John Williams
  • Visual Effects: Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould
  • Sound Effects: Matthew Wood and David Acord
  • Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson

The Viewers

In a YouGov survey in Britain in 2014 people were asked how much they like “Star Wars”. The chart displays males, females and different ages.

You can easily spot that the average Star Wars fan is male – but surprisingly, the age group 40-59 shows the biggest affection of all represented group (58% have a positive opinion on Star Wars).

Of all the original characters of the Star Wars movies, it seems that Han Solo is the most peoples favourite character. The iconic image of the smuggler and his sidekick, Chewbacca, made its way into modern pop culture.

The British Influence

What makes the Star Wars movies so successfull? Of course, the setting, story and characters are unique – but a lot of the characters are played by British actors.

If you want to take a closer look at the Oscar winners you can click o this link . The spreadsheet was originally provided by the BFI and published by The Guardian but I added more data to the sheet using IMDb.

Although you can not see them, both of the most famous Star Wars characters that appear in all seven movies are are played by two British Actos, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker. Sir Alec Guinness played the wise Jedi-Master Obi-wan Kenobi. A lot of British actors played evil characters, most famous Peter Cushing as the tyrannic Tarkin in A New Hope. For the new installment, The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega play the lead roles – both British actors. Domhnall Gleeson and Andy Serkis both star as characters for the evil First Order.

A New Generation

After the acquisition of Lucasfilm by the Walt Disney Company in october 2012 (for over $4 billion) a new generation of Star Wars movies have been announced. From now on, there will be a Star Wars movie every year, according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy – having started with “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” in december 2015. The next movie, a spin-off called “Rogue One” is already in production with a release date on december 16 in 2016.

“The Force Awakens” has been the most anticipated movie release in 2015. The first 90 second teaser generated almost 60 million views on Youtube in its first week.

It seems that Hungary, Puerto Rico and Canada are the countries where the new movie was expected the most. According to Google Trends, those are the countries that had the most Star Wars-related Google-searches.

Star Wars will continue to entertain us with its unique stories and characters, exciting adventures in space and and planets.