In 1977, the cinematic world was changed forever, thanks to a science-fantasy film about a farm boy, a princess, a wizard, a cyborg, two smugglers, and a pair of robots. Written and directed by the creative genius behind American Graffiti and THX-1138, George Lucas’s Star Wars — in essence, The Wizard of Oz meets The Odyssey meets Lord of the Rings, but in space — was a visual and audio extravaganza like nothing anyone had seen before. And going to the movies would never be the same again.
The movie ushered in two (soon to be three) film trilogies and numerous television shows, making the franchise one of the most successful of all time. Star Wars mesmerized audience-goers young and old with its state-of-the-art special effects and resonant soundtrack, and made “May the Force be with you” a permanent household phrase.
A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, edited by Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato, examines the entire Star Wars saga on the large and small screens. From theatrical films to TV movies, from cartoons and commercials to variety shows and video-based amusement-park rides, the mythos continues to keep audiences glued to their seats. This anthology features insightful, analytical essays about the franchise’s long history from popular film historians, novelists, bloggers, and subject-matter experts, exploring why the films proved so immediately popular, where the movies and TV shows have succeeded and faltered, and why we all keep going back a long time ago to that galaxy far, far away.