STAR WARS 35th Anniversary: Timeline (Infographic)
More than a mere blockbuster, the Star Wars franchise became a record-setting media empire. Six live-action films and a computer-animated movie have filled theaters. An animated Star Wars TV series has been on the air for four years, with a fifth season set to debut in the fall; a live-action series, “Star Wars: Underworld,” is in preproduction. Profits from licensed merchandise have dwarfed box office revenue, and an estimated $20 billion worth of toys, clothing, prop replicas and other memorabilia have been sold since 1977.It all began in the early 1970s, when young filmmaker George Lucas wanted to bring back “Flash Gordon,” a space hero serial from the 1930s, as a feature film. Rights to the property could not be secured, so instead, Lucas decided to make a new fantasy film in the same spirit of swashbuckling adventure. “Star Wars” premiered on May 25, 1977, and captured the world’s attention. Such was the frenzy for souvenirs that fans snapped up 600,000 of Kenner Toys’ “Early Bird” sets. These were empty boxes containing a mail-in coupon for action figures that would be sent as soon as they were available.
Here's a graphic timeline recapping the first 35 years of the franchise:
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