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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Incredible Reach of Star Wars

Okay, where am I? 

Seems to me, I am in a galaxy far, far away…

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” an iconic series was born that would shape the course of film for decades to come. Just the opening quote — a phrase we all know — is so ingrained in popular culture that even people who haven’t seen a single Star Wars movie have heard the line.

As we gear up for the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the first film in the series to be helmed by someone other than George Lucas, we decided to look back at the impact that this franchise has had, not only the science fiction landscape, but on pop culture as a whole.

Using photos, vectors, and illustrations from the Shutterstock collection, they worked with the talented team at Pop Chart Lab to explore Star Wars’ influence on the entertainment industry. Take a look at the full chart below (click to expand), then keep scrolling to go in-depth and see all the images used to create this infographic.

Infographic: The Influence of Star Wars on Film and TV

Star Wars created beloved characters and gave us vast, over-arching storylines that would support an entire franchise. Movies are rarely released these days without a nod or a wink to the fact that there will be more films in the series.

Although it wasn’t the first big film trilogy (lest we forget The Godfather), Star Wars made the trilogy format so successful that it’s helped change how films are now written, produced, and released.
The Star Wars universe is one of the most alive and lived-in places to ever come on screen. The houses feel occupied, the ships appear used, and the worlds seem like they’ve been there for millions of years.

The imperfect, unpolished universe never feels like a set — it’s a realistic world that makes you think you really are visiting a galaxy far, far away.

The characters of Star Wars had just as much impact as the franchise’s style — leading the way for many film and TV personas to come.

Turning the “damsel in distress” trope on its head, badass female lead Leia had her own agenda and plans, actively pursuing her goals throughout the series and breaking ground for iconic heroines like Sarah Connor, Buffy Summers, and Katniss Everdeen.

One of the best parts of Star Wars was the way a robot like C-3PO could develop such a distinctive personality that you would forget he’s supposed to be just a protocol droid.

Add in R2-D2, who was able to make audiences fall in love with only beeps and clicks, and it’s no wonder Pixar felt confident enough to have no actual dialogue in the first half of Wall-E.

And then there’s Chewbacca, one of the most beloved characters in the entire Star Wars universe. His inaudible grunts and growls have been instantly recognizable for more than 30 years — long before “I AM GROOT” was ever uttered.

Star Wars’ impact expanded beyond even the film’s aesthetics and characters, with George Lucas’ early adoption of tech and innovation paving the way for some of the most breakthrough technologies used in film.

So… was anything missed?