Lightsaber is probably the most popular fictional melee weapon and before 1976, no one ever heard about it. After the Star Trek Original Series ended, the sci-fi genre was already on life support. Star Wars: A New Hope was a cutting-edge grand space opera that’s never seen before at the time. It managed to jump-start a stagnant genre. The original Star Wars trilogy has spawned a prequel trilogy and also a sequel trilogy, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the first film. The Star Wars universe has irrevocably changed the whole film industry and its effect is pervasive enough to be seen in many films. Star Wars started a new form of sci-fi genre, such as the TRON and Alien. The high-tech universe is no longer seen as a neat environment, it can also be dirty and gritty. Star Wars ushered a new era of adventure, sci-fi genre. Star Wars also introduces the use of special effects that look much more realistic. The effects used in the New Hope may seem to be crude by the 21st century standard, but they were quite groundbreaking in the 1970’s. When people saw a massive Star Destroyer space warship with its intricate details, people were immediately hooked.
The storyline became addictive when people saw laser firefights, lightsaber, X-wing fighters, TIE fighters, the mysterious power of the Force and other great elements of the Star Wars. We also saw a parody of the Star Wars, such as Al Brooks’ Spaceballs, which is quite hilarious. It is clear that parodies can also be seen as lasting legacy of the Star Wars universe. The Return of the Ewok was a parody film created by ILM, which is still in the same Star Wars universe. Robot Chicken was created by Seth Green with episodes that pay tribute and smoothly mock the original Star Wars trilogy. We have also seen various TV series with episodes fully dedicated for the Star Wars universe, such as three episodes of the Family Guy. Many successful films were based on a book, but Star Wars is doing it in reverse. Fans are eager to know more about the storyline is greater detail than what’s shown on the films. Many writers have worked on various comic books and novels based on the Star Wars Universe. These books are typically known as the Star Wars Extended Universe. They are able to describe many more things than all the three trilogies of Star Wars films combined.
One thing that we can learn from the Star Wars is that it is possible to make a niche genre a huge hit and transform it into a mainstream entertainment. Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, lightsabers and others are already considered as part of the pop culture. It means that today people know these Star Wars elements immediately. Star Wars were able to make the sci-fi genre accessible and fun for decades to come. Without Star Wars, the entertainment industry would be a much different thing today.