When Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope came out back in 1977, George Lucas may not have suspected that the franchise would turn into a pop-culture phenomenon. Fast forward 40 years to 2017, when literally every person around the globe has at least heard of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader or R2-D2.
By the early 80’s, the original Star Wars trilogy was completed The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
These titles were followed by a prequel trilogy: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Meanwhile, the franchise was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2012, and announced a sequel trilogy: The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017) and Episode IX (expected in 2019).
The stories of the Galactic Empire seem to be generating some juicy profits for its makers. As of December 2015, the franchise’s worth was estimated to be approximately $42 billion, distributed amongst box office sales, home entertainment, toys and other merchandise, video games, etc. If that seems a bit excessive, just try to count the number of Star Wars-themed items you own. We’re sure there’s at least one Princess Leia lunchbox or maybe even a BB8 action figure amongst your possessions.
The Last Jedi, premiering around the world this week, is expected to bring in $1.5 billion (that’s billion with a “B”), making it the franchise’s golden egg so far. We’re imagining Walt Disney execs throwing huge parties to celebrate this – and why wouldn’t they?
We won’t throw a rager to commemorate the release of the movie but we have prepared a neat little quiz to test your knowledge and level of fandom. Enjoy!