If you are a fan of Star Wars, you may have wondered whether the beloved franchise started as a book or a movie. The answer is not that straightforward, as it can be argued that both mediums played a significant role in the creation and expansion of the Star Wars universe.
In 1973, George Lucas began writing what would become the first Star Wars film. However, it was not until 1976 that Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope hit theaters and became an instant hit. The movie’s success led to two sequels, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
The Role of Books
While the movies were undoubtedly the most visible aspect of Star Wars, books played a crucial role in expanding its universe. In 1976, before the release of A New Hope, Alan Dean Foster wrote the novelization of the film. This allowed fans to experience the story in written form before they could see it on screen.
In 1978, Foster wrote Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, which was set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. This book gave fans more insight into Luke Skywalker’s journey and introduced new characters who would later become fan favorites.
The success of these books paved the way for more novels set in the Star Wars universe. Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy is often credited with revitalizing interest in Star Wars during a time when there were no new movies being released.
The books also played a significant role in expanding the Star Wars universe beyond what was seen on screen. Characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade were introduced in books and later appeared in other forms of media such as comics and video games.
However, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, they declared that all previous Expanded Universe material was no longer canon. This decision allowed Disney to create a new continuity that included the movies and new books, comics, and TV shows.
In conclusion, while the Star Wars movies were undoubtedly the most visible aspect of the franchise, books played a crucial role in its creation and expansion. The novels allowed fans to experience the story in written form and gave more insight into characters and events.
Additionally, they expanded the universe beyond what was seen on screen and introduced new characters who became fan favorites. Whether you prefer books or movies, there is no denying that Star Wars has had an impact on both mediums.