Star Wars, the epic space opera franchise, has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of fans around the world. But did you know that Star Wars was first brought to life through a movie or a book? Let’s dive into the history of this beloved franchise to find out.
The Star Wars Movie
The very first Star Wars film, now known as “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” was released in 1977. It was written and directed by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm Ltd.
The movie introduced us to iconic characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and more. The film was a massive success at the box office and went on to become a cultural phenomenon.
After the success of the original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV-VI), many fans wanted more stories set in that universe. In response to this demand, Lucasfilm commissioned several books to be written that expanded on the existing canon. The first book in this expanded universe was “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” by Alan Dean Foster, published in 1978.
The Star Wars Books
While “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” was technically the first Star Wars book published, it wasn’t until 1991 that Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire” was released that truly kickstarted what became known as the “Star Wars Expanded Universe.” These novels took place after Return of The Jedi and continued Luke Skywalker’s story along with other characters from that time period.
Canon vs Legends
Over time there were more than 100 novels written in what became known as Legends continuity. However, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 they decided to create their own canon for all future works going forward which included all Star Wars movies, TV shows, books, and comics. The Legends stories were still available for fans to read, but they were no longer considered a part of the official story.
So, was the Star Wars movie or book first? Technically, the movie came first in 1977. However, in terms of expanded universe content, the books came shortly after with “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” in 1978 and “Heir to the Empire” in 1991 starting a whole new era of Star Wars storytelling.
In conclusion, while there are many ways to enjoy Star Wars – through movies, books or otherwise – it is undoubtedly one of the most beloved franchises that has created an entire universe for fans to explore and enjoy.