Star Wars: A New Hope, released in 1977, was a groundbreaking movie that revolutionized the film industry. The epic space opera created by George Lucas became an instant classic and garnered a massive fan following.
It also raised the question of whether it was the first movie to have a sequel. Let’s delve into the history of sequels in cinema and find out.
The History of Sequels in Cinema
The concept of sequels is not new to the film industry. The first sequel ever made was The Fall of a Nation, which released in 1916, and was a follow-up to The Birth of a Nation (1915). However, sequels did not become common until the 1970s when films like The Godfather Part II (1974) and Jaws 2 (1978) were released.
The Birth of Star Wars Sequels
After the success of Star Wars: A New Hope, George Lucas had already planned for two sequels. In fact, he had written an entire script for what would eventually become Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. The sequel was released in 1980, three years after the first movie.
A New Era for Sequels in Cinema
The success of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back marked a new era for sequels in cinema. It proved that sequels could be just as successful as their predecessors and even surpass them. As Hollywood began to realize the potential profits from successful franchises, more and more sequels began to be produced.
While Star Wars may not have been the first movie ever to have a sequel, it certainly played a significant role in popularizing the concept of sequels in cinema. The success of the franchise paved the way for other movie franchises to follow suit, and today, sequels have become an integral part of Hollywood’s business model.