Was the First Star Wars Movie a Low Budget?

The first Star Wars movie, released in 1977, is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made. But was it a low budget production? Let’s take a closer look.


Star Wars was created by George Lucas, who wrote and directed the film. Lucas had previously directed two low-budget movies, THX 1138 and American Graffiti. He wanted to create a space opera that would harken back to the serials of his youth.

The Budget

The budget for Star Wars was $11 million. While this may sound like a lot of money, it was actually quite low for a movie of its scope. To put it into perspective, Jaws, which was released two years earlier, had a budget of $12 million.

The Challenges

One of the biggest challenges in making Star Wars was creating the special effects. At the time, computer-generated imagery (CGI) did not exist. Instead, Lucas and his team had to rely on practical effects such as models and miniatures.

Another challenge was finding actors who could bring his characters to life. Many of the actors were relatively unknown at the time, with Mark Hamill (who played Luke Skywalker) having only appeared in one other movie before Star Wars.

The Success

Despite these challenges, Star Wars was a huge success. It grossed over $775 million worldwide and became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time (adjusted for inflation). It also spawned two sequels and eventually became part of a much larger franchise that includes books, comics, video games, and more.


So was Star Wars a low-budget movie? Compared to other movies at the time with similar scope and ambition, yes it was. However, despite its comparatively modest budget and technical limitations, the movie was a massive success and has had a lasting impact on popular culture.