How did Star Wars: A New Hope have an effect on the media?

Star Wars: A New Hope was the first movie of George Lucas’s saga that unexpectedly rose to ‘one of the most successful and influential films of all time’. The blockbuster was released in cinemas on May 25th 1977 and ‘the movie has grossed $461 million domestically and $775 million worldwide’. 1977 became the year everyone associated with Star Wars, even to this day May the 4th is considered national Star Wars day! With such income and public popularity the media had to use Star Wars in what they published because of all the interest.
Since the release of Star Wars a large amount of merchandise for children has been created with Star Wars as the key theme; Lunch boxes, light sabers, action figures, outfits, comics and many more which the media has used to make lots of money, as well as the creators of the products. However, not only has there been merchandise available for children, adults have also been able to purchase products associated with the franchise; Star Wars modified cars, original copies of films, adult outfits adult toys and TV shows.
Star Wars has essentially enabled the media to create more products for the public widening the Star Wars franchise effecting media by having them do more around Star Wars. Magazines are one product that may give profiles of each character and alternate endings to further interest consumers.
Before Star Wars, the science fiction genre was often associated with the horror genre and had a limited market that was primarily focused on an adult market, with the genre limited to cartoons to appeal to children. However, Star Wars changed this. Star Wars has ‘not only, changed the science fiction genre but film itself’, ‘George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster film-making and things have never been the same’. The movie was given a PG rating meaning families were able to watch it without being afraid of too much violence and swearing. This was the first ever science fiction movie that was family friendly and therefore generated a mass audience through consumer reviews and media publications.
Because Star Wars was such a success no doubt that others tried to emulate George Lucas’s work by making films in the science fiction genre based around the commercial and critical success of Star Wars. Essentially he influenced a new generation of filmmakers, which dramatically changed the media due to the increase in the number of family friendly science fiction films. This meant that Star Wars influenced the media by being able to be accessed across a wider range of media platforms than had been previously.
Finally, Star Wars was ground breaking in the special effects and CGI that were in the movie. This influenced the media by being able to use the technology that had been developed to make the film look as realistic as possible giving it an advantage over other competing movies which maybe why it was so successful. In a modern context, the new technology also allows the media to use it in different upcoming movies to try to make them as awe inspiring as possible.

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3 thoughts on “How did Star Wars: A New Hope have an effect on the media?

  1. Really decent piece of research Jacob and a good summary of the event for people who are unfamiliar. I really like your quotes–don’t forget to include a reference at the bottom saying where you get the information or quotes from. Also, please can you think about how Star Wars changed or influenced the genre–you say stuff at the end but it would be good to have some examples from other media which have been influenced by the film. I’ll start you off: Star Wars in 1977 influence Paramount to film Star Trek in 1979, and the first ST film was long and boring as it focused purely on the special effects and in space as a result of the new techniques SW had promoted.

    Now you write three further examples of SW’s influence below.

  2. Battlestar Galactica was a TV series influenced by Star Wars first broadcasted ‘in 1978.’ ‘Battlestar Galactica was finally produced in the wake of the success of the 1977 film Star Wars.’ Unfortunately ‘movie studio 20th Century Fox sued Universal Studios for copyright infringement, claiming that Universal Studios had copied 34 distinct ideas from Star Wars.’ This suggests Star Wars heavily influenced the Battlestar Galactica series to the point it almost copied the story. This also tells us the impact it had on the science fiction genre and how popular it became.

    The release of Star Wars was a very important event for video game makers as well as filmmakers. The Star Wars saga inspired the first video game based on the story of a movie that had great popularity amongst gamers, as Star Wars was such a popular movie to a variety of people. The first ever Star Wars inspired video game was ‘an arcade game’ ‘released in 1983’ ‘produced by Atari.’ ‘This game was developed during the Golden Age of Arcade Games and is considered the #4 most popular game of all time according to Killer List of Video Games.’ This tells us what a big impact Star Wars had and is still having in the video game community. This has now influenced the science fiction genre, as the game was such a big hit video game makers would be inclined to continue the Star Wars franchise or release something similar.

    Unlike most movies, the first Star Wars to be released was the fourth book in the saga and not the first meaning the others would be sequels and prequels. The uniqueness of this has inspired not only films in the science fiction genre but others from different genres too to released sequels and prequels of movies. A good example of this would be X-Men: First Class released in 2011, which is the prequel of the X-Men movies and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers which is the sequel to the first Lord of the Rings.

    • Spot on. I particularly love BG–both the original and the reboot are fantastic series. You could say that SW was the first epic to create a fully realised universe on screen with a full back story and this influenced modern storytelling of all genres.

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