Pop Culture in the Global Context
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" is a phrase that has been translated into hundreds of languages all over the world. Star Wars is an influential science fantasy saga and fictional universe created by writer, producer, and director George Lucas in the early 1970s. In 2005, Forbes Magazine estimated the overall revenue generated by the entire Star Wars franchise, over the course of its 28-year history, at nearly $20 billion, easily making it one of the most successful film franchises of all time. The Star Wars films are a pop culture phenomenon that has made an undeniable impact in the United States and the rest of the world.
The saga began with the film Star Wars, later dubbed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, released in 1977, and has ended with the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, released in 2005. With the release of the final installment in the Star Wars Saga, fans all over the world began to wait in line for the premier as early as a month ahead of time. Even fans in poverty-stricken Russia have flocked the theaters to witness the end of the saga. Many fans around the globe will take their enthusiasms to the extreme of dressing in the costume of their favorite character and walking around their home cities attending movie showings, parties and conventions, while also engaging in role playing games with their friends and online.
Aside from the fact that the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the end of an era, one must consider what the social impacts this saga has had, in both the United States and the rest of the world. In his article Unifying Force, Phil Kloer (2005) states "The whole Star Wars' franchise, six movies, of which Sith' is the last, is that rarity, a cultural unifier, an event that people from many different demographic groups, with vastly different backgrounds and interests, will see, or at least take note of." Kloer (2005) also goes on...
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