The Effect Star Wars Had on American Culture

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Sean Dougherty
Dr. Dominguez
Final Paper - Star Wars on Culture
Friday, May 25, 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas' blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters, and the world was never the same. Whether you are a fan of the double trilogy or not, there is no doubt the series has permeated our society. Ranging from simple references in shows or movies to all kinds of memorabilia, Star Wars is an unavoidable phenomenon that will most certainly continue living on for a long time. The use of Star Wars in American culture has helped to define culture in terms of new markets, the formation of a cultural community, and what it means to be modern in culture and society. George Lucas started his production company Lucasfilm Limited for the production of Star Wars, this in turn led to a new market and the creation of different companies, all with a pedigree leading back to Lucasfilm Limited and Star Wars. Star Wars also led to the formation of a new sub-culture in American culture, the culture surrounding the way people of all ages can interact and play, as well as creating infinite possibilities for Star Wars games and themes. Star Wars also shows us what it means to be modern, and in studying the great films one can see all the different technologies we have today that were a product of the Star Wars universe.

Lucasfilm Limited, founded by George Lucas in 1971, is best known for the Star Wars and Indian Jones films and got the ball rolling for the domination of the film market in terms of special effects. Here is a quick list of subsidiary companies to Lucasfilm Ltd. : Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound, LucasArts, Lucas Licensing, Lucas Learning, Lucas Books, Lucasfilm Animation, Lucas Marketing, Lucas Online. Former subsidiary companies include THX Ltd., and Pixar Animation Studios. These ten companies were all built off Lucasfilm Ltd. and show how Star Wars led to George Lucas' domination over the special effects film industry. Industrial Light and Magic is an American Academy Award-winning motion picture visual effects company founded in 1975 by Lucas. Skywalker Sound is the sound effects, sound editing, sound design, sound mixing and music recording division of Lucasfilm Ltd. LucasArts is an American video game developer and publisher, it publishes games based primarily off Star Wars. Lucas Licensing and Lucas Learning are both divisions under Lucasfilm Ltd. in charge of the licensing and merchandising of products, as well as the publishing of educational materials. Lucas Books is the division in charge of all book publishing under Lucasfilm Ltd. Lucasfilm Animation is an animation studio founded in 2003, its first major production was the Star Wars: Clone Wars television series. Lucas Marketing and Lucas Online are divisions of Lucasfilm Ltd. in charge of marketing of products and website production, respectively. THX Ltd. is a high-fidelity audio/visual reproduction standard for movie theaters, screening rooms, home theaters, computer speakers, gaming consoles, and even car audio systems. It was founded in 1983 by George Lucas in order to ensure that the soundtrack for the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, would be accurately reproduced in the best venues. Pixar Animation Studios is a computer animation film studio, best known for its CGI-animated feature films. Pixar began in1979 as the Graphics Group part of the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd. These are just some of the larger companies that are a part or were at one time a part of Lucasfilm Ltd., which generated the majority of its power/revenue from the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars has created and funded the market of animated film in American culture through the growth of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the creation of enormous film companies such as THX and Pixar. Not only has this dynamic franchise created new avenues in the animated film...
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