When you think of the Star Wars movies, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Episode IV: A New Hope. But why did Star Wars start with episode 4 and not 1? Turns out, there is a very interesting reason behind it! In this article, we will discuss why Episode IV was chosen as the starting point for the Star Wars saga. So sit back, relax, and get ready to have your mind blown!
In this article we will discuss the following:
- May 25th 1977: Where in the World was George Lucas?
- Why Did Star Wars Start with Episode 4?
- Technical Issues
- Story Telling Reasons
May 25th 1977: Where in the World was George Lucas?
Star Wars was released in May of 1977 but where was George Lucas? Would you believe me if I told you he was absent from the premier?
George was so certain that Star Wars was going to be an epic failure that he took a vacation to Hawaii. This reminds me of when the show-runners of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, took a vacation during the series finale to avoid reactions and disconnect.
The only difference here is George was wrong, Star Wars was a massive success, meanwhile that Game of Thrones series finale was controversial to say the least.
Why Did Star Wars Start with Episode 4?
When George Lucas wrote Star Wars it was too big to adapt into one movie. George ended up taking each act of the larger story he wrote and turning them into the movies we know and love today.
Due to technical issues and story telling reasons George Lucas opted to make the first Star Wars movie Episode iV.
Why Did Star Wars Start with Episode 4: Technical Issues
Let’s dive into what we think those technical issues were that caused Lucas to skip Episodes i-iii and begin with iv.
If you take a look at The Phantom Menace, Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith this was Star Wars on a grand scale. The stories were filled with CGI marvels, large scale battles and epic lightsaber duels. This was the height of the Jedi Order and the Republic and things needed to look and feel large.
From a technical standpoint, technology just wasn’t there yet in the 1970’s. It was not feasible to tell the story that George had laid out.
Why Did Star Wars Start with Episode 4: Story Telling Reasons
Let’s face it, the Prequel Trilogy is full of politics and is laid out more like a soap opera. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore and love the Prequel Trilogy but if you’re looking to wow an audience and get viewers invested, start with the bullet proof heroes journey.
Luke Skywalker is a major reason the Original Trilogy is such a giant success. The audience was able to connect with his character and feel invested. Rather than getting bogged down in trade talk disputes and a story focused on political maneuvering, something that the Prequel Trilogy is known for.
Episode iV: Pop Culture Phenomena
Star Wars took the world by storm and became a pop culture phenomena. It was the highest grossing film of all time, until Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial came out and dethroned it.
It was so popular that when Return of the Jedi came out in 1983, people were camping outside of theaters to get tickets!
The level of popularity that Star Wars had was unprecedented and is still being felt today, 45 years later.
Why was Star Wars such a huge success?
I believe a major reason Star Wars was such a big hit was because they started with Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. Making A New Hope the starting point for the original Star Wars trilogy was genius.
Lucas original plan was to have 9 movies. Starting with the fourth film and incorporating the secret history of episodes 1-3 made his world feel lived in. Just mentioning things like the Clone Wars or Darth Vader being Anakin Skywalker was enough to get fans excited about the history of Star Wars.
It allowed the audience to fill in the blanks and use their imagination, which is why Star Wars has such a large and passionate fan base.
Lucas also created an appetite for wanting to know more about the history of Star Wars, giving Lucas the opportunity to do his Prequel Trilogy.
What George Lucas started back in 1977 with A New Hope, was a cultural phenomenon that is still going strong today. it’s hard to believe that it has been 45+ years since the first Star Wars movie was released.
The level of success that Star Wars has had is a direct result of starting with Episode iv. We should all be thankful for those technical and storytelling reasons that spawned the creation of the Original Trilogy of Star Wars.
The first film of the Original Star Wars Trilogy, Episode iv: A New Hope, is responsible for the creation of one the most popular movie franchises of all time. It’s hard to imagine a world without Star Wars.
What do you think? Do you agree that Star Wars started with Episode 4 due to technical and storytelling reasons? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.