George Lucas came up with the idea for his epic Star Wars saga in the early 1970s. Originally intended to be a standalone movie, Lucas quickly realized that the universe he was creating had the potential to be turned into a series. When the original Star Wars film was released in 1977, it became the highest-grossing film of all time and almost immediately made characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader into household names. Lucas followed up the first movie with the sequel The Empire Strikes Back--often considered one of the best films of all time--and then finished his trilogy with the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983.
After abandoning the Star Wars saga for more than 15 years, Lucas returned to the universe of the Jedi and the Sith in 1999 with the first entry in his prequel trilogy, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Exploring the story of how Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader, the prequels also included Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Though the new trilogy received mixed reviews, it was a massive commercial success and proved that Star Wars was still an extremely profitable franchise. Lucasfilm continued forays into the Star Wars universe with animated TV shows and movies about the Clone Wars as well as spinoff books and video games. In October 2012, however, the Walt Disney Company shocked Star Wars fans everywhere by announcing that they had acquired Lucasfilm and would be making a sequel trilogy as well as several standalone films set in the universe. Star Wars Episode VII is set to be released in 2015.
The merchandise that goes along with the Star Wars franchise runs the gamut and dates back more than 30 years. Toys include action figures, plush dolls, and LEGO sets that allow you to build your favorite elements of the saga. You'll also find toy lightsabers and blasters modeled after those used by the movies' heroes and villains as well as costume pieces that let kids act out their favorite scenes. More serious collectors can find limited edition figurines and model sets to put together and display. Characters, slogans, and scenes from the movies are also depicted on a variety of clothing for all ages and genders.
Star Wars games are available in both high-tech and low-tech versions. Classic card games, board games, and dice games allow you to use your imagination to enter the universe of these movies and are fun for kids of all ages. You'll also find a variety of video games for all the major platforms, including console, handheld, mobile, and more. These games range from educational experiences to action-adventure games (allowing you to relive the movies) to multi-player online games that let you "live" within the Star Wars universe.
Few movie sagas are as timeless as Star Wars, which is one reason why the series is still as popular today as it was back in 1977. Whether you grew up with the original trilogy or the prequels, you'll love introducing your kids to these movies for the first time and watching them fall in love with the characters and the stories. The array of merchandise like toys, games, and clothes ensures that you will never have trouble shopping for any young Star Wars fan, and these products help bring the stories to life. We give Star Wars 5 stars out of 5.