Star Wars: How The Multi-Billion Dollar Empire Continues To Strike Back

As fans eagerly go see Rogue One, the newest installment in the monolithic Star Wars franchise, critics are questioning how long the empire’s 41-year, $40 billion reign can continue. It’s hard to imagine that when George Lucas first pitched his idea for Star Wars, he estimated it would bring in $8 million, $12 million at a push (Telegraph, 2016). With two more films in the pipeline and billions of dollars in prospective revenues from merchandise, bar a major economic disaster, profits for the franchise are looking to continue rising to ever wilder heights.

George Lucas and his partner Gary Kurtz first came up with the idea for Star Wars in 1971. Drawing on inspiration from cult classics like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, they wanted to create a space opera with a twist. Instead of the dark and somewhat dystopian sci-fi films of the time, they had in mind something more fun and accessible to a younger audience (George Lucas: A Biography 2000). What they didn’t know was how successful their fantasy world would become.

In fact, nobody could have predicted the sensation the franchise would be. The buzz that the opening installment, Star Wars - A New Hope created when it first hit cinemas in 1977 was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. It was only when the then president of 20th Century Fox, Alan Ladd Jr., called George Lucas, telling him that Star Wars was on the front page of every single paper that he realized that he had created something massive (Business Insider, 2015). What had started out as a concept for a teenage-friendly film, had quickly become a cultural phenomenon with people queuing round the block at cinemas to get their Star Wars fix a second, third and even fourth time.

Jeff Nevil

I’ve been around for half a century, or so and picked up a few things on the way, that you might find interesting or useful. I've also worked hard to enjoy some of the finer things in life and occasionally treat myself to little luxuries.. ...(Read More)