Star Wars, is an epic 1977 American space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the six film saga. Ground-breaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and sci-fi/fantasy storytelling, the original Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time.
Set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, the film follows a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance who are plotting to destroy the powerful Death Star space station, a weapon capable of destroying a planet, created by the evil Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids carrying the stolen Death Star plans. When the Empire begins a cruel and destructive search for the droids, Skywalker decides to accompany Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on a daring mission to rescue the owner of the droids, rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, and save the galaxy.
Produced with a budget of $11 million and released on May 25, 1977, the film went on to earn $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the highest-grossing film of all time at the time. Among the many awards the film received, it gained ten Academy Award nominations, winning seven; the nominations included Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guinness and Best Picture.
Star Wars won seven Academy Awards, including Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, which went to John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley and Roger Christian. Best Costume Design was awarded to John Mollo; Best Film Editing went to Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas and Richard Chew; John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune and Robert Blalack all received awards for Best Effects, Visual Effects. John Williams was awarded his third Oscar for Best Music, Original Score; the Best Sound went to Don MacDougall, Ray West, Bob Minkler and Derek Ball; and a Special Achievement for Sound Effects went to Ben Burtt. Additional nominations included Alec Guinness for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, George Lucas for Best Screenplay and Best Director, although it did not win Best Picture, which went to Annie Hall. At the Golden Globe awards, the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness), and it won the award for Best Score. It received six BAFTA nominations: Best Film, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Production/Art Design, Best Sound, and Best Score; the film won in the latter two categories. John Williams’ soundtrack album won the Grammy award for Best Album of Original Score for a Motion Picture or Television Program, and the film was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. In 1997, the MTV Movie Awards awarded Chewbacca the lifetime achievement award for his work in the Star Wars trilogy.