George Lucas

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Posted by motoman 03/01/2009 @ 08:04

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Francis Ford Coppola: George Lucas Has 'The Most Potential To Shock' -
The “Godfather” director stopped by mtv's offices to chat with Josh Horowitz in advance of the release, and he had some enlightening opinions to share on his contemporaries, and his old pal George Lucas in particular. “I knew him as an experimental...
George Lucas Then vs George Lucas Now -
On the left, Lucas surrounded by a ton of stuff from the first Star Wars trilogy, which ended with 1983's Return of the Jedi. On the right, Lucas surrounded by the only object that mattered in his second Star Wars trilogy, finishing with 2005's Revenge...
Francis Ford Coppola Talks 'Tetro' And Whether He'll Make Another ... -
Coppola visited with MTV News to discuss his reawakened passion for moviemaking, his long dormant pet project "Megalopolis," whether there will ever be another "Godfather" and why he believes George Lucas has a huge cinematic surprise up his sleeve....
Cha-ching! Hollywood's top-earning actors -
In order to lure Ford out of his semi-retirement, Paramount agreed to a lucrative deal that split almost all of the film's earnings (after the studio made back its production and advertising costs) between Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas....
Reaction to Bishop George Lucas being named as Omaha's new archbishop: - Omaha World-Herald
He met briefly with Archbishop-designate George J. Lucas on Wednesday when Lucas came to campus to visit with student seminarians. "He struck me as very warm and gracious," said Schlegel. "He has a great sense of humor and is very prayerful at the same...
USC uses the [video] force to defend itself - Los Angeles Times
... and Athletic Director Mike Garrett. The action was a little slow and the story line predictable. Still, you can expect the plot to thicken in coming months. It would have been better if USC grad George Lucas had been brought in to handle the job....
'Star Wars: The Old Republic' game spot: George Lucas wishes he ... - Entertainment Weekly
It's amazing what you can do with this universe once you pry it from George Lucas' hands. Where does this rank for you? Do you, like me, wish you could trade the Clone Wars stuff for a TV series that looks like this? Or am I overselling it a bit?...
Wilds Talks Red Tails - IGN
Red Tails is produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, directed by Anthony Hemingway and written by John Ridley from a story by executive producer George Lucas. IGN: You're currently filming Red Tails. What's it like working on a George...
Pope To Place Band On Head Of Omaha Archbishop -
Pope Benedict XVI will do the honors, which will bestow upon Archbishop George Lucas "authority and responsibility," according to the Omaha archdiocese. Most Rev. George Lucas was named Archbishop of the Omaha archdiocese by Pope Benedict XVI....
With Transformers, Hasbro Morphs Its Toy-Movie Model - BusinessWeek
And Hasbro doesn't have to pay the fat licensing fees to filmmakers that made Star Wars creator George Lucas one of the company's largest shareholders. "I can't give you specifics," says Hasbro's chief executive, Brian Goldner, but "it is more...

George Lucas

George Lucas, Pasadena.jpg

George Walton Lucas, Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an Academy Award-nominated American film director, producer, screenwriter and chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd. He is best known for being the creator of the epic space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones. Today, Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful independent directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion.

Lucas was born in Modesto, California, the son of Dorothy Ellinore (née Bomberger) and George Walton Lucas, Sr. (1913–1991). His father was mainly of British and Swiss-German heritage and his mother, a member of a prominent Modesto family (one of her cousins is the mother of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and director of UNICEF Ann Veneman), was mainly of German and Scots-Irish heritage.

His experiences growing up in the sleepy suburb of Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti. Before young Lucas became obsessed with the movie camera, he wanted to be a race car driver, but a near fatal accident in his souped-up Autobianchi Bianchina just days before his high school graduation quickly changed his mind. Instead, he attended community college and developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks.

During this time, an experimental filmmaker named Bruce Baillie tacked up a bedsheet in his backyard in 1960 to screen the work of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers like Jordan Belson, Stan Brakhage and Bruce Conner. For the next few years, Baillie's series, dubbed Canyon Cinema, toured local coffeehouses.

These events became a magnet for the teenage Lucas and his boyhood friend John Plummer. The 19-year-olds began slipping away to San Francisco to hang out in jazz clubs and find news of Canyon Cinema screenings in flyers at the City Lights bookstore. Already a promising photographer, Lucas became infatuated with these abstract films.

At an autocross track, Lucas met his first mentor in the film industry — famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler, a fellow aficionado of sleek racing machines. Wexler was impressed by the way the shy teenager handled a camera, cradling it low on his hips to get better angles. "George tried as hard as anyone, and I was one to reward that," Wexler recalls.

Lucas then transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film. During the years at USC, George Lucas shared a dorm room with Randal Kleiser. Lucas was deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school by filmmaker Lester Novros which concentrated on the non-narrative elements of Film Form like color, light, movement, space, and time. Another huge inspiration was the Serbian montagist (and dean of the USC Film Department) Slavko Vorkapich who had been a colleague of Sergei Eisenstein's before moving to Hollywood to make stunning montage sequences for studio features at MGM, RKO, and Paramount. Vorkapich taught the autonomous nature of the cinematic art form, emphasizing the unique dynamic quality of movement and kinetic energy inherent in motion pictures.

Lucas saw many inspiring movies in class, particularly the visual films coming out of the National Film Board of Canada like Arthur Lipsett's 21-87, the French-Canadian cameraman Jean-Claude Labrecque's cinéma vérité 60 Cycles, the work of Norman McLaren, and the documentaries of Claude Jutra. Lucas fell madly in love with pure cinema and quickly became prolific at making 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinema verite with such titles as Look At Life, Herbie, 1:42.08, The Emperor, Anyone Lived in a Pretty (how) Town, filmmaker, and 6-18-67. He was passionate and interested in camerawork and editing, defining himselff as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director, and he loved making abstract visual films that create emotions purely through cinema.

After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in film in 1967, he tried joining the United States Air Force as an officer, but was turned down because of his numerous speeding tickets. He was later drafted by the Army, but tests showed he had diabetes, the disease that killed his paternal grandfather. Lucas was prescribed medication for the disease, but his symptoms are sufficiently mild that he does not require insulin and would not be considered diabetic under the disease's current classification.

In 1967, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. Working as a teaching instructor for a class of U.S. Navy students who were being taught documentary cinematography, Lucas directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was awarded a scholarship by Warner Brothers to observe the making of Finian's Rainbow (1968) which was being directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who at the time was revered among film school students of the time as a cinema graduate who had "made it".

Lucas co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Coppola—whom he met during his internship at Warner Brothers—hoping to create a liberating environment for filmmakers to direct outside the perceived oppressive control of the Hollywood studio system. His first full-length feature film produced by the studio, THX1138, was not a success, but his second was: American Graffiti (1973). He then proposed a new Flash Gordon film adaptation, but the rights were not available. But his new-found wealth and reputation enabled him to develop a story set in space instead. Even so he encountered difficulties getting Star Wars made. It was only because Alan Ladd, Jr. at Fox Studios liked American Graffiti that he forced through a production and distribution deal for the film, which ended up restoring Fox to financial stability after a number of flops.

On a return on investment basis, Star Wars proved to be one of the most successful films of all time. During the filming of Star Wars, Lucas waived his up-front fee as director and negotiated to own the licensing rights—rights which the studio thought were nearly worthless. This decision earned him hundreds of millions of dollars, as he was able to directly profit from all the licensed games, toys, and collectibles created for the franchise.

Lucas developed the American Zoetrope banner under which Apocalypse Now to direct after Star Wars, but work on the latter film dragged on, so Coppola took over directing Apocalypse Now, leading to the breakdown of the American Zoetrope partnership. However, the money from Star Wars enabled Lucas to set up his own studio, Lucasfilm, in Marin County in his native Northern California. Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields. Lucasfilm Games, later renamed to LucasArts, is highly regarded in the gaming industry.

Lucas was also influential in the development of industry-standard post-production tools such as the Avid Film and Video nonlinear editor, first developed as the Edit Droid, and also the Sound Droid, which later became the Digidesign Pro Tools sound editing and mixing software.

Lucas and director Steven Spielberg enjoy a friendship that dates to their college years, and that has resulted in collaborations on films including the entire Indiana Jones saga. Lucas has had a few other films in his career, including the films Howard the Duck and Willow, both of which are considered box office bombs.

On October 3, 1994, Lucas started to write the three Star Wars prequels, and on November 1 that year, he left the day-to-day operations of his filmmaking business and started a sabbatical to finish the prequels.

In 2006 Forbes Magazine estimated Lucas' personal wealth at US$ 3.5 billion. In 2005 estimated the lifetime revenue generated by the Star Wars franchise at nearly $20 billion.

In 2007, it was announced that he would produce a TV series about Star Wars, which would take place between episodes III and IV. Lucas purportedly also recently announced that he plans on making two additional Star Wars films that will take place after The Return of the Jedi, but this rumor was debunked at Star Wars Celebration 4 in Los Angeles, California which took place May 24–May 28, 2007. When Steve Sansweet, Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm, was asked about the proposed two films post-Return of the Jedi he stated that it was a misunderstanding of what Lucas was explaining. According to Sansweet, Lucas was referring to the two Star Wars television projects currently in production: Star Wars: Clone Wars which is a CG animated that debuted in Fall of 2008, and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars live action television series set to debut in 2009.

In 1991, The George Lucas Educational Foundation was founded as a nonprofit operating foundation to celebrate and encourage innovation in schools. The Foundation's content is available under the brand Edutopia, in an award-winning magazine, and via documentary films. Lucas, though his foundation, was one of the leading proponents of the E-rate program in the universal service fund, which was enacted as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. On June 24, 2008, Lucas testified before the United States House of Representatives subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet as the head of his Foundation to advocate for a free wireless broadband educational network.

On June 5, 2005, Lucas was named 100th "Greatest American" by the Discovery Channel.

Lucas was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Directing and Writing for American Graffiti, and Best Directing and Writing for Star Wars. He received the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1991. He appeared at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007 with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to present the Best Director award to their friend Martin Scorsese. During the speech, Spielberg and Coppola talked about the joy of winning an Oscar, making fun of Lucas, who has not won a competitive Oscar.

In 2005, Lucas gave US$1 million to help build the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to commemorate American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

On September 19, 2006, USC announced that George Lucas had donated $180 million to his alma mater to expand the film school. It is the largest single donation to USC and the largest gift to a film school. Previous donations led to the already existing George Lucas Instructional Building and Marcia Lucas Post-Production building.

On January 1, 2007 George Lucas served as the Grand Marshal for the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade, and made the coin toss at the 2007 Rose Bowl. The toss favored Lucas's alma mater, the Trojans. His team, which came into the game as underdogs, went on to defeat the Michigan Wolverines (32-18).

On October 2008, George Lucas won the Comic-Con Icon Award at the 2008 Spike TV Scream Awards.

In 1969, Lucas married film editor Marcia Lou Griffin, who went on to win an Oscar for her editing work on the original (Episode IV) Star Wars film. They adopted a daughter, Amanda, in 1981, and divorced in 1984. Lucas has since adopted two more children: Katie, born in 1988, and Jett, born in 1993. All three of his children have appeared in the prequels, as has Lucas himself. Lucas had also been in a long relationship and engaged with singer Linda Ronstadt. He has been dating Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management, since 2007 and she has accompanied him to several events including the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in February 2007, an American Film Institute event in October 2007 and the 2008 Cannes Film Festival held in May.

Lucas was born and raised in a strongly Methodist family. After inserting religious themes into Star Wars, he would eventually come to identify strongly with the Eastern religious philosophies he studied and incorporated into his movies, which were a major inspiration for "the Force." Lucas eventually came to state that his religion was "Buddhist Methodist." Lucas resides in Marin County.

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George Lucas Hartsuff

George Lucas Hartsuff (1830-74) was an American soldier, born at Tyre, N. Y. He graduated at West Point in 1852, graduating 19th out of 43 in his class. He served on the frontier and in Florida, where, during a fight with the Seminole Indians near Fort Myers, he received a wound which eventually caused his death. Hartsuff survived the wreck of the steamer Lady Elgin on Lake Michigan on September 8, 1860.

On March 22, 1861, Hartsuff was appointed assistant adjutant general with the brevet rank of captain and was assigned to duty under Rosecrans in West Virginia. He held under staff positions, eventually serving briefly as chief of staff of the Mountain Department. Hartsuff became a brigadier general on April 15, 1862. He served in third corps Army of Virginia and then in the Army of the Potomac. Hartsuff was severely wounded in the hip at Antietam while leading a brigade in second division I Corps. Immediately after the battle he was made a brevet colonel in the regular army for gallant and meritorious services.

Hartsuff was promoted to the rank of major general on November 29, 1863. Returning to active duty, he commanded XXIII Corps in the Army of the Ohio from May 28, 1863 to September 24, of the same year. This period included the early stages of the Knoxville Campaign of MG Ambrose Burnside.

On March 13, 1865, he was given the brevet rank of major general in the regular army, and from March 19, to April 16, of the same year was in command of Bermuda Hundred in the Army of the James. Then he commanded the District of Nottoway in the Department of Virginia from May 22, to August 24,.

Hartsuff was mustered out of the volunteer service on August 24, 1865, and served in the regular army as a lieutenant colonel. Hartsuff resigned from the regular army on June 29, 1871, because of disability resulting from wounds received in battle. Hartsuff was retired with the rank of major general. He died on May 16, 1874 and was buried at the West Point Cemetery.

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George Lucas in Love


George Lucas in Love is an independent short film that started attracting notice in June 1999 when it was passed around Hollywood offices as a filmmaker's "calling card". Many wrongly think it was a student film, but its makers had been out of film school for a few years when it was shot. It is an homage and spoof of both Star Wars and Shakespeare in Love. The film was directed by Joe Nussbaum, who financed the film with money his grandparents left him. Nussbaum recruited several fellow University of Southern California graduates to help him with his movie. The producer, casting director, musical composer, executive producer, and many actors are all alumni.

In the film, George Lucas is a USC college student in 1967, and he's suffering from writer's block as he tries to write a movie about a young space farmer with a bad crop of "space wheat". Everywhere he goes, viewers see classmates and teachers that either resemble, or will influence the creation of, Obi Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Jabba the Hutt, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Lucas is surrounded by inspiration, but he sees nothing. Not even his adviser, who looks and speaks suspiciously like Yoda, is able to help him.

Eventually, young Lucas meets his muse, a young woman (with a very unusual hairdo) who is "kind of leading a student rebellion". After they meet, everything falls into place for Lucas, as she urges him to "write what you know." His writer's block dissipates and he quickly finishes his masterpiece.

The film received great attention as it circulated around Hollywood in the summer of 1999, and eventually premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 19 that year. It debuted online at on October 12, 1999, and has proven very popular with both regular audiences and Star Wars fans ever since. The film has won several awards, including the Canal+ Short Film Award at the 2000 Deauville Film Festival, the Audience Award at both the Florida Film Festival and the San Sebastián Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, and was awarded Best Short Film at the 2000 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

When the film was released on VHS in 2000, The New York Times reported that the film made it to #1 on's Top 10 sales chart, beating out sales of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace for at least a day. A DVD with audio commentary by the director and producer, and a behind-the-scenes featurette was released in 2001. The DVD also included several other MediaTrip short films, including Evil Hill, Film Club, and Swing Blade.

Nussbaum eventually signed a directing deal with Dreamworks Pictures, and later directed the 2004 film Sleepover, the 2006 film American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile and the 2007 film Sydney White starring Amanda Bynes.

In 2004, the film won the Pioneer Award in the Lucasfilm-sponsored 2004 Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards.

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George Lucas filmography

This is a George Lucas filmography, including those films that he directed, produced, wrote and/or acted in.

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George Lucas Coser

George Lucas Coser (born 20 February 1984 in Tapejara, Rio Grande do Sul) is a Brazilian football player who currently plays for Celta de Vigo.

He also holds an Italian passport by descent.

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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

A traditional underground building in Matmâta, Tunisia, was used as a set for Luke's home on Tatooine.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (originally released as Star Wars) is an American 1977 space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It was the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films continue the story, while a prequel trilogy contributes backstory, primarily for the troubled character of Darth Vader. Ground-breaking in its use of special effects, this first Star Wars movie is one of the most successful films of all time and is generally considered one of the most influential as well.

Set far in the past in a distant galaxy, the movie tells the story of a plot by a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance to destroy the Death Star space station of the oppressive Galactic Empire. The plot follows the tale of farm boy Luke Skywalker who is suddenly thrust into the role of hero when he inadvertently acquires the robots carrying the schematic plans of the station. He must accompany Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on a mission to rescue the owner of the robots, rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, deliver the plans to the rebels' secret base, and help destroy the station before it reaches and destroys the rebel base.

Inspired by films like the Flash Gordon serials and the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa, as well as such critical works as Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Lucas began work on Star Wars in May 1973. Produced with a budget of $11,000,000 and released on May 25, 1977, the film went on to earn $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, and received several awards, including 10 Academy Award nominations, among them Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guiness and Best Picture. It was re-released several times, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition and the 2004 DVD release, which were modified with computer-generated effects and recreated scenes.

The galaxy is in a state of civil war. Spies for the Rebel Alliance have stolen plans to the Galactic Empire's Death Star: a space station capable of annihilating a planet. Rebel leader Princess Leia is in possession of the plans, but her ship is captured by Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader. Before she is captured, Leia hides the plans in a droid named R2-D2, along with a holographic recording. The small droid escapes to the surface of the desert planet Tatooine with fellow droid C-3PO. The two droids are quickly captured by Jawa traders, who sell the pair to moisture farmer Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. While Luke is cleaning Artoo, he accidentally triggers part of Leia's holographic message, in which she requests help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. The only "Kenobi" Luke knows of is an old hermit named Ben Kenobi who lives in the nearby hills; Owen, however, dismisses any connection, suggesting that Obi-Wan is dead.

During dinner, R2-D2 escapes to seek Obi-Wan. Luke and C-3PO go out after him and are met by Ben Kenobi, who reveals himself to be Obi-Wan and takes Luke and the droids back to his hut. He tells Luke of his days as a Jedi Knight and explains to Luke about a mysterious energy field called the Force. He also tells Luke about his association with Luke's father, also a Jedi, whom he claims to have been betrayed and murdered by Darth Vader, Obi-Wan's former pupil who turned to evil. Obi-Wan then views Leia's message, in which she begs him to take R2-D2 and the Death Star plans to her home planet of Alderaan, where her father will be able to retrieve and analyze them. Obi-Wan asks Luke to accompany him to Alderaan and to learn the ways of the Force. After initially refusing, Luke discovers that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed by Imperial stormtroopers in search of the droids. Luke agrees to go with Obi-Wan to Alderaan, and the two hire smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca to transport them on their ship, the Millennium Falcon.

Meanwhile, Leia has been imprisoned on the Death Star and has resisted giving the location of the secret Rebel base. Grand Moff Tarkin, the Death Star's commanding officer, tries to coax information out of her by threatening to destroy Alderaan and proceeds to do so even after she appears to cooperate as a means of demonstrating the power of the Empire's new weapon. When the Falcon arrives at Alderaan's coordinates, they find themselves in a field of rubble. They follow a TIE fighter towards the Death Star and are captured by the station's tractor beam and brought into its hangar bay. The group takes refuge in a command room on the station while Obi-Wan goes off by himself to disable the tractor beam. While they are waiting, they discover that Princess Leia is onboard and is scheduled to be executed. Han, Luke, and Chewbacca stage a rescue and free the princess. Making their way back to the Millennium Falcon, their path is cleared by the spectacle of a lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. Obi-Wan allows himself to be struck down as the others race onto the ship and escape.

The Falcon journeys to the Rebel base at Yavin IV where the Death Star plans are analyzed by the Rebels and a potential weakness is found. The weakness will require the use of one-man fighters to slip past the Death Star's formidable defenses and attack a vulnerable exhaust port. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the rescue and leaves, despite Luke's request for him to stay. The attack proceeds when the Death Star arrives in the system, with Darth Vader having placed a homing device on the Falcon. The Rebel fighters suffer heavy losses and, after several failed attack runs, Luke remains piloting one of the few remaining ships. Darth Vader appears with his own group of fighters and begins attacking the Rebel ships. Luke begins his attack run with Vader in pursuit as the Death Star approaches firing range of Yavin IV. As Vader is about to fire at Luke's ship, Han arrives in the Millennium Falcon and attacks Vader and his wingmen, sending Vader's ship careening off into space. Guided by Obi-Wan's voice telling him to use the Force, Luke fires a successful shot which destroys the Death Star seconds before it fires on the Rebel base. Later, at a grand ceremony, Princess Leia awards medals to Luke and Han for their heroism in the battle.

Lucas shared a joint casting session with long-time friend Brian De Palma, who was casting his own film Carrie. As a result, Carrie Fisher and Sissy Spacek auditioned for both films in each other's respective roles. Lucas favored casting young actors without long-time experience. While reading for Luke Skywalker (then known as "Luke Starkiller"), Hamill found the dialogue to be extremely odd because of its universe-embedded concepts. He chose to simply read it sincerely and was selected instead of William Katt, who was subsequently cast in Carrie. Lucas initially rejected the idea of using Harrison Ford, as he had previously worked with him on American Graffiti, and instead asked Ford to assist in the auditions by reading lines with the other actors and explaining the concepts and history behind the scenes that they were reading. Lucas was eventually won over by Ford's portrayal and cast him instead of Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Billy Dee Williams (who would play Lando Calrissian in the sequel), and Perry King, who wound up playing Solo in the radio plays. Virtually every young actress in Hollywood auditioned for the role of Princess Leia, including Terri Nunn, Jodie Foster, and Cindy Williams. Carrie Fisher was cast under the condition that she lose 10 pounds of weight for the role. Aware that the studio disagreed with his refusal to cast big-name stars, Lucas signed veteran stage and screen actor Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Additional casting took place in London, where Mayhew was cast as Chewbacca after he stood up to greet Lucas. Lucas immediately turned to Gary Kurtz, and requested that Mayhew be cast. Daniels auditioned for and was cast as C-3PO after he saw a McQuarrie drawing of the character; struck by the vulnerability in the robot's face, he instantly wanted to help to bring the character to life.

Elements of the history of Star Wars are commonly disputed, as it has been shown that Lucas frequently makes statements about it that have changed over time. George Lucas completed directing his first full-length feature, THX 1138, in 1971. He has said that it was around this time that he first had the idea for Star Wars, though he has also claimed to have had the idea long before then. One of the most influential works on Lucas' idea to make a space adventure was the Flash Gordon space adventure comics and serials. Lucas actually made an attempt to purchase the rights to remake Flash Gordon at one point, but could not afford them.

Following the completion of THX 1138, Lucas was granted a two-film development deal with United Artists at the Cannes Film Festival in May of that year; American Graffiti, and an idea for a space opera he called The Star Wars. He subsequently turned in the script for American Graffiti, but they passed on the film. Instead, Universal Studios picked the film up, and Lucas spent the next two years completing it. Only then did he turn his attention to The Star Wars. He began writing in January 1973, unsure what would come of Graffiti, and still very much in debt.

Lucas began with small steps, inventing odd names and assigning them possible characterizations. Many of these would be discarded by the time the final script was written, but several names and places were included in the final script or its sequels (such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo), and some were revisited decades later when Lucas would write his prequel trilogy (such as Mace Windy, renamed Windu). He used these ideas to compile a two page synopsis titled "The Journal of the Whills", which bore little resemblance to the final story. The Journal told the tale of the son of a famous pilot who is trained as a "padawaan" apprentice of a revered "Jedi-Bendu". Frustrated after being told that his story was too difficult to understand, Lucas started again on a completely new outline, this time borrowing heavily from Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress to the point where he considered buying the rights to the film at one point. He relied on a plot synopsis from Donald Richie's book, The Films of Akira Kurosawa and wrote a 14-page draft that mainly paralleled Hidden Fortress with alternate names and settings of a science fiction nature.

Both United Artists and Universal passed on their options for the film later that year, citing the potentially high-budget project as too risky. Lucas pursued Alan Ladd, Jr., the head of 20th Century Fox, and closed a deal to write and direct in June 1973. Although Ladd did not grasp the technical side of the project, he believed that Lucas was talented. Lucas later stated that Ladd "invested in me, he did not invest in the movie." The deal afforded Lucas $150,000 to write and direct.

Later that year, Lucas began writing a full script of his synopsis, which would be completed in May 1974. This script reintroduced the Jedi, which had been absent in his previous treatment, as well as their enemies, the Sith. The protagonist, a mature General in the treatment changed to an adolescent boy, with the General shifting into a supporting role as a member of a family of dwarfs. The Corellian smuggler, Han Solo, was envisioned as a large, green-skinned monster with gills, and Chewbacca was inspired by Lucas' Alaskan malamute dog, Indiana, who often acted as the director's "co-pilot" by sitting in the passenger seat of his car. Many of the final elements in the film began to take shape, though Lucas' biggest issue was the plot, which was still far removed from the final script. The plot, however, did begin to diverge from the Hidden Fortress remake of the earlier treatment and began to take on the general story elements that would make up the final film. Lucas began researching the science fiction genre, both watching films and reading books and comics. His first script incorporated ideas from many new sources. The script would also introduce the concept of a Jedi master father and his son, training to be a Jedi under the father's Jedi friend, which would ultimately form the basis for the film and even the trilogy. However, in this draft, the father is a hero who is still alive at the start of the film. The script was also the first time Darth Vader appeared in the story, though other than being a villain, he bore little resemblance to the final character.

Lucas grew distracted by other projects, but he would return to complete a second draft of The Star Wars by January 1975; while still having some differences in the characters and relationships. For example, the protagonist Luke (Starkiller in this draft) had several brothers, as well as his father who appears in a minor role at the end of the film. The script became more of a fairy tale quest as opposed to the more grounded action-adventure of the previous versions. This version ended with another text crawl which previewed the next story in the series. This draft was also the first to introduce the concept of a Jedi turning to the darkside; a historical Jedi that became the first to ever fall to the dark side, and then trained the Sith to use it. Lucas hired conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie to create paintings of certain scenes around this time. When Lucas delivered his screenplay to the studio, he included several of McQuarrie's paintings.

A third draft, dated August 1, 1975, was titled The Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller which now had most of the elements of the final plot, with only some differences in the characters and settings. Luke was again an only child, and his father was, for the first time, written as dead. This script would be re-written for the fourth and final draft, dated January 1, 1976 as The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills. Saga I: Star Wars. Lucas worked with his friends Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck to revise the fourth draft into the final pre-production script. 20th Century Fox approved a budget of $8,250,000; American Graffiti's positive reviews allowed Lucas to renegotiate his deal with Alan Ladd, Jr. and request the sequel rights to the film. For Lucas, this deal protected Star Wars' unwritten segments and most of the merchandising profits. Lucas would continue to tweak the script during shooting, most notably adding the death of Kenobi after realizing he served no purpose in the ending of the film.

Lucas has often alleged that the entire original trilogy was written as one film; that the Star Wars script was too long, so he split it into three films. However, none of Lucas' drafts had more pages or scenes than his final draft. Lucas' second draft is usually cited as the script he is referring to with these comments. Michael Kaminski argues in his work The Secret History of Star Wars that this draft is structurally very similar to the final film in plot arrangement, and that the only elements from it that were saved for the sequels were an asteroid field space chase (moved to The Empire Strikes Back) and a forest battle involving Wookiees (moved to Return of the Jedi, with Ewoks in place of Wookiees), and that none of the major plot of the sequels are present. Lucas himself has actually occasionally admitted this.

In 1975, Lucas founded the visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) after discovering that 20th Century Fox's visual effects department had been disbanded. ILM began its work on Star Wars in a warehouse in Van Nuys, California. Most of the visual effects used motion control photography, which creates the illusion of size by employing small models and slowly moving cameras. Model spaceships were constructed on the basis of drawings by Joe Johnston, input from Lucas, and paintings by McQuarrie. Lucas opted to abandon the traditional sleekness of science fiction by creating a "used universe" in which all devices, ships, and buildings looked aged and dirty.

When filming began on March 22, 1976 in the Tunisian desert for the scenes on the planet Tatooine, the project faced several problems. Lucas fell behind schedule in the first week of shooting due to a rare Tunisian rainstorm, malfunctioning props, and electronic breakdowns. When actor Anthony Daniels wore the C-3PO outfit for the first time, the left leg piece shattered down through the plastic covering his left foot, stabbing him. After completing filming in Tunisia, production moved into the more controlled environment of Elstree Studios, near London. However, significant problems, such as a crew that had little interest in the film, still arose. Most of the crew considered the project a "children's film," rarely took their work seriously, and often found it unintentionally humorous. Actor Kenny Baker later confessed that he thought the film would be a failure. Harrison Ford found the film "weird" in that there was a Princess with buns for hair and what he called a "giant in a monkey suit" named Chewbacca. Ford also found the dialogue difficult, saying "You can type this shit, George, but you sure can't say it".

Lucas clashed with cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, whom producer Gary Kurtz called "old-school" and "crotchety". Moreover, with a background in independent filmmaking, Lucas was accustomed to creating most of the elements of the film himself. His camera suggestions were rejected by an offended Taylor, who felt that Lucas was over-stepping his boundaries by giving specific instructions. Lucas eventually became frustrated that the costumes, sets and other elements were not living up to his original vision of Star Wars. He rarely spoke to the actors, who felt that he expected too much of them while providing little direction. His directions to the actors usually consisted of the words "faster" and "more intense".

Ladd offered Lucas some of the only support from the studio; he dealt with scrutiny from board members over the rising budget and complex screenplay drafts. After production fell two weeks behind schedule, Ladd told Lucas that he had to finish production within a week or he would be forced to shut down production. The crew split into three units, led by Lucas, Kurtz and production supervisor Robert Watts. Under the new system, the project met the studio's deadline.

During production, the cast attempted to make Lucas laugh or smile as he often appeared depressed. At one point, the project became so demanding that Lucas was diagnosed with hypertension and exhaustion and was warned to reduce his stress level. Post-production was equally stressful due to increasing pressure from 20th Century Fox. Moreover, Mark Hamill's face was injured in a car accident, which made reshoots impossible.

Star Wars was originally slated for release in Christmas 1976; however, delays pushed the film's release to summer 1977. Already anxious about meeting his deadline, Lucas was shocked when his editor's first cut of the film was a "complete disaster." After attempting to persuade the original editor to cut the film his way, Lucas replaced the editor with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew. He also allowed his then-wife Marcia Lucas to aid the editing process while she was cutting the film New York, New York with Lucas's friend Martin Scorsese. Richard Chew found the film had an unenergetic pace; it had been cut in a by-the-book manner: scenes were played out in master shots that flowed into close-up coverage. He found that the pace was dictated by the actors instead of the cuts. Hirsch and Chew worked on two reels simultaneously; whoever finished first moved on to the next.

Meanwhile, Industrial Light & Magic was struggling to achieve unprecedented special effects. The company had spent half of its budget on four shots that Lucas deemed unacceptable. Moreover, theories surfaced that the workers at ILM lacked discipline, forcing Lucas to intervene frequently to ensure that they were on schedule. With hundreds of uncompleted shots remaining, ILM was forced to finish a year's work in six months. Lucas inspired ILM by editing together aerial dogfights from old war films, which enhanced the pacing of the scenes.

During the chaos of production and post-production, the team made decisions about character voicing and sound effects. Sound designer Ben Burtt had created a library of sounds that Lucas referred to as an "organic soundtrack". Blaster sounds were a modified recording of a steel cable, under tension, being struck. For Chewbacca's growls, Burtt recorded and combined sounds made by dogs, bears, lions, tigers and walruses to create phrases and sentences. Lucas and Burtt created the robotic voice of R2-D2 by filtering their voices through an electronic synthesizer. Darth Vader's breathing was achieved by Burtt breathing through the mask of a scuba tank implanted with a microphone. Lucas never intended to use the voice of David Prowse, who portrayed Darth Vader in costume, because of Prowse's English West Country accent. He originally wanted Orson Welles to speak for Darth Vader. However, he felt that Welles' voice would be too recognizable, so he cast the lesser-known James Earl Jones. Nor did Lucas intend to use Anthony Daniels' voice for C-3PO. Thirty well-established voice actors, such as Stan Freberg, read for the voice of the droid. According to Daniels, one of the major voice actors, believed by some sources to be Stan Freberg, recommended Daniels' voice for the role.

When Lucas screened an early cut of the film for his friends, among them directors Brian De Palma, John Milius and Steven Spielberg, their reactions were disappointing. Spielberg, who claimed to have been the only person in the audience to have enjoyed the film, believed that the lack of enthusiasm was due to the absence of finished special effects. Lucas later said that the group was honest and seemed bemused by the film. In contrast, Alan Ladd, Jr. and the rest of 20th Century Fox loved the film: one of the executives, Gareth Wigan, told Lucas, "This is the greatest film I've ever seen", and cried during the screening. Lucas found the experience shocking and rewarding, having never gained any approval from studio executives before. Although the delays increased the budget from $8 million to $11 million, the film was still the least expensive of the Star Wars saga.

Star Wars was influenced by the 1958 Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress; for instance, the two bickering peasants evolved into C-3PO and R2-D2, and a Japanese family crest seen in the film is similar to the Imperial Crest. Star Wars borrows heavily from another Kurosawa film, Yojimbo. In both films, several men threaten the hero, bragging how wanted they are by authorities. The situation ends with an arm being cut off by a blade. Mifune is offered "twenty-five ryo now, twenty-five when you complete the mission", whereas Han Solo is offered "Two thousand now, plus fifteen when we reach Alderaan." Lucas' affection for Kurosawa may have influenced his decision to visit Japan in the early 1970s, leading some to believe he borrowed the name "Jedi" from jidaigeki (which in English means "period dramas," and refers to films typically featuring samurai).

The Death Star assault scene was modeled after the 1950s movie The Dam Busters, in which Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers fly along heavily defended reservoirs and aim "bouncing bombs" at their man-made dams to cripple the heavy industry of the Ruhr. Some of the dialogue in The Dam Busters is repeated in the A New Hope climax; Gilbert Taylor also filmed the special effects sequences in The Dam Busters. In addition, the sequence was partially inspired by the climax of the film 633 Squadron directed by Walter Grauman, in which RAF Mosquitos attack a German heavy water plant by flying down a narrow fiord to drop special bombs at a precise point while avoiding anti-aircraft guns and German fighters. Clips from both films were included in Lucas' temporary dogfight footage version of the sequence.

The opening shot of Star Wars, in which a detailed spaceship fills the screen overhead, is a nod to the scene introducing the interplanetary spacecraft Discovery One in Stanley Kubrick's seminal 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The earlier big-budget science fiction film influenced the look of A New Hope in many other ways, including the use of EVA pods, hexagonal corridors, and primitive computer graphics. The Death Star has a docking bay reminiscent of the one on the orbiting space station in 2001. The film also draws on The Wizard of Oz: similarities exist between Jawas and Munchkins, the main characters disguise themselves as enemy soldiers, and Obi-Wan dies, leaving only his empty robe in the same fashion as the Wicked Witch of the West. Although golden and male, C-3PO is inspired by the robot Maria from Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis. His whirring sounds were speculated to be inspired by the clanking noises of the Tin Woodsman in The Wizard of Oz.

Another source for Star Wars is the Nazi propaganda movie Triumph of the Will (1934) by Leni Riefenstahl, which inspired the final scene in which Han, Luke and Chewbacca walk through a hall of assembled rebel soldiers to receive their medals, in similar fashion to Hitler’s march through Nuremberg Stadium.

On the recommendation of his friend Steven Spielberg, Lucas hired composer John Williams, who had worked with Spielberg on the film Jaws, for which he won an Academy Award. Lucas felt that the film would portray visually foreign worlds, but that the musical score would give the audience an emotional familiarity. In March 1977, Williams conducted the London Symphony Orchestra to record the Star Wars soundtrack in twelve days.

Lucas wanted a grand musical sound for Star Wars, with leitmotifs to provide distinction. Therefore, he assembled his favorite orchestral pieces for the soundtrack, until John Williams convinced him that an original score would be unique and more unified. However, a few of Williams' pieces were influenced by the tracks given to him by Lucas. The "Main Title Theme" was inspired by the theme from the 1942 film Kings Row, scored by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and the track "Dune Sea of Tatooine" drew from the soundtrack from Bicycle Thieves, scored by Alessandro Cicognini. The American Film Institute's list of best scores lists the Star Wars soundtrack at number one.

Charles Lippincott was hired by Lucas' production company, Lucasfilm Ltd., as marketing director for Star Wars. Because 20th Century Fox gave little support for marketing beyond licensing T-shirts and posters, Lippincott was forced to look elsewhere. He secured deals with Stan Lee, Roy Thomas and Marvel Comics for a comic book adaptation and with Del Rey Books for a novelization. Wary that Star Wars would be beaten out by other summer films, such as Smokey and the Bandit, 20th Century Fox moved the release date to Wednesday before Memorial Day: May 25, 1977. However, few theaters ordered the film to be shown. In response, 20th Century Fox demanded that theaters order Star Wars if they wanted an eagerly anticipated film based on a best-selling novel titled The Other Side of Midnight.

The film became an instant success; within three weeks of the film's release, 20th Century Fox's stock price doubled to a record high. Before 1977, 20th Century Fox's greatest annual profits were $37,000,000; in 1977, the company earned $79,000,000. Although the film's cultural neutrality helped it to gain international success, Ladd became anxious during the premiere in Japan. After the screening, the audience was silent, leading Ladd, Jr. to fear that the film would be unsuccessful. He was later told that, in Japan, silence was the greatest honor to a film. Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader placed their footprints in the theater's forecourt. Although Star Wars merchandise was available to enthusiastic children upon release, only Kenner Toys—who believed that the film would be unsuccessful—had accepted Lippincott's licensing offers. Kenner responded to the sudden demand for toys by selling boxed vouchers in its "empty box" Christmas campaign; these vouchers could be redeemed for the toys in March 1978.

In 1978, at the height of the film's popularity, Smith-Hemion Productions approached Lucas with the idea of The Star Wars Holiday Special. The end result is often considered a failure; Lucas himself disowned it. Lucas entered into a wager with long-time friend Steven Spielberg during the production of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Lucas was sure Close Encounters would outperform the yet-to-be-released Star Wars at the box office and bet 2.5% of the proceeds of each film against each other. Lucas lost the bet, of course, and to this day Spielberg is still receiving proceeds from the first of the Star Wars movies.

The film was originally released as Star Wars, without Episode IV or the subtitle A New Hope. The 1980 sequel, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, featured an episode number and subtitle in the opening crawl. When the original film was re-released in 1981, Episode IV: A New Hope was added above the original opening crawl. Although Lucas claims that only six films were ever planned, representatives of Lucasfilm discussed plans for nine or 12 possible films in early interviews. The film was re-released theatrically in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1997. CBS was host to the film's world broadcast premiere in 1984.

A New Hope was released on DVD on September 21, 2004 in a box set with The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and a bonus disc of supplemental material. The movies were digitally restored and remastered, and more changes were made by George Lucas.

The DVD features a commentary track from George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher. The bonus disc contains the documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy, three featurettes, teaser and theatrical trailers, TV spots, still galleries, an exclusive preview of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, a playable Xbox demo of the LucasArts game Star Wars Battlefront, and a "Making Of" documentary on the Episode III video game. The set was reissued in December 2005 as part of a three-disc "limited edition" boxed set without the bonus disc.

The trilogy was re-released on separate two-disc Limited Edition DVD sets from September 12 to December 31, 2006 and again in a box set on November 4, 2008; the original versions of the films were added as bonus material. The version included wasn't completely unedited. When Greedo assaulted Han, the subtitles that translates what he was saying were removed and were featured on a separate subtitle track that automatically plays when movie starts (This change was also made on Episodes I, II, & VI). Controversy surrounded the release because the unaltered versions were from the 1993 non-anamorphic Laserdisc masters, and were not retransferred with modern video standards.

Star Wars debuted on May 25, 1977, in 32 theaters and proceeded to break house records, effectively becoming one of the first blockbuster films. It remains one of the most financially successful films of all time. Some of the cast and crew noted lines of people stretching around theaters as they drove by. Even technical crew members, such as model makers, were asked for autographs, and cast members became instant household names. The film's original total U.S. gross came to $307,263,857, and it earned $6,806,951 during its first weekend in wide release. Lucas claimed that he had spent most of the release day in a sound studio in Los Angeles. When he went out for lunch with his then-wife Marcia, they encountered a long queue of people along the sidewalks leading to Mann's Chinese Theatre, waiting to see Star Wars. The film became the highest-grossing film of 1977 and the highest-grossing film of all time until E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial broke that record in 1982. (With subsequent rereleases, Star Wars reclaimed the title, but lost it again to James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic.) The film earned $775,398,007 worldwide, making it the first film to reach the $300 million mark. Adjusted for inflation it is the second highest grossing movie of all time in the United States, behind Gone with the Wind.

In 1989, the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selected the film as a "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" film. In 2006, Lucas' original screenplay was selected by the Writers Guild of America as the 68th greatest of all time. The American Film Institute (or AFI) listed it 15th on a list of the top 100 films of the 20th century; in the UK, a poll created by Channel 4 named A New Hope (together with its successor, The Empire Strikes Back) the greatest film of all time. The American Film Institute has named Star Wars and specific elements of it to several of its "top 100 lists" of American cinema, compiled as a part of the Institute's 100th anniversary celebration. These include the 27th most thrilling American film of all time; the thirty-ninth most inspirational American film of all-time; Han Solo as the fourteenth greatest American film hero of all time and Obi-Wan Kenobi thirty-seventh on the same list. The often repeated line "May the Force be with you" was ranked as the eighth greatest quote in American film history. John Williams' score was ranked as the greatest American film score of all time.

Star Wars won six 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 Best Score. It only won the award for Best Score. It received six BAFTA nominations: Best Film, Best Editing, Best Costume, 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 an 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.

Star Wars has influenced many films and filmmakers since its release. It began a new generation of special effects and high-energy motion pictures. The film was one of the first films to link genres—such as space opera and soap opera—together to invent a new, high-concept genre for filmmakers to build upon. Finally, along with Steven Spielberg's Jaws it shifted the film industry's focus away from personal filmmaking of the 1970s and towards fast-paced big-budget blockbusters for younger audiences.

After seeing Star Wars, director James Cameron quit his job as a truck driver to enter the film industry. Other filmmakers who have said to have been influenced by Star Wars include Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Smith and John Singleton. Scott was influenced by the "used future" (where vehicles and culture are obviously dated) and extended the concept for his science fiction horror film Alien and science fiction noir film Blade Runner (which starred Ford). Jackson used the concept for his production of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to add a sense of realism and believability.

In an opposing view, Tom Shone wrote that through Star Wars and Jaws, Lucas and Spielberg "didn't betray cinema at all: they plugged it back into the grid, returning the medium to its roots as a carnival sideshow, a magic act, one big special effect", which was "a kind of rebirth".

Star Wars has also been the subject of many parodies, including those in South Park and Family Guy.

In 2002, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were voted as the greatest films ever made on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Films poll. In the American Film Institute's 2007 poll 100 Years, 100 Movies - the Anniversary Edition, Star Wars was voted the 13th greatest American movie.

The novelization of the film was published in December 1976, six months before the film was released. The credited author was George Lucas, but the book was revealed to have been ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, who later wrote the first Expanded Universe novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye. The book was first published as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker; later editions were titled simply Star Wars (1995) and, later, Star Wars: A New Hope (1997), to reflect the retitling of the film. Certain scenes deleted from the film (and later restored or archived in DVD bonus features) were always present in the novel (since it had been based on the screenplay), such as Luke at Tosche Station with Biggs and the encounter between Han and Jabba (referred to as "Jabba the Hut") in Docking Bay 94. Other deleted scenes from the movie, such as a close-up of a stormtrooper riding on a Dewback, were included in a photo insert added to later printings of the book.

Smaller details were also different from the film version; for example, in the Death Star assault, Luke's callsign is Blue Five instead of Red Five as in the film. Also Obi Wan does not sacrifice himself, Vader actually defeats him in the lightsaber duel and in the process executes Obi Wan. Charles Lippincott secured the deal with Del Rey Books to publish the novelization in November 1976. By February 1977, a half million copies had been sold.

A radio drama adaptation of the film was written by Brian Daley, directed by John Madden, and produced for and broadcast on the American National Public Radio network in 1981. The adaptation received cooperation from George Lucas, who donated the rights to NPR. John Williams' music and Ben Burtt's sound design were retained for the show; Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) reprised their roles as well. The radio drama featured scenes not seen in the final cut of the film, such as Luke Skywalker's observation of the space battle above Tatooine through binoculars, a skyhopper race, and Darth Vader's interrogation of Princess Leia. In terms of Star Wars canon, the radio drama is given the highest designation (like the screenplay and novelization), G-canon.

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