“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . .” an iconic series was born that would shape the course of film for decades to come. Just the opening quote — a phrase we all know — is so ingrained in popular culture that even people who haven’t seen a single Star Wars movie have heard the line.
Another iconic line from the movie, “May the force be with you,” is the origin of Star Wars Day, which falls on May 4th (get it?). So, we’re looking back on one of our favorite infographics that surveys the impact of Star Wars on pop culture.
Using photos, vectors, and illustrations from the Shutterstock collection, we worked with the talented team at Pop Chart Lab to explore Star Wars’ influence on the entertainment industry. Take a look at the full chart below (click to expand), then keep scrolling to go in-depth and see all the images used to create this infographic.
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Star Wars created beloved characters and gave us vast, over-arching storylines that would support an entire franchise. Movies are rarely released these days without a nod or a wink to the fact that there will be more films in the series.
Although it wasn’t the first big film trilogy (lest we forget The Godfather), Star Wars made the trilogy format so successful that it’s helped change how films are now written, produced, and released.
The Star Wars universe is one of the most alive and lived-in places to ever come on screen. The houses feel occupied, the ships appear used, and the worlds seem like they’ve been there for millions of years.
The imperfect, unpolished universe never feels like a set — it’s a realistic world that makes you think you really are visiting a galaxy far, far away.
The characters of Star Wars had just as much impact as the franchise’s style — leading the way for many film and TV personas to come.
Turning the “damsel in distress” trope on its head, badass female lead Leia had her own agenda and plans, actively pursuing her goals throughout the series and breaking ground for iconic heroines like Sarah Connor, Buffy Summers, and Katniss Everdeen.
One of the best parts of Star Wars was the way a robot like C-3PO could develop such a distinctive personality that you would forget he’s supposed to be just a protocol droid.
Add in R2-D2, who was able to make audiences fall in love with only beeps and clicks, and it’s no wonder Pixar felt confident enough to have no actual dialogue in the first half of Wall-E.
And then there’s Chewbacca, one of the most beloved characters in the entire Star Wars universe. His inaudible grunts and growls have been instantly recognizable for more than 30 years — long before “I AM GROOT” was ever uttered.
Star Wars’ impact expanded beyond even the film’s aesthetics and characters, with George Lucas’ early adoption of tech and innovation paving the way for some of the most breakthrough technologies used in film.
So… did we miss anything?
We loved diving into the Star Wars universe to explore the ripple effect that this series has had on pop culture — but we know there are many more connections not listed here! Jump into the comments below or join the conversation on your own blog, and let us know what other impact you see.
Special thanks to Pop Chart Lab’s talented artists, who helped bring this idea to life! Learn more about their work at PopChartLab.com.