Star Wars is, without a doubt, the most popular intellectual property in the world, and has been for decades. This is simply due to the fact that many people who haven’t even seen the films recognize its characters and themes – the brand is just that iconic.
But how did it become so popular? The first Star Wars film (A New Hope) was a very unassuming project when it first started, with many doubting that it would be successful. The first film was actually plagued with many production problems, and then young director George Lucas struggled to actually complete shooting. Many say that the film was only saved in the editing process afterwards.
Star Wars is, in many ways, not a very advance or nuanced story. It has archetypal characters and plot arcs that heavily borrow from the universal mythic hero story. It’s setting in a futuristic space fantasy universe was what made it appealing in the modern age, where movies about Greek or medieval legends had not captured the public’s attention in the same way.
But the staying power of Star Wars in popular culture is not just due to the movies themselves – the merchandising is one of the biggest business success stories out there. Star Wars was a pioneer in selling its license to toys, video games, books and more.
The power of the Star Wars brand is undeniable. People will buy everything from bathroom mats to bedsheets with Star Wars branding on them – because it’s Star Wars.
The list of different Stars Wars media and merchandise is absolutely exhaustive. Other franchises have come and gone in the time Star Wars has been around. With the acquisition by Disney in recent years, Star Wars has become even more prolific as a global brand.