It is almost impossible to grow up in the Western World and being unfamiliar with Star Wars. The Saga has become one of our modern myths. Retold better - re - watched for generations. But who would have thought, that this saga from outer space is already 30 years old. On the other hand: who would really believe that it is only 30 years since we are told this legend. It all started on May 25th 1977. The Original Premiere took place in "Manns Chinese Theater" in Los Angeles. Here for the first time ever the opening crawl "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." started the Star Wars movie. The original title was simple "Star Wars". Later it was renamed "Star Wars, A New Hope". Star Wars is a unique mixture of fairy tale, science fiction, and traditional hero saga. This mixture probably created the success of the series. But this success of Star Wars was not guaranteed from the beginning. There were numerous problems during the production of the first episode. Few critics expected the film to achieve the measure of success it did. Many problems with special effects, editing, funding, and shooting caused the film to be pushed back from its expected release date of December 1976. The production company, not to mention many involved in the actual production, had little faith in the film. According to reports, it was a daily struggle merely to complete the film on time. This was one of the reasons that for the original release only 32 copies where produced. Despite these difficulties Star Wars became a surprise hit.
Four years before this premiere George Lucas had drafted a 14-page treatment. This draft was inspired and influenced by many myths and classic stories. At the beginning Lucas had planned to release fifteen films that would tell the Saga. After the completion of "The return of the Yedi" he announced to put further filming of the saga on hold, until the technology of special effects had further developed. Only after he had seen the special effects in "Jurassic Park" in1994 Lucas made the decision to film the prequel trilogy. The huge commercial success of this legend is not only originating from the screening of the films. Lucas certainly was one of the very first to realize the immense value of merchandising. Fox Studios the producing studio of Star Wars allowed Lucas 40% of the merchandising revenue in exchange for a reduced salary as the films director. Forbes Magazine estimates the complete merchandise earnings at $20 billion.