The Mellenium Falcon, piloted by Han Solo
Star Wars was released to the world on May 25, 1977. When it was released, Star Wars opened the world to a new world and universe never seen before. Beginning with Episode IV: A New Hope, the world followed the adventures of Luke Skywalker as he became the hero of the Rebellion by destroying the Death Star, a planet destroying super-weapon of the Empire. Over the course of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi we follow Luke Skywalker and his friends Han Solo and Leia Organa as they continue their fight against the Empire and Luke's training to become a Jedi, a premier warrior that uses the Force, a mystical energy field that imbues those who can manipulate it the ability to perform incredible acts.
Bobba Fett's Slave I
In the late 1980s, Lucasfilm began an idea to allow authors to create unique stories within the unique universe of Star Wars. In 1991, author Timothy Zahn was the first author given permission to create such a story. His book, Heir to the Empire was released to great praise from fans and book critics alike. Following the example started by George Lucas, Zahn made his first story a trilogy, a series which has come to be known as the "Thrawn Trilogy". After the success of the Thrawn trilogy, Lucasfilm opened up the license to other science-fiction authors to create their own stories based on the characters and locations of the Star Wars universe. Since then, many more books have been written, some set before the movies, but many more set after the movies.
In addition to the books, there have been several comics written, some, such as Dark Empire pertaining to events after the movies, and others, such as Dawn of the Jedi tell a story of an ancient time when when the concept of the Foce was first being discovered and utilized.
Many games also continue to expand the Star Wars universe. Some games, primarily those released on the Nintentdo Entertainment Systems video game consoles, allowed the players to take on the roles of the heroes as they travelled the stories told in the movies. After that, more and more games allowed the players to play entirely new stories. Some games, such as Star Wars: Battlefront were created to allow players to take on the role of a military leader and play battle campaigns in the Star Wars universe, fighting for the Empire or for the Rebellion. Other games allowed players to take on the role of a central character in a brand-new story arc. The most notable of these games is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This game was the first to tell a story from a time before the Empire and opened the universe up to many more stories.
In addition to stand-alone games such as those mentioned, there have also been two Massively Multi-player Online Role-playing Games (MMORPG): Star Wars Galaxies, released by Sony Online Entertainment in 2003, and shut down in 2011, and Star Wars: The Old Republic released by Electronic Arts and BioWare in 2011 and still going strong.
Common tracking of time is to attempt to centralize things around a well-established event. In the case of Star Wars, this event is the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope. Thus, when referring to events in the Star Wars universe, the common annotation is BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) when referring to events prior to the destruction of the first Death Star, and using ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) when referring to events taking place after that defining events. The three major Eras within this timeline are:
|Old Republic Era||circa 40,000 BBY - 32 BBY|
|Rise of the Empire and Rebellion Era||32 BBY - 4ABY|
|New Republic||4 ABY - 45 ABY|
"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."(Star wars [Motion picture]. (1977). New York: Twentieth-Century Fox Corp.)1 The Force is a powerful energy field that those who possess a sensitivity can manipulate and use to their own benefit or the benefit of others. How this manipulation manifests relies heavily on the emotion of the person and on the training that they have had. There are two sides to the Force:
In addition to the Light side and the Dark side, there is a theoretical Grey side that embraces aspects of both. Those that claim to be Grey must maintain a very delicate balance and a strict level of control to prevent falling completely to the Dark side of the force.
The Lightsaber is the first weapon that many people think of when they think of Star Wars. "Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age."1 This weapon creation is a closely guarded secret, with many who have built one claiming that the design and construction is guided by the Force and is not something that can be shared. Typically the only thing that is known is that the housing assembly encases a power supply, circuitry, and a focusing crystal, the color of which determines the color of the blade.
Blasters, both pistols and rifles, are a second commonplace weapon in the Star Wars universe. Similar in regards to standard pistols and rifles in our world, blasters use an enery cell to provide power to each shot. When the energy cell is depleted, it must be replaced, similar to changing magazines in a standard projectile weapon.
She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.3 - Han Solo
(Star wars [Motion picture]. (1977). New York: Twentieth-Century Fox Corp.)
Millenium Falcon: The ship piloted by Han Solo. A heavily modified YT-1300 Corellian Light Freighter, Han won this ship in a Sabbac game with Lando Calrissian.
Slave I: A Firespray-31 class Patrol ship. Originally flown and modified by the mercenary Jango Fett. After his death, Jango's son Boba Fett took possession of the ship and continued modifying it to fit his profession as a bounty hunter.