Maldives enters into Star Wars Lore; by Mohamed Rehan
When George Lucas first directed and unveiled the very first Star Wars movie, which was retroactively subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope, that was released in 1977 – no one had expected that the movie would go on to change the face of the entire Hollywood as well as become a pop-culture phenomenon.
The success of the first movie greenlit for two more sequels of the Star Wars’ original trilogy; Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi that were released in 1980 and 1983 respectively.
By then the trio of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo have become extremely well received by the movie going audiences as well as newcomers into the sci-fi genre.
But perhaps the biggest star from the entire franchise will be none other than Darth Vader – a villain so beloved, perhaps the only other time a villain had outshined a movie’s hero in a similar extent would be when Heath Ledger donned the purple three-piece to bring out the “Clown Prince of Crime” in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Following the major success of the initial three movies of the Star Wars, Lucas went into a hiatus before popping back into the Hollywood scene. This time, to direct the prequel trilogy to the original and while the prequels were not well received as the originals, it has since gained popularity among the franchise fans and ardent Star Wars lovers.
The franchise has since then expanded not just into movies but animated and live-action series as well as two anthology movies with a third scheduled for release in 2023. As of 2020, the total value of the franchise was estimated at USD70 billion making it the fifth highest grossing media franchise of all time.
But why is the franchise so legendary?
At the time when the first Star Wars movie rolled out in cinemas, it was screened in just 42 theaters but still managed to rake in an impressive USD3 million in the first weekend and went on to gross USD100 million by the end of the summer.
This was quite unheard of at the time for a movie especially with heavy special effects and also one that falls under the sci-fi movie genre. But it did not stop the movie from winning six Academy Awards along with the special-achievement award for accomplishments in sound while the movie revolutionized the motion picture industry with its advancements in special effects.
The pantheon of imaginative and creative alien creatures, mechanical androids and previously unseen settings as well as massive and elaborate space-battles made the movie memorable and grandiose.
With the two sequels of the original trilogy also being impressive follow-ups, the franchise thrived during the 80s and the 90s through the release of home-videos as well as merchandise lines as well as the theatrical re-release of the original trilogy in 1997.
The franchise had remained significantly lucrative into the 21st century and by then it was not only about the movies. By then the franchise has entailed clothing, action figures, extensive book series as well as a beloved animated series titled Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Yes, the aforementioned information may give a little or more about just how big the franchise had become but it still does not justify why the series is so legendary – and here are all of the reasons (almost) on why the franchise works and why it is legendary.
The Star Wars franchise is for everyone
True that the Star Wars movies feel like kids’ movies at times due to the light-saber duels, aliens and epic space battles. This is exactly the case when the original trilogy first rolled out, and an onslaught of young and keen moviegoers were immediately hooked on to the movies that presented a rich lore with exciting, interesting and unique characters who spoke in their own unique languages, had diverse cultures and dressed in ‘odd’ manners.
These youngsters who watched the original trilogies in the 80s grew up but the experience remained with them forever, and they had pretty much passed down the hype to the next generation which had ensured the newer generations were hooked on immediately as well.
Thrills and Action
When the first Star Wars flick dropped, no one had ever imagined what a light-saber duel would look like. But today, everyone knows! The Star Wars franchise is rich with large and grand battle sequences depicted in space with huge battle-ships, TIE fighters and X-Wings giving each other a go with their laser beams. Not only that, the Jedi fight sequences feel like a dance to the death with beautifully choreographed moves, jabs and of course the “Force.”
Lessons of Life and Wisdom
When it comes to life lessons and wisdom, no character is attached to these terms more than the Jedi Master Yoda. His unique verbal tic has made him not only famous but in the modern Internet Age, a popular ‘Meme’ template as well. The movies all have a great story to tell, but they also impart deep and profound life lessons to those who are viewing them with a sense of profundity.
Star Wars is filled with distant galaxies, planets, alien life as well as inter-galactic organizations which also put intergalactic politics into its central plot elements as well. Lies, deception and power-grab moves are all part and parcel of this rich lore where we see delusional megalomaniacs on deadly crusades with unflinching convictions of why they must do what they must.
We also see brave souls making a stand against corrupt rulers and their politics and put up fights to their very end. But the most interesting thing about Star Wars is that; it is not humans fighting against aliens, rather the resistance fighting against the corrupt inter-galactic organizations. Each of these sides include both human characters and other extra-terrestrial beings, but when it comes to Star Wars the concept of “extra-terrestrial” is nowhere to be found.
And then Disney stepped in!
Disney paid more than USD4 billion in 2012 to acquire LucasFilm, which is the production company responsible for the Star Wars as well as the Indiana Jones film franchises. This acquisition by Disney has been proven as one of the most “consequential” deals in the studio’s history. Once Disney acquired LucasFilm, the production giant did not wait around for long before putting up plans for expanding the Star Wars franchise even more.
Following Disney’s acquisition, the franchise’s next trilogy set in motion and “The Force Awakens” released in 2015, which was followed by two more sequels. Force Awakens grossed USD2 billion in the box office while its sequels “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker” generated more than USD1 billion each.
With “The Rise of Skywalker” the franchise’s “Skywalker Saga” came to a culmination but Disney had already decided that this was not the end. Disney launched a catalog of spin-off films, which are part of the Star Wars Anthology series, while a theme park dubbed “Galaxy’s Edge” was opened in California.
Then came “The Mandalorian” which was the very first live-action series under the franchise since Disney’s acquisition. The series stars Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones fame as the eponymous character. The series received critical acclaim as well as audience appreciation for its grounded depiction of characters and action while Pascal was hailed for his performance.
While the series has already streamed two successful seasons on Disney’s streaming service; Disney + the latest reports confirm that a spin-off series focused on Ahsoka Tano, one of the franchise’s most beloved heroes, is in development already. The franchise was already larger than life and then Disney stepped in to ensure that the franchise gets even further expansion – which it is successfully attempting to do.
It is working because Disney has ensured that the new content is backed in its production detail by creators and showrunners who have been fans of the franchise from the beginning. This has ensured that the lore of the Star Wars remains true to its central themes, characters and their collective and individual stories.
Maldives enters into Star Wars Lore
Star Wars boasts on its magnificent settings and for this, location scouts are sent months prior to the actual production in order to seek ideal avenues and landmarks where the movies are filmed. The brilliant, aesthetic and rich in texture planets that pop up in Star Wars movies are a mixture of actual locations juxtaposed with some green-screen technology.
Maldives entered into the Star Wars lore when the anthology movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was filmed in the local inhabited islands of the country’s Laamu Atoll. The pristine islands represented the green and vegetative planet of Scarif, which was a strong-hold and databank of the Imperial that contained crucial information on the Death Star.
No one had imagined that the island nation would become a prime setting where close to twenty minutes of the movie’s footage will be shot; in addition to this, events that were filmed in the Maldive islands also covered the final act of the Rogue One as well.