Even George Lucas doesn’t know why ‘Star Wars’ is so popular

Gregory Wakeman
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 10: Filmmaker George Lucas arrives at the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' at the El Capitan Theatre on May 10, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

While The Rise Of Skywalker proved that the popularity of the Star Wars franchise isn’t quite what it was, theres still no denying that the sci-fi space opera is beloved by hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

That’s particularly impressive when you consider that the first installment to the series was released all the way back in 1977. But why has the Star Wars franchise proven to be so popular for so long?

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It turns out that its creator George Lucas doesn’t even have the answer, something that he freely admitted during a recent interview with StarWars.com to mark the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. 

George Lucas tries to figure out why the Star Wars franchise has proven to be so popular (Image by Lucasfilm)

After being asked that very question, Lucas responded, “Well I don’t know,” before then adding, “Even though it’s an homage to ‘40s movies and a space opera — where the characters are pretty cardboard — I worked very hard to create the characters that would be iconic in their own way, and still be true to the classic adventure cinema.”

Lucas went on to suggest the stories became timeless because of the moral complexities of its characters, which made them feel more real. 

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“Their motives were driven based on psychological motifs that had been around for thousands of years in mythology,” he explained. “I mean it’s also from Episode IV, which is the first time you treated aliens as humans, as if there was nothing special about them, they just look funny.”

“They were unique but they weren’t monsters. They weren’t crazy aliens. They were just characters. And I don’t think anybody had seen that before and I think they liked it.”