Star Wars is an American epic space-opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon.
Lucas' success as a writer and director with American Graffiti (1973) earned him the support of 20th Century Fox, which invested $9.5 million to produce the first Star Wars film.
The film, directed by Lucas, was in production for four years, with scenes shot in Tunisia and Death Valley, California, and on soundstages in England. When it was released on May 25, 1977, Star Wars (later renamed Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope) met with runaway success.
A space opera set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" the film centers on Luke Skywalker (played by the then relatively unknown Mark Hamill), a young man who finds himself embroiled in an interplanetary war between an authoritarian empire. and rebel forces.