Star Wars (1977), is one of the most popular, profitable, entertaining, and successful science fiction/action – adventure/fantasy films of all time. The film, shot mostly on location in Tunisia, Guatemala and Death Valley (California), advanced special-effects technology to a degree unseen before, with computerized and digitally-timed special effects. It ultimately helped to resurrect the financial viability of the science-fiction genre, a category of films that was considered frivolous and unprofitable, and brought the phrase “May the Force be with you” into common usage.
Pre-Star Wars director, USC graduate, and writer George Lucas had begun his career as director of the science-fiction film THX 1138 (1971), an expanded version of a prize-winning feature film he made while studying film at USC. It was produced by American Zoetrope and executive-produced by Francis Ford Coppola. He went on to direct and co-write the immensely popular American Graffiti, a nostalgic story about California teenagers in the early 60s. It took four years for Lucas to develop his next film – this astounding cult film about “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” from 20th Century Fox.