Before the Titanic sinks, before Elliott meets ET, Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope ruled the box office, and was a major blockbuster during its era. Until this day, Star Wars is still in second place after Gone with the Wind for the highest grossing movie of all time after adjusting for inflation (Box Office Mojo). This is quite an accomplishment for Star Wars and director George Lucas. After many decades, there has not been a film that has surpassed Star Wars. Star Wars was immensely popular and made millions of dollars during its time due to advanced special effects that were unheard of. It was an epic story that targeted children, women, and men, and a brilliant marking strategy that used block booking. All of these features made Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope to be one of the most recognizable blockbuster movies of all time.
A quick look at Star Wars is for its special effects, and the audiences generally remember it for that very reason, and also from the massive Galactic Empire’s Death Star to the laser effects from light sabers, guns, and spaceships to the hundreds of different creatures. However, none of these were possible without Industrial Light and Magic, a special effect company, started by George Lucas. Lucas founded ILM because he was dissatisfied with the special effect industry. No one had the skills necessary to produce the special effects in Star Wars (Turnock). Lucas’ imagination had surpassed the modern technology. When Star Wars finally opened at the box office, everyone rushed to see it. According to Rapp, “Word of mouth quickly spread that the movie was a one-of-a-kind experience, and moviegoers, particularly children, attended it in droves all over the country. Some $3 million in tickets were sold in the first week of release—in only those 32 theaters” (Rapp 10). People were fascinated by R2D2, C3PO, and the enormous dogfights in space presented in Star Wars. The special effects in Star Wars were fresh and intriguing for audiences worldwide because it was a look into the future of special effects. It turns out ILM would not only make Star Wars into a blockbuster, but also revolutionize the whole industry. Due to the success of Star Wars, many other films experimented with special effects in other genre. An article written in 2009 that compared the before and after eras of special effects stated, “Over the course of the 1980s, films with ILM-produced effects made the most money, and therefore by Hollywood logic set the standard for special effects work” (Turnock). Even to this day, ILM is still a major special effect studio for blockbuster movies. Not only did Star Wars have the most amazing special effects for its time, but it also had a diverse cast to appeal to a diverse audience. This was a brilliant move on Lucas’s part because by doing so, Lucas maximized his profit at the box office. The three protagonists are Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, and Han Solo. After filmed THX 1138, Lucas wanted to film another sci-fi that would have a simple plot for children to watch and enjoy. From Lucas’ interest in fairy tale story, teenagers get the beloved Luke Skywalker, a teenager boy that is hungry for an advantage (Rapp 3). The plot is simple and direct, and Luke is on a quest to rescue the princess from the evil Darth Vader. The film is basically pure entertainment, and teens loved it. Teenagers especially male teens saw themselves in Luke Skywalker. He is brave, adventurous, and in the end, he rescued the princess and saved the world. The male teen audiences were so valuable that by the 1980s after the release of Star Wars, Hollywood changed their production into full blockbuster mode and aimed toward the male teens as their target audience (Benjamin 1). The next character is Princess Leia Organa, who is played by the beautiful Carrie Fisher who brought in the female audience that love to see a heroin. While the story contained mostly action, there is also a