Star Wars is a beloved franchise that has captivated audiences for decades, but many fans may wonder why the series started with Episode IV instead of Episode I. Here’s a closer look at the reasons behind this creative decision:
The Original Story Plan
When George Lucas first conceived of the Star Wars universe, he had a much larger story in mind than what was initially presented in the first movie. The original plan called for a series of nine movies that would explore the entire Skywalker family saga, but due to budget and resource constraints, Lucas decided to start the story in the middle with Episode IV.
A Self-Contained Story
One of the main reasons Lucas chose to begin with Episode IV was that it was the most self-contained and action-packed part of the saga that could stand alone as a successful movie. This approach allowed him to tell a complete story within the confines of a single film, while also setting up a larger world that would be explored in subsequent movies.
A Fully-Realised Universe
Another reason for starting with Episode IV was to give the audience the feeling of being dropped into a fully-realised and lived-in universe, rather than beginning with the origins and backstory of the characters and their world. By beginning with Episode IV, Lucas was able to immerse the audience in the action and excitement of the Star Wars universe, without the need for extensive exposition.
Prequels, Sequels, and Spin-Offs
While the decision to start with Episode IV was initially a creative choice, it has since become a defining characteristic of the Star Wars universe. Over time, the franchise has expanded to include prequels, sequels, and spin-offs that explore the backstory of the characters and events leading up to Episode IV.
The Short Answer
The decision to start the Star Wars series with Episode IV instead of Episode I was a deliberate creative choice made by George Lucas. By beginning in the middle of the saga with a self-contained and action-packed story, Lucas was able to immerse the audience in the Star Wars universe, while also setting up a larger story that would be explored in subsequent movies. Today, the decision to start with Episode IV remains a defining characteristic of the Star Wars franchise, and continues to captivate audiences around the world.
Image: Star Wars