The main change that occurred in film production and release due to Star Wars was the escalation of tie-in merchandising. Lucas had the good sense to write into his contract with 20th Century Fox that he would have EXCLUSIVE rights to handle toys and other merchandise, and he FLOODED the market with that cr@p (you may be too young to remember; but I was 6 when Episode 4 came out, and I was DEVASTATED that my parents wouldn't buy for me all the cool vehicles and action figures all my friends had). It was that windfall that allowed him to finance Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar Studios, and all the other moviemaking tools that we take for granted today. Today, it would be unheard of to have some sort of big summer popcorn film that DIDN'T have tie-in toys, clothing, Happy Meals, and every other damn thing under the sun you can think of -- it's all just a big pile of money, waiting for the studios to grab it!
· 1 decade ago