Why did star wars start with episode 4 and not 1?

I am really curious about this.

9 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Apparently this is "clueless answers" week on YAnswers, at least in regards to SW questions.

    As for your question ... It depends ... do you want to know the truth or the latest version of George's "revisionist history". In this latest "version" Lucas says that the movies were ALWAYS supposed to be "The Tragedy Of Darth Vader" ... that there was ALWAYS only 6 parts ... that the 9 part thing was made up by the overactive imagination of the "fanboys". As one of those "fanboys" this statement shredded the last piece of respect I had for Lucas as a person ... and the damned fool is lying through his teeth. The following links will take you to a interview that Lucas did with Leanard Maltin for the VHS release of the OT, one part on each tape, in which Lucas repeatedly states that there was 9 parts to the story of Star Wars:


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    The truth however is a lot more complicated. When Lucas first wrote the story line for SW it was a 12 episode mega saga. He wanted to tell it in the same fashion as the old Flash Gordon series back in the day. He realized that wouldn't work so after getting a little support from Fox he made what we now know as ep IV. Whether or not if it was supposed to actually be ep I or not is something that only Lucas knows and won't tell but there is verifiable proof that the first working title for what we now know as ep V was "2 of 12" ... in the end it is irrelevant anyways. A New Hope is different from the other movies in two ways. First it is the only one of them that can be seen as a stand alone movie. By that I mean it had a definite beginning and a definite end. If it had flopped as many, including Lucas to a certain extent, thought it would nobody would have had to know that there was more to the story. Second it is the only one of the movies that comes even remotely close to being told as the story line went. After that Lucas made two HUGE changes that led to the 6 movie epic saga that we have now. The first was to combine the characters of Darth Vader & Anakin Skywalker into one ... originally they were two different characters. This change also took any back story of the characters that were in the prequels and threw most of it out the window as the main theme of that back story was about two Jedi, Obi-Wan & Anakin, who were best of friends and who were betrayed by Obi-Wan's apprentice Darth Vader who killed Anakin Skywalker. In any event this change led to the fabled "9 episode" story. The first trilogy was to be about the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker, the second trilogy was to be about the rise of Luke Skywalker and the redemption of Anakin Skywalker, the third trilogy was to be about the "other Skywalker" that Yoda talks about in ep V. While writing the final duel between Luke and Vader in ep VI Lucas got stumped on what he could have Vader say to Luke that would cause Luke to attack his father in a dark side fueled rage. To solve this problem he made Leia the "other Skywalker" and had Vader threaten her. That change eliminated the third trilogy leaving us with the 6 movies ... end of story.

    May The Force Be With You ...

    @"John Crisp" - There is zero chance that we will ever agree on anything in regards to SW but seriously ... how do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you give a different answer every time this question is asked?? Opinions always change but the facts don't.


    Source(s): WebMaster/Owner Jedi Masters Lounge Life Long Star Wars Super Geek starwars.com/hyperspace theforce.net The Secret History of Star Wars by: Michael Kaminski Empire of Dreams: Official Lucasfilm documentary on Star Wars CBS News: 60 Minutes interview with Lucas
  • 10 years ago

    Originally, Episode 4 was known as simply, Star Wars. Then Empire Strikes Back, and later Return of the Jedi. But George Lucas decided to make the three prequels then he started to call them Episode 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 to put them in order of the time line in the movie, not by which one was made first.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    He did the same as James Cameron did for Avatar. Episode 4 was the most marketable so he released that first to gain funding for the rest. The real reason though is because the Technology needed to create the other films simply didn't exist, he began creating this Technology so he could film the other films. That's why the last on is so technically advanced.

  • 5 years ago

    I say start with 1 and end with 6, that way so you can get the first three out of the way, and watch the original trilogy last which is way better than the prequel, you know just save the best for last.

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  • 10 years ago

    The REAL reason was that he had a much larger plan for 1-3 then he did for 4-6 and 4-6 were easier to make in 1977

    So he went with the simpler movies first then wanted to wait till the technology was there to make his dream a reality for 1-3

    thats why it wasnt till 1999

  • 10 years ago

    The creator, George Lucas, felt episode 4 would make the best film. He was trying to get funding so had to pick what he felt was the most marketable.

  • 10 years ago

    I believe the reason is if GL would have started with 1, he felt the audience would not have had the emotional attraction to the characters.

  • 10 years ago

    I heard that actually it was the1st and the episodes 1-3 were made afterwards for better explanation

  • 10 years ago

    i heard he wrote ep 4 1st, w/o having all the details of the back story worked-out yet

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