There’s no question that George Lucas’ Star Wars is one of the most influential bits of pop culture in history. It’s earned billions of dollars, conquered pretty much every medium on the planet, and hooked several generations of fans. With Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and new Star Wars projects in the works across the board, that pervasive influence isn’t going to die out anytime soon. But, aside from purely financial data, how can we measure the ripples Star Wars has made in our world? The folks at Wired set out to answer that question with the massive infographic below. (Click the image up top for a larger version.)
The infographic charts Star Wars‘ impact in four key areas: people, companies, technologies, and entertainment media such as film, TV, and games. So, beginning with Lucas himself, it splits off into four of his companies: LucasArts, Lucasfilm, Skywalker Sound, and Industrial Light & Magic. I shouldn’t have to tell you how massively those four entities have helped shape the entertainment world over the years, but the infographic lays it all out.
For example, Dan O’Bannon was brought in to help work on Star Wars’ miniatures and optical effects, then went on to serve as screenwriter and a visual design consultant on Ridley Scott’s Alien. Pixar began as part of the computer division at Lucasfilm. Pixar’s John Lasseter worked for ILM and created the stained-glass knight in Young Sherlock Holmes — the first photo-realistic CGI animated character. That was a landmark that paved the way for The Abyss’ water tentacle, Terminator 2’s T-1000, and on and on.
Want a more personal example? Star Wars also gave us Harrison Ford. Can you imagine how different the last three decades of movies would have looked if Ford hadn’t cemented his star status as Han Solo?
After breaking in on horror flicks such as A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and The Blob, one of Frank Darabont’s earliest high-profile gigs was writing for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. That job helped give him the clout to make The Shawshank Redemption, and the career that spun out of that eventually helped bring Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead to AMC. (Of course, that relationship didn’t exactly turn out well…)
You can click over to Wired to see an interactive version of the infographic.