Nearly fifty years after its inception, the Star Wars saga is still as relevant as it was in the 1970s, when George Lucas's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope shook movie theaters around the world and became a mass phenomenon.
Since then, the Star Wars universe has only expanded, first with an original trilogy, then with two trilogies in the 21st century, and a new one that has been recently approved by Disney, the company that acquired all the rights to the franchise.
But how has it been possible for a cultural phenomenon of this magnitude to continue in times of the digital era, streaming platforms and social networks? How is it that this acclaimed saga has kept the interest of three generations that continue to adore endearing characters like Luke Sky Walker, Han Solo, the robot R2D2 and the incomparable Chewbacca?
Here at Guidedoc we have made a list of the must-see Star Wars documentaries that you can watch online to have fabulous insight into this phenomenal sci-fi fable.
Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Episode IV – A New Hope (1983)
Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
The Beginning: Making Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
From 'Star Wars' to 'Jedi': The Making of a Saga
Empire Of Dreams
Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed
On the DVD of the film Episode I - The Phantom Menace, one of the bonus features included on the disc was this impressive making-of documentary film. And this is not just any making-of, we are talking about the first time George Lucas returned to direct on a movie set since 1983, when he finished filming Episode IV - A New Hope, the final installment of the first trilogy.
The documentary is based purely on the observation of Lucas and his crew as they make all the preparations for the filming of the movie. In addition, the film gives us exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the making of what was at the time the most anticipated blockbuster of the 20th century.
Among the most outstanding scenes is the behind the scenes of the casting of Jake Lloyd, who played Luke Skywalker as a child. The test scene was filmed alongside Natalie Portman, as Lucas wanted to see how “the chosen one” would hit it off in the company of the later Best Actress Oscar winner.
Another actor who appears in the making of is Ewan Mcgregor, who plays the master Obi-Wan in his youth. In this documentary we see everything from how he was recruited for the film and his physical transformation into his character, from his eccentric haircut to his distinctive wardrobe.
The best thing about this documentary is the way it is filmed, as it is purely based on a contemplation of the work of a film crew as they create an incredible world for the big screen. This means no interviews and no voice over. Unforgettable are the scenes where we hear George Lucas reflect on how the making of his prequel trilogy will change the way the industry makes movies. And he was not wrong.
Another of Lucas' challenges during the making of the film was to maintain a comprehensive vision of Episode I - The Phantom Menace considering that it was the first installment of a new trilogy, so he had to take care in detail of every aspect of the evolution of characters that are in the collective imagination of the planet and that were to continue their evolution in subsequent films.
The documentary series ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Jedi’ was released in December 1983, just seven months after the first trilogy was completed. Its nine parts accurately reveal what happened behind the scenes during the filming of the first three films, revealing unpublished scenes and it´s narrated by Mark Hamill, the first Luke Skaywalker!
Empire Of Dreams by Kevin Burns and Edith Becker (2004)
Empire Of Dreams is another best science fiction documentary series, and in this case it was launched in 2004. This is a journey divided into three parts about the story of how the first trilogy was assembled.
In this amazing docuseries Hollywood masters such as James Cameron and Steven Spielberg participate in a collective reflection about the influence that George Lucas’s franchise has had from a social and political perspective on an international level.
Unreleased material and interviews with actors who gave life to the characters expand our concept of Star Wars. (But remain calm, although it does get profound, the laser swords come out too).
Having been launched to celebrate Star Wars ‘30th anniversary, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed was released offers an interesting approach on the cultural and historical impact of Star Wars on many parts of the world.
Once again, never seen before scenes (that were not shown on the never seen before scenes of the earlier documentaries), as well as interviews with the actors such as Ewan Mcgregor, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and the presentation of the technologies used in the shooting of the film. A stunning image of what this work represents on a worldwide level.
Being the most independent documentary on the list, we couldn't leave out this rarity in the creative world of Star Wars fans. Directed by Yuji Ueda, this documentary gives voice to the biggest and most eccentric Star Wars fans and collectors in Japan.
The mere fact that the film is set on this Asian island demonstrates the social impact that the Star Wars universe still has in every corner of the world. In the documentary we see how these fans manage to get their hands on the most exuberant pieces, toys and merch of George Lucas' saga.
Watch this and more great documentaries now on Guidedoc