By the time Star Wars was released in 1977, it was pretty much expected that every Hollywood blockbuster would get a sequel. The Godfather Part II had been a commercial and critical success, winning six Oscars and legitimizing the sequel as an acceptable venture. Jaws 2 was already in production, Rocky II had already been greenlit, and the second Airport sequel had just finished its run in theaters. So it wasn’t surprising at all when Star Wars spawned The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. And most people figured it would end there, after the original trilogy. But, of course, the franchise has made two big comebacks, with the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III) and then the sequel trilogy (Episodes VII-IX). Mark Hamill was actually one of those people who figured the movie would gradually fade away, even though he’d had a good feeling about it from the start. (Click on the media bar below to hear Mark Hamill)
All of the Star Wars movies are currently streaming on Disney+.