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Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years after the release of the trilogy's final film, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released. The three films were also released at three-year intervals, with the final film released on May 19, 2005. Three years later, a third trilogy started, also going at three year intervals. The third film in the trilogy and the ninth and final in the entire saga is expected to come out in 2014.
Currently, the overall box office revenue generated by the Star Wars films has totaled at $7.79 billion, making it the highest-grossing film series, beating the Harry Potter films by near $900 million, and the James Bond films by nearly $2 billion.
The Star Wars film series has spawned a media franchise including books, television series, video games, and comic books. These supplements to the film trilogies comprise the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and have resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe. These Expanded Universe materials kept the franchise going in the interim between the film trilogies. The Expanded Universe fared so well, LucasFilm adapted one trilogy to comprise the last three films, with several major changes, so that no one can really guess the contents of the films. In 2008, Star Wars: The Clone Wars was released to theaters as the first-ever worldwide theatrical Star Wars film outside of the main trilogies. It was the franchise's first animated film, and was intended as an introduction to the Expanded Universe series of the same name, a 3D CGI animated series based on a previous 2D animated series of a similar name. More Expanded Universe material includes the Underworld series, a projected live-action television show that will explain the gap between Episode III and Episode IV. Release for this is currently unknown, although LucasArts has stated that it will start work as soon as the release of Episode IX.