Star Wars Production and release

The Star Wars film series was shot in an original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The "original trilogy" was shot with anamorphic lenses (Episodes IV and V were shot in Panavision, while Episode VI was shot in J.D.C. scope), while Episode I was shot in Arriscope film format, and Episodes II and III were shot with Sony'sCineAlta high-definition digital camera.

There were countless problems during the production of Episode IV, and few critics expected the film to achieve the measure of success it did. Many problems with effects, editing, funding, and shooting caused the film to be pushed back from its expected release date of December of 1976. The production company, not to mention many involved in the actual production, had little faith in the movie. According to reports, it was a daily struggle merely to complete the film on time. Despite these difficulties, the first film was released on May 25, 1977 and became a surprise hit. Though its novelization had hit the shelves a year earlier, the book had not seen nearly the amount of interest that the film would draw.

Episodes IV, V, and VI were shot at, among other locations, Elstree Studios, in Hertfordshire, England. The outdoor scenes from the ice planet Hoth in Episode V were shot at Finse, Norway. Also, one shot of the Rebel Base on Yavin IV in Episode IV was of Mayan temples in Tikal, Guatemala. The Phantom Menace was filmed at Leavesden Film Studios and the subsequent prequels were filmed in Sydney, Australia. Tunisia, and the sand dunes of Yuma, Arizona, have served as the location for filming scenes set on the desert planet Tatooine in A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Italy's Caserta Palace was used to create the Theed palace on Queen Amidala's home planet, Naboo, and some scenes were also shot at Italy's Lake Como.

Both the "original trilogy" and the "prequel trilogy" were released over a period of six years (1977–1983 and 1999–2005, respectively), each movie taking three years to produce.

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