Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by director and writer George Lucas. The film series, consisting of two trilogies (and an upcoming third), has spawned an extensive media franchise called the Expanded Universe including books, television series, computer and video games, and comic books. These supplements to the franchise resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe, keeping the franchise active in the 16-year interim between the two film trilogies. The franchise depicts a galaxy described as "far, far away" in the distant past, and commonly portrays Jedi as a representation of good, in conflict with the Sith, their evil counterpart. Their weapon of choice, the lightsaber, is commonly recognized in popular culture. The franchise's storylines contain many themes, with strong influences from philosophy and religion.
The first film in the series was released under the title Star Wars on May 25, 1977, 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 prequel films were also released at three-year intervals, with the final film of the trilogy released on May 19, 2005. In 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and announced that it would produce three new films, with the first film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, planned for release in 2015. 20th Century Fox still retains the distribution rights to the first two Star Wars trilogies, owning permanent rights for the original film Episode IV: A New Hope, while holding the rights to Episodes I–III, V and VI until May 2020.
Reactions to the original trilogy were positive, with the last film being considered the weakest, while the prequel trilogy received a more mixed reaction, with most of the praise being for the final film, according to most review aggregator websites. All six of the main films in the series were nominated for or won Academy Awards. All of the main films have been box office successes, with the overall box office revenue generated by the Star Wars films (including the theatrical Star Wars: The Clone Wars- which had it's own television spin-off of the same name which ran for four seasons on the Cartoon Network cable channel) totalling $4.38 billion, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film series. The success has also led to multiple re-releases in theaters for the series.
Whose Line? Connections
- In the 1997 indie film Courting Courtney, which stars various Whose Line? cast members, a Star Wars: Return of the Jedi poster is visible in the background of one of the character's bedrooms.
- Due to it's large pop culture following, it was no surprise that it the Whose Line? gang reenacted skits that referenced various characters, plot segments, sound effects or themes referencing the franchise.
- Greg Proops has voiced one of the heads of the two-headed announcer in the first of the Star Wars prequels Episode I: The Phantom Menace as well as voiced a character on a two-parter of the CGI "Clone Wars" cartoon show and a character for the X-Box 360 game Star Wars: Kinect.
- Phil LaMarr also voiced various characters on the CGI "Clone Wars" and "Star Wars: Rebels" cartoon shows (the latter which aired on ABC television networks) after previously doing voice-work for the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Repulic and The Old Replublic video game spin-offs.
- On July 23, 2012, a viral video of Colin Mochrie reenacting scenes from the franchise using original Kenner action figures was released. 
- Upon the 2013 return to network television on the CW network, the show once again referenced the SW franchise.
- During 2015, on Season 11 of the 2013 redux series, Episodes five and ten of the season featuring guests Scott Porter and Penn & Teller and had the Whose Line? gang make blunt Star Wars references once more. Later that same season, on episode fourteen where supermodel Nina Agdal guest-starred, Colin portrayed Princess Leia and Ryan portrayed Luke Skywalker in one skit. Ryan also made fun of the reason why Chewbacca growls the way he does.