Star Wars is an influential space saga and fictional universe created by producer and writer George Lucas in the late 1970s. The saga began with the film Star Wars, which was released on May 25, 1977. The film, later called Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope , became a pop culture phenomenon and spawned five more live action feature films and an extensive collection of licensed books, comics, video games, spin-off films, television series, toys, and other products — all of which are set within a fictional "galaxy far, far away."
The events depicted in Star Wars media take place in a fictional galaxy. Many species of alien creatures (often humanoid) are depicted. Robotic droids are also commonplace and are generally built to serve their owners. Space travel is common, and many planets in the galaxy are members of a Galactic Republic, later reorganized as the Galactic Empire.
One of the prominent elements of Star Wars is the "Force", which is an omnipresent form of energy which can be harnessed by those with that ability. It is described in the first produced film as "an energy field created by all living things [that] surrounds us, penetrates us, [and] binds the galaxy together." The Force allows users to perform a variety of supernatural feats (such as telekinesis, clairvoyance, precognition, and mind control) and also can amplify certain physical traits, such as speed and reflexes; these abilities can vary from user to user and can be improved through training. While the Force can be used for good, it has a dark side that, when pursued, imbues users with hatred, aggression, and malevolence. The six films feature the Jedi, who use the Force for good, and the Sith, who use the dark side for evil in an attempt to take over the galaxy. In the Expanded Universe, many dark side users are Dark Jedi rather than Sith, mainly because of the "Rule of Two."