The first Star Wars film was released in 1977. Over the past four decades, this chronicle of galactic war and adventure has established itself as an American pop culture icon, generating tremendous revenue and attracting an enormous fandom across the globe. During that time, Star Wars has grown into a universe all its own, spawning TV series, video games, toys, and theme parks. The audio and visual technologies used in the films have also provided a foundation for Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, two film production companies that have had a far-reaching impact on the film industry.

Welcome to the 42nd issue of B.

I’ve been spending time recently talking with people at the School of Life in Seoul about the topic of creativity. One of the things we talked about was how people often manage to drum up the courage to do something creative, even if it’s just a small part of their life, but they end up giving up because they are afraid they might fail. This discussion on creativity somehow leads to talking about the fear of failure, and about what it means to fail. We need to talk about what it means to succeed to understand failure. If you define success as making money, then failure would mean losing money. If you define it as being together with a friend until the end, then your failure would mean losing that friend. There was once a time when there were no social or economic institutions that could measure success or failure. But even today, if you have your own criteria for success, perhaps they are what you consider as your core values.

In a world where each person advocates different values to determine success, it’s easy to fall into a dichotomy where people who identify with your values are “good” and all others are “evil.” Perhaps these thoughts are what lead to wars and other tragedies.

This month, we introduce Star Wars as a brand. The six Star Wars episodes released to date have formed not only the greatest fandom in the world, but they have also become an unprecedented cultural phenomenon, allowing the franchise to establish itself as a globally influential brand. Star Wars wasn’t created out of an initiative to launch a commercial brand. From the perspective of branding, however, there is a lot to appreciate about how George Lucas’ emphasis on fan relations cultivated the Star Wars brand, and how Disney continues that enthusiasm. While the confrontation between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire might seem cliché, Star Wars enjoys unending love from fans because it has universally appealing characters and stories. Even the villain Darth Vader inspires compassion.

Looking into Star Wars as a brand, I was able to think about why my “good” values could end up being regarded as “evil” by others. If we could just switch places for a second and try to look at “the evil” as “the good,” our confliction will lead to conversations that help us understand each other and come to a peaceful conclusion. It will allow us to break away from the stereotypes we hold and develop creative thoughts.

PublisherSuyong Joh

http://www.johsuyong.com

Publisher’s Note


News

Star Wars news collected from the worldwide press after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm


Cast

Interviews with the Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens cast at Disney’s D23 Expo


Intro


Opinion

Toshio Furusawa, CEO of a film production & distribution company


Merchandising

Star Wars publications and products show the franchise’s commercial value


Versus

A comparison of media franchises that have developed a wide range of content from a single creative source


Opinion

Steve Sansweet, owner of the world’s largest Star Wars collection


Fandom

Diverse Star Wars fan activities and their influence


Mecca

Hubs of Star Wars fandom


Opinion

Jiwoong Huh, film critic


Star Wars Generation

The generation-wide experience and solidarity created by the Star Wars franchise has evolved into a shared sentiment and culture


B's Cut

Open Your Eyes

Facing the Star Wars characters


Brand Story

A Star Wars story: A franchise rises to become an icon of American pop culture


Chronicle

The social background and major events in the film industry that coincided with the rise of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon


Media Reports

Global press reports on Star Wars


Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm’s achievements and their significance in the film industry


Reputation

Star Wars rankings, awards, and nominations


Disney

Disney’s story and interviews with Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams, two pillars of the Star Wars franchise since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm


George Lucas

George Lucas from the critic’s point of view


Figures

Numbers demonstrating the values of Star Wars-branded products, the scale of its fandom, and other miscellaneous data


From the Editor in Chief

The core values of the Star Wars brand defined by the Editor in Chief


PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher
Suyong Joh

Editor In Chief
Taehyuk Choi

Senior Editor
Eunsung Park

Editors
Jaewoo Seo, Yeongmin Kim

Translation Editor
Heejean Kim

Intern Editor
Jisoo Kim

Translation
Hyunkyung Yoo, Narae Kim, Rancy Kim, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang

Copy Editing
Eugene Larsen-Hallok

Proofreading
Sarah Kessler Jang

Designer
Ayoon Jung

Filmmaker
Sukwang Baak

Distribution
Tony Song

Correspondents
Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)

Publishing
JOH & Company

Printed in the Republic of Korea

ISBN
978-89-98415-86-0 03050

REFERENCES

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe
Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
Fanboys
The People vs. George Lucas
The Big Bang Theory: The Proton Transmogrification
The Force: Volkswagen Commercial