3. The storytellers
It would be easy to compare George Lucas to George R.R. Martin in their knack for fantasy storytelling. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t include all the other wonderful Star Wars creators who have written, directed or produced stories set in a galaxy far, far away. We’re also including Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss since their series differed dramatically from Martin’s original books and even took the story beyond what Martin had finished writing.
Martin published the first volume in his Song of Ice and Fire in 1996, titled A Game of Thrones. There have been five of seven planned novels published so far, the most recent being A Dance With Dragons in 2011. Fans have been clamoring for the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, for years as Martin has said he’s not yet finished writing it and the book’s release date has been pushed back several times.
Every official piece of Game of Thrones literature has been written by Martin, who also wrote an episode in each of the show’s first four seasons. Benioff and Weiss were the chief writers for most of the series, with just a few episodes being written or contributed to by other producers.
While it’s impressive that these three men crafted a deeply complex high fantasy world and web of stories that become one of the most popular of all time, Game of Thrones hasn’t had much room for creative diversity. The stories of Star Wars, on the other hand, come from hundreds of minds — creating a wide variety of characters and stories that appeal to a much broader audience.
Star Wars, of course, came from the mind of George Lucas, who helmed the first trilogy and the prequel films. Before Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and announced plans for a third trilogy, characters and stories were licensed to writers and creators for the collection of literature now known as Star Wars Legends. It was originally called the Expanded Universe and began with Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye in 1978.
Legends content was retconned in 2014, but all other Star Wars content published since is considered canon.
George Lucas is not the sole creator behind the films, TV shows and dozens of books; there is a slew of storytellers who have a hand in bringing the galaxy to life. Kathleen Kennedy is now the head of Lucasfilm, overseeing the continuation of the Star Wars franchise, and filmmakers J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens, The Rise of Skywalker) and Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) directing the sequel films. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have been the kings of Star Wars on the small screen, working on content like The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian.
Then there are the dozens of authors from around the world who have written books, children’s literature, comics and reference guides for a galaxy far, far away.
Fans don’t just have a favorite movie or character, they also have a favorite author, book and comic series.