With exciting special effects, strong characters, and a classic good vs evil story line, Star Wars has long captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. There is no denying the popularity of the films. Fans turn out in droves each time a new installment in the series is released, making Star Wars one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
While box office success is nice, that does not always automatically equate to high praise from critics. Has the popularity of Star Wars also yielded a positive critical reception? More importantly, has a Star Wars film ever won an Oscar?
Here’s what you need to know.
Has a Star Wars Film Ever Won an Oscar?
A New Hope
The top Academy Award-winning Star Wars film, this motion picture was nominated for ten Oscars and won six. These included Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Effects (Visual Effects), and Best Music (Original Score). In addition, Ben Burtt got a Special Achievement Academy Award for Sound Effects. The film did not win Best Picture or Best Script, as it was nominated for, nor did George Lucas win the Best Director. Likewise, Alec Guinness failed to win Best Supporting Actor after his nomination.
The Empire Strikes Back
The well-known Star Wars sequel was nominated for three Oscars: Best Sound, Best Score and Best Art Direction. In the end, it only ended up winning one, taking home Best Sound. It did also, however, win a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects.
Return of the Jedi
The third of the original trilogy, this film was nominated for Best Original Music Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Product Design and Best Sound Editing, though failed to win any of these awards. Similar to its predecessor, however, it did win a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects.
The Phantom Menace
Despite being nominated for three Oscars, this first installment of the Prequel Trilogy failed to win any awards. It was nominated for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.
Attack of the Clones
Attack of the Clones was only nominated for one Academy Award, Best Visual Effects, and unfortunately did not win.
Revenge of the Sith
Sadly, just like its predecessor, the third installment of the Prequel Trilogy also failed to win an Oscar, after being nominated for Best Makeup.
The Force Awakens
Released in 2015 after a 10 year Star Wars hiatus, the first movie of the Sequel Trilogy was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. It too, however, failed to win an Oscar.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This critically acclaimed Star Wars spin-off movie was nominated for two awards: Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects. However, the fresh take on the franchise didn’t do much to impress Oscar voters. The film did not win an award.
The Last Jedi
This second installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy racked up four nominations, this time for Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. Unfortunately, the Oscar drought continues for Star Wars. The Last Jedi failed to win a single award.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Despite receiving some critical acclaim, Solo is considered by many to be the first box office “bomb” in the Star Wars franchise. It did manage to garner one Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects, but lost out to First Man.
The Rise of Skywalker
The latest film in the Star Wars franchise is set to release in December of 2019. How will it fare at the Academy Awards? As Master Yoda says, “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is.”
Star Wars Oscar Total
In total, despite several nominations, Star Wars films have only won seven Oscars (ten if you count the Special Achievement awards). However, with many new films planned for the future, perhaps this list will someday grow!
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