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Fantastic poster charts impact of 'Star Wars' on sci-fi films and TV

From spawning "The Large Humanoid Friend of Few Words" to "The Strong Female Badass," a new at-a-glance image from Shutterstock and PopChart Lab traces how "Star Wars" impacted it all.

Without Leia, could there have been a Buffy? Shutterstock

A not so long time ago in a decade not that far away, "Star Wars" hit screens across the globe and changed forever the idea of what a sci-fi film could be.

A new poster from poster master PopChart Lab visually maps the impact the film franchise has had on the galaxy of films and TV shows that came in its lightspeed wake.

The company, whose goal is "to assemble, sift, cull, and arrange massive amounts of cultural data into meaningful works of art and information," worked with images from photo company Shutterstock to create the chart, which is broken down into visual bits on its blog.


Some of the examples on the poster are character-specific. For example, we see that "the humanoid robot with a distinctive personality" (C3PO, of course) is linked directly to Bender from "Futurama," while Han Solo, "the sci-fi cowboy," influenced Captain Malcolm Reynolds from "Firefly," plus Starbuck from "Battlestar Galactica."

Other links are genre-related, such as the "special effects blockbuster" ("E.T." and "Avatar") and the "pastiche film genre," which refers to the way in which "Star Wars" gave a nod to other film genres such as those of the samurai's journey and the American western. There's also the "film trilogy format" in which movie franchises like "The Dark Knight" and "The Matrix" imitated the initial "Star Wars" release of three sequential films.

Another interesting category on the poster is the one that details the spin-offs from Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas' visual-effects company that was started for the first "Star Wars" film.

Here, of course, is Pixar, but also the Dykstraflex camera, which was created for the films, as well as the technique of Go motion, a type of stop-motion animation that was created to bring life to the tauntaun creatures and AT-AT walkers from "The Empire Strikes Back."

There's a lot more to take in on the poster, so have a look and see if you agree with the connections -- or if any have been left out that you think should have been included. Then, let us know in the comments below.

While this poster won't be for sale, PopChart Lab sells a bunch of other cool posters related to geek culture, like this one charting superpowers, this one mapping out the villains of Batman's Gotham and this one detailing the various occupations of some famous superheroes and villains. Or, you can grab the "Star Wars" poster image from above and use it a great computer wallpaper. Just be warned that the Force of distraction is strong in this one.