As of February 2015, six "Star Wars" films have been released. The first three films and release dates are: "Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope" in 1977, "Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980 and "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi" in 1983.
The next three films released in the Star Wars series are referred to as "prequels" of the original films. A 16-year span of time passed between release dates of the sixth and the first episodes. The prequel films and their years of release are: "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace" in 1999, "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" in 2002 and "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" in 2005. Three additional films in the series are also scheduled for release: "Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in 2015, "Star Wars: Episode VIII" in 2017 and "Star Wars: Episode IX" in 2019.
The "Star Wars" franchise is regarded as one of the most profitable of all time. As of 2014, combined sales of box office tickets, DVDs and videos, books, toys and other franchise merchandise totalled $27 billion. "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace" is the highest-grossing film in the series with revenue of over $900 million. Star Wars' creator George Lucas has a reported net worth of $3.6 billion.