I wonder what the word "Star" in Star Wars refers to. Why did George Lucas choose this title for his epic? The word "Wars" is clear, but I don't know what "Star" refers to. Does anyone know?

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    Space, I guess. – ibrahim mahrir Mar 12 at 19:13
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    It fits the graphic design better than Space Wars [leaves one letter hanging] or Universe Wars/Galaxy Wars... for similar reasons... & it's punchy, to the point, no room for argument, all-encompassing, obvious, open to any plot-line, timeless... – Tetsujin Mar 12 at 19:25
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    Planets also revolve around stars so Star Wars are about the wars taking place on and across a specific galaxy of planets and/or solar systems. I also think it was to convey the sense of adventure, inspiration, and wisdom, as we often say, 'look to or reach for the stars' It also points out the light and dark motif, which is at the center of Skywalker Saga's epic and views on the force. – Darth Locke Mar 12 at 19:31
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    @Tetsujin, perhaps he'd prefer it was called Spaceballs... – Blade Wraith Mar 13 at 9:09
  • Because it's easy on the tongue probably, or it would've been space wars or stars wars. – madmada Mar 14 at 10:10

In case it's not clear, a star (in this context) is:

  1. Any small luminous dot appearing in the cloudless portion of the night sky, especially with a fixed location relative to other such dots.
  2. (astronomy) A luminous celestial body, made up of plasma (particularly hydrogen and helium) and having a spherical shape. Depending on context the sun may or may not be included.

Source: Wiktionary

The literal meaning of the title could be interpreted as "A series of wars among the stars". "Among the stars" is a turn of phrase used to mean "out in space".

Compare with the title Star Trek, which means "a journey (trek) among the stars".

Also compare with the TV show Star Search, which means "a search for stars". In this case, "stars" means people who will become famous, not large balls of hydrogen fusion in space, but the grammar of the title is the same.

In general, an English construction of noun verb often means, "doing verb in the context of noun". For example, sea trade is the trading of goods using ocean vessels. Shore leave means "a break from service that takes place on dry land (not at sea)". Space walk means "an excursion from a spacecraft wearing only a spacesuit or EVA suit" - in other words, "a walk in space".

If that doesn't clarify things enough, you might want to ask your question on the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange.

  • The idea you told was the thing I guessed and it could be right. "Stars" may refer to important people who are heroes and villains in both good and evil sides. like the stars or superstars when we talk about famous celebrities. – Masoud Moghaddam Mar 13 at 20:52
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    Star meaning leading character is not the intended meaning at all. It refers to stellar, celestial objects. – Jason P Sallinger Mar 13 at 23:54

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