Star Wars is undoubtably one of the greatest film franchises ever. Even some of the individual episodes are some of the greatest singular films of all time. Even the harshest film critics would agree that the original trilogy is a masterpiece. Given, those same critics would give terribly low scores to the prequel trilogy, but even those provide for a great story and a widened mythos that most people take for granted.
Not only is Star Wars a film masterpiece but it is also a big part of the movement towards geek culture. If it wasn't for Star Wars, there wouldn't be a Big Bang Theory. Without Star Wars, Family Guy would be without some of it's better gags and jokes. Star Wars characters have remained some of the most purchased halloween costumes for years and years, as well as being popular amongst cosplayers. It is undeniable that Star Wars is the most popular entity in the science fiction world.
Star Wars has provided the world with one of the greatest, most tragic villains in history (cinema and literature alike).
Darth Vader is a truly important character to film history. Who's heart wasn't broken during the final confrontation between Obi-Wan and Anakin in Revenge of The Sith?
Let's not let Darth Vader completely overshadow the other villains in the series. Palpatine is a truly sinister, manipulative, all around evil character. Darth Sidious and Jaba The Hutt make my skin crawl every time I hear them speak. Boba and Jango Fett are just cool. Darth Maul and General Grievous are huge butt kickers!
Star Wars has also provided us with some of the greatest heroes ever. The list goes on... Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan, Yoda.
Let's also give credit to the lovable (and not so lovable) comedic relief characters in the series. C3PO and R2D2 are classic a example of slapstick comedy. And then there's Jar Jar Binks... Still a classic character no matter what the public consensus on him is (which, I believe, is a little harsh).
Star Wars can also serve as a haven for classic creatures. Chewbacca (Wookies), Eewoks, Jawas, Wampas, Banthas, Taun Tauns, The Sarlacc, Jabba The Hutt, Greedo, and many more.
Many great weapons, technology, and space age vehicle's appear as well. Lightsabers are probably the most popular nerd weapons out there. Then there are the droids (of which General Grievous is not). Then the vehicles: The Millennium Falcon, The Death Star (more of a weapon than a vehicle), X-Wings, AT-AT's... and many more (once again).
Now, let's focus on some of the more cinematic qualities of the films.
Some of the greatest quotes ever: "Use the force", "I love you..... I know", "Luke, I am your father.", "May the force be with you", "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".
Great actors who are famous (mostly) because of these roles: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, James Earl Jones, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, and Liam Neeson. Soon to be many more.
Star Wars is also near the top of the list of greatest soundtracks. The songs from Star Wars are some of the most recognizable in history. Who wouldn't recognize the Main Title theme? What man woman or child couldn't hum along to "The Imperial March"? Plus, that Cantina Scene has some rocking tunes playing during.
Star Wars has also given the world some of the most tragic, tear jerking moments in film history. Watching Obi Wan and Yoda die is hard every single time. Luke's final moments with Darth Vader also comes t mind when pondering sad movie scenes. Let's also not forget the end of Episode 3...
In short... Star Wars is very possibly the most important entity in film. It is also a driving force in pop culture. In fact, pop culture would be drastically different if it weren't for the beauty of Star Wars.