Today marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope being released in theaters, and to celebrate, GIPHY has created an entire hub dedicated to hi-res GIFs from every Star Wars movie.
Although Star Wars GIFs on the site aren’t overly new, these were specifically created by the team at Lucasfilm in collaboration with GIPHY. That means the footage being used to create the GIFs is high quality and the captions that scroll across the bottom of each GIF fit perfectly. Another advantage to the hub is the organization of GIFs. Each movie, character and theme is broken down into its own subsection on the Star Wars page.
It’s not entirely similar, but the new Star Wars Giphy page is reminiscent of Frinkiac, the website that generates scenes from any episode of The Simpsons and lets users add corresponding quotes to share online. It’s a tidier way for fans to quickly search for the exact moment they’re looking for, with the text already attached.
This isn’t to say that Star Wars GIFs couldn’t be found beforehand. A search for “Star Wars” on GIPHY leads to 38,968 results. This includes, however, Star Wars parodies, YouTube videos about Star Wars, celebrities wearing Star Wars apparel and, most notably, incredibly low-res GIFs that make it nearly impossible to decipher what the GIF even is.
For example, here’s Han Solo’s iconic “I know” scene from Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back. The first GIF is from the Star Wars channel and the second is a random upload from a GIPHY user.
Star Wars isn’t the first official brand to get its own channel on GIPHY, either. The website teamed up with the NBA and Game of Thrones to offer hi-res GIFs for people who want to share specific moments on social media. Alex Leibsohn, Giphy’s COO, told Engadget last year that partnering with brands, athletic leagues and studios has been a part of the company’s goal since it started.
If we're talking about GIFs being elemental pieces of culture, all of those cultural moments are going to come from folks who are building high-end content. From day one we started working with every major movie studio, TV network, production company, music label and most of the sports leagues. We wanted to make sure the content was new and high fidelity and that it represents the brand and equity they want. As a result everyone has Game of Thrones GIFs, best plays from the NBA and the newest Rihanna video. These big pieces of culture turn into language when you chop them up into little pieces.
Star Wars and Game of Thrones may be some of the biggest entertainment brands to get their own GIPHY pages, but it’s likely just a matter of time before Marvel and DC join, too.