Generally, I think of the “Star Wars” movies in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a symptom of the decline of futurism in the neoliberal era (1973-present). The original movie, “A New Hope,” (1977) or “Star Wars: Episode IV,” managed to anticipate the Carter administration’s revival of the Cold War by a year or two, and its notion of the “evil empire” fit Cold War rhetoric as was to be later popularized by Carter and even more so by Reagan. In my own experience, “Star Wars” was a fantasy addition to the science fiction I used to read when I was a teenager in the 1970s. At some point in that earlier time I lost hope that space opera movies could be even half as good as written space operas such as what you could read in magazines such as Analog or Galaxy or even Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy and Science Fiction.
If future historians bother to read, they will discover that the actual Cold War period (1946-1991) also produced a treasure trove of science fiction, much of which deserved (and still deserves) to be adapted to film.