With this morning”s announcement of the 2016 Academy Award nominations, “Star Wars” tied “The Lord of the Rings” for the movie series with the most Oscar nods. “Star Wars” almost passed the Middle-earth trilogy, but not quite.
Stop, Gandalf, it”s no use. With “Star Wars” movies hitting theaters every year in our foreseeable future, the franchise of a galaxy far, far away is bound to pass up “Lord of the Rings” nominations total soon enough.
But for now, each franchise holds 30 nominations. (And that”s only counting “LotR,” not the three “Hobbit” films – if you include “Hobbit,” the movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien”s books have 38 Oscar nominations.) That tally of 30 also includes three special achievement awards for “Star Wars.”
Many of these movies” nominations in their respective years have been technical awards. But the first films in each series scored acting nominations for their grey-haired wise and powerful men – Alec Guinness earned an Oscar nom for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi for the 1978 Oscars. And Ian McKellen”s performance as Gandalf the Grey was nominated by the Academy for the 2002 awards.
As far as wins go, “Star Wars” has a lot of catching up to do. The three “Lord of the Rings” films have a collective 17 statuettes – including 11 from the sweep at the 2004 Oscars for “Return of the King.” The first three “Star Wars” movies collected nine (again, including three special achievement awards). The makers of the prequel trilogy went home each Oscar night with no statuettes.
Will “The Force Awakens” pick up any wins? We”ll find out on Sunday, February 28 when the Oscars are telecast on ABC.