With the highly anticipated The Last Jedi just around the corner, excitement for the illustrious Star Wars franchise is at its peak. The hype was certainly helped by the unforgettable cliff-hanger that ended The Force Awakens; Rey (Daisy Ridley), the heroine of the new trilogy, finally came face to face with the ever iconic and fallen hero Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

The monumental buzz around the Star Wars franchise has drummed up renewed interest in the previous films, and online store Magic Madhouse have decided to delve a little deeper into the franchise. After poring over 15 hours and 40 minutes worth of Star Wars footage, they created Stat Wars, an in-depth exploration of fan favourite statistics throughout the 7 films so far.

Of all the statistics, the differing lengths of the lightsaber battles are perhaps the most remarkable. Lightsabers, of course, play a huge part in the franchise, yet they actually appear a surprisingly small amount throughout the original trilogy.

In A New Hope, the starting point of the whole series, the total lightsaber battles amount to just under two minutes, with a grand total of only 6.41 minutes across the whole original trilogy combined. Conversely, the prequel trilogy that followed went all out on the action, with the length of lightsaber battles adding up to 19.95 minutes - nearly three times the amount! Interestingly, the prequel trilogy wasn't nearly as well received as the original trilogy. This proves a clear point that audiences want more than just flashy effects and excessive CGI'd action — they want character development and, most importantly, a story.

So, how often did each fan favourite character appear in the movies? Stat Wars found that Anakin / Vader took the top spot throughout the franchise overall. While this in itself is not particularly surprising, what is interesting to note is that Darth Vader only appeared in A New Hope for 9.15 minutes. Darth Vader made a huge, instant impact on fans of the first Star Wars film, becoming perhaps the franchises most iconic character — all in under ten minutes! Other notable characters, including Yoda, Chewbacca and R2D2, also came in low on screen time — Yoda with just 37.70 minutes across the 7 movies! This just goes to show that a character doesn't always need the most screen time to become a fan favourite.

Fans of the Star Wars franchise are well acquainted with the idea of "the Force". The word "Force" was used a total of 95 times throughout the series — but how often was "the Force" mentioned in each individual film?

It was found that "the Force" was referenced the most throughout A New Hope, when it was spoken of 21 times. Despite the Force itself coming into play very little throughout A New Hope, it was during this film that audiences were first introduced to the idea; this film explained the Force and cemented it in the minds of the audience, before it featured more prominently in following films. Despite its title, the film with the least reference to the Force was The Force Awakens, during which the words were only uttered a meager 5 times.

"I've got a bad feeling about this" is another iconic phrase throughout the series, expected at least once in each film. Stat Wars highlighted how often the catchphrase was spoken and which characters declared it the most frequently, finding Han Solo on top — he was granted the honour in 3 of the 7 films so far.

Finally, Stat Wars examined the total worldwide box office sales of each film. Unsurprisingly, the revenue has grown with the series. A New Hope made an impressive $786 million back in 1977, but The Force Awakens blew this figure out of the water in 2015, bringing in a staggering $2.05 billion

It is clear that over the past 40 years, the Star Wars series has grown into a true cultural phenomenon. So much so that The Last Jedi barely even needs a trailer or introduction — you just know that it';s going to be a hit. From the return of ever-loved characters, including a final send off for the late and great Carrie Fisher, to the questions of which side of the Force Rey will fall on, Star Wars fans have a whole lot to look forward to come December 15th!