A big hit out of ’77.

§ May 4th, 2020 § Filed under star wars § 8 Comments

Why yes indeedy, it is May the 4th, the EDIT: observed anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars to theaters back in the long-ago mostly plague-free times of 1977. “May the Fourth Be With You” as the fans say in that attempted-to-be-legally-claimed-by-Disney catchphrase we all know in love.

Anyway, The Star Wars has been a big part of my life since I saw that first film back in 1977 at the age of 8. While I’d already been reading comics here and there prior to that (along with reading anything else I could get my hands on), it was Star Wars that got me attempting to purposefully follow a specific title issue by issue, month by month. I mean, I cheated a little, I got the first six issues (adapting the movie) in those three-packs, and I may have even bought 7-9 in a three-pack as well. But I was checking the spinner-racks and whathaveyou on a regular basis, looking for anything new that was Star Warsian. And of course, in the process, I started checking out other comics as well.

So anyway, it’s pretty safe to say that you can draw a straight line from that initial viewing of Big George’s Sci-Fi Puppet Show and Toy Rocket Extravaganza to me owning a comic shop and spending afternoons bagging up old issues of X-O Manowar. Everything I am now can pretty much be pinned on that movie, and possibly also my inability to get a real job, BUT MOSTLY THE MOVIE.

If you have the Disney+, I hope you’re watching the last season of The Clone Wars, probably one of the best bits of ancillary storytelling to arise out of the Star Wars merchandise-verse. I remember long ago on this blog writing that I not terribly impressed with the very first installment of this end of the franchise, the Clone Wars “movie” (actually several episodes glued together), and I was right to not be impressed because it wasn’t very good. But the series that followed really embraced the movie-serial origins of Star Wars and was enormous fun. Right now the series is coming to its conclusion, and is in fact overlapping events from Revenge of the Sith. Very dark and interesting and almost improves the Prequel Trilogy with its existence.

And of course there’s The Mandalorian on Disney+, surrounded by lots of “Baby Yoda” hype but is a very stripped-down, “earthy” (if you’ll pardon the expression) vision of the Star Wars universe. We’ve got that Obi-Wan series coming eventually, despite some apparent production troubles, and a proposed new film trilogy by Last Jedi‘s Rian Johnson, not to mention all the tie-i comics and novels and other storytelling sources. There is literally too much Star Wars media than I can consume, but don’t tell that 8-year-old me sitting in a theater in 1977 about to watch that film for the third time…he’d never believe that there would ever be such a thing as “Too Much Star Wars.”

ADDENDUM TO THE EDIT: Was informed that May 25th is in fact the actual release date for Star Wars in ’77, and “May the Fouth” became the observed date because, well, you know. Ah well, I apologize for my mistake. At least we’ll always have Greedo shooting first.

8 Responses to “A big hit out of ’77.”

  • “Big George’s Sci-Fi Puppet Show and Toy Rocket Extravaganza” is how I will refer to the entire SW franchise from now on.

    Hope you’re feeling well!

  • David Thiel says:

    Okay, I was going to let this May 4th go by without comment, but…

    May 25, 1977 was the date “Star Wars” (no episode number, nor a bloody “New Hope”) was released.

    May 4th is a corporate holiday based on a pun.

    I am all for having a “Star Wars Day,” but it herds my nerfs that there’s an ideal May day for it, but they went with the pun.

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    Somewhere, some Roy Thomas-type is working on a Crisis In Infinite Galaxies (Forcepoint?) that would attempt to reconcile all the Star Wars comics, comics strips, holiday specials, droid cartoons, and extended universe novels with the newer Disney canon.

  • Ca says:

    I saw it in the ’78 release at the tender age of 6. It blew my little mind.

  • King of the Moon says:

    the first Star Wars is my earliest memory of being back in the USA after getting out of Tehran before it got REALLY nuts

    5 years old and in the theater getting my mind blown

    Reliving that movie over and over by playing it out with my cousins (one of whom is a scifi writer and writes bad ass women pilots as revenge for us never letting her be Han Solo)

    And then the early 90’s in college when bonding with friends over worn VHS tapes because no one was into Star Wars at the time and there was this window when there was no new Star Wars content.

  • jmurphy says:

    “LOOK, JUST GO READ THE ENTIRE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE ON…” Star Wars Day, dagnabbit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Day

  • John Lancaster says:

    I saw Star Wars at the Drive-In on a double bill with The Island of Dr. Moreau – and Star Wars was the SECOND movie. Our local exhibitors didn’t have a lot of faith in that “little sci-fi movie”, but by God, Burt Lancaster and Micheal York could sell some tickets!

  • Brian says:

    I suddenly feel a bit young, having been born just too late to see the originals in the theater (I got the RotJ toys as an excited three-year old, but only saw the films themselves in the initial VHS release).

    “But the series that followed really embraced the movie-serial origins of Star Wars and was enormous fun. Right now the series is coming to its conclusion, and is in fact overlapping events from Revenge of the Sith. Very dark and interesting and almost improves the Prequel Trilogy with its existence.”

    That’s my thought exactly on Clone Wars. Where it didn’t start off great (I got into it later and caught up), it ended up figuring out what it wanted to do and what it wanted to fill in very well. I think, in particular, the show’s development of the clones as (increasingly distinct) individuals was something that improved greatly upon the “twenty minutes of identical organic practically-droids in stormtrooper armor” we saw in the prequels — seeing Order 66 take over the minds of actual characters we’d grown to know (and realize what was happening to others likewise developed) added an extra layer of true horror that the expected-by-plot betrayal of the Jedi (as powerful a moment in RotS it is) doesn’t quite have.