Celebrating Star Wars Day by Looking Back at Where it All Began

On May 25, 1977 a cultural phenomenon was launched when the very first Star Wars opened in theaters. Today we celebrate Star Wars Day and say “May the Fourth be With You.” Get it? May the Fourth on May 4? Celebrating Star Wars Day has not always been. I was looking around YouTube and found some fun videos from back in the day when the original trilogy came out. I thought it would be fun, on this day to share a few of the videos I thought were kind of cool. What I love about them is that you get to see Star Wars develop as they went along. In some of the interviews you’ll hear things that probably won’t get told in the 2000’s as the story of Star Wars has unfolded. So, let’s use this Throwback Thursday to go back to the late 70’s/80’s.

Y’all, this was really cool. It’s all the original trailers for the original trilogy. The first half of this video is all Star Wars: Episode IV. It is kind of funny to watch these commercials because there are only slight variations for some of them. So, if you get tired of the commercials for the original Star Wars and want to move on, skip to around the middle and Empire Strikes Back commercials will appear. One thing that is very fascinating is that Star Wars: Episodes IV and V were all released before VHS and home video. So, back in the day, they would release movies in the theaters for an initial run and them bring them back later. You see this in these commercials. In our video on demand world, this concept seems foreign. It really makes you appreciate the fact that we can watch Star Wars anytime we want.

This is just the original trailer for Star Wars back in 1977!

The success of the original Star Wars lead to this made for TV documentary with 3-3PO and R2-D2 as the hosts. For those that think George Lucas has stayed with an original blueprint for the entire run of Star Wars first 6 movies, guess again. You’ll see in some of the footage here that there are changes he made as he went along. I love watching this footage from the 1970’s. It’s so retro!

I love, love, love these interviews with Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford on a show called the Mike Douglas Show. Given the questions about the success of Star Wars, this was done after Star Wars had premiered. Most of the video is an interview with Carrie Fisher. The guys come on in the second half of the video.

This interview with Mark Hamill on the old Johnny Carson Show is so much fun.

I even found this interview with the original Obi Wan Kenobi himself…Sir Alec Guinness! There’s a funny story about him making 2 1/4% of the first Star Wars gross earnings and how it got to be 2 1/4%.

I love this interview with Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill from 1980. This one contains Mark telling us information about how the pre-quells had been planned way back then. Although, he has Luke Skywalker being age 5 or 6 in Episode III. Again, another example of how the plans George Lucas had for Star Wars were constantly evolving.

This video has 2 interviews from before Return of the Jedi. The first one is with Carrie Fisher and the second with Mark Hamill. Both are with David Letterman. Notice, David Letterman refers to the third Star Wars movie as Revenge of the Jedi and gets corrected. This is because the original name for Episode VI was Revenge of the Jedi. I, myself, still have some things I got as part of a Star Wars club with Revenge of the Jedi on it.

I thought it would be appropriate to close this post out with the Path of the Jedi film that has been showing at Disneyland since they started Season of the Force in Tomorrowland. This film is meant to bring us up to The Force Awakens. I love this film and how it spins the whole Star Wars story together from all 6 films. Enjoy! May the Fourth be With You!

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