This year was the year when Ronald Reagan became the 40th president of the United States and the second instalment of the Original Star Wars Trilogy hits the theatres. Anticipation was high, but the reputation of sequels wasn’t very good at the time. The world was in for a big surprise when The Empire Strikes Back turned out to be a better movie than the first feature. By 1980 Star Wars had cemented itself firmly into popular culture and Star Wars was everywhere. Even kiddie shows like Sesame Street wanted some of the popular sci-fi action an when the second movie turned out to be a bigger success than the first one it became clear that Star Wars was here to stay.
January 16: Mark Hamill guest stars on The Muppet Show, directed by Peter Harris. Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew also star in the episode as C-3PO, R2-D2 and Chewbacca. In the episode Kermit has booked Angus McGonagle, the argyle gargoyle who gargles Gershwin. But at the start of the show, the cast of Star Wars — Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2 smash through the wall, looking for Chewbacca. Kermit is thrilled to have them on his show, until he finds out that they won’t actually perform anything.
Luke mollifies Kermit by bringing in his “cousin”, Mark Hamill — but when Kermit sees Mark sing and dance, he throws him out. Finally, the Star Wars crew hijacks the Swinetrek. With First Mate Piggy subbing in as Princess Leia, they face Dearth Nadir (Gonzo) who is holding Chewbacca prisoner.
This poster was painted by Roger Kastel, the man who painted the world famous Jaws poster. Based on the 1967 re-release poster for Gone with the Wind which was painted by Tom Jung who also painted the Style A One-Sheet poster for Star Wars. This poster must be my personal favourite from the whole Star Wars Saga. It is old-school, old Hollywood and a perfect complement to the best movie of the Saga.
Published by Lucasfilm licensee George Fenmore Associates and sold in theatre lobbies, the Star Wars souvenir program has cover art featuring ons of Tom Jung’s posters and 18 pages of information about the production, cast and characters.
“Don’t be alarmed. It’s only a movie!”
Listen to the 1977 Star Wars Radio Commercials. These rather dry commercials don’t convey the excitement the movie has and seem rather odd listening to them today. After all, Star Wars became the biggest movie blockbuster of all time.