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Friday, 30 November 2018

The OTHER films of 1977: Star Wars vs Sorcerer

A poster for Sorcerer, 1977



It had a bigger budget than Star Wars, bigger advertising, a bigger-name director and a big star. But William Friedkin’s Sorcerer flopped when it edged its way onto movie screens on June 24 1977, as Star Wars fever was taking hold of America.

In the latest of my occasional series of posts about the other films of 1977, here’s a look at a movie that some have belatedly hailed as a masterpiece.

Friday, 23 November 2018

When was the title Star Wars devised? It’s earlier than you might think

The title Star Wars as it appears in the film

Apart from its virtues as a film, Star Wars had one of the best titles ever to grace a movie.  But it could just as easily have been called The Adventures of Luke Starkiller

Today, we’re looking at the origins of the title Star Wars – and, at the same time, the meeting at Cannes that set George Lucas’s idea on the way to becoming reality.

Friday, 16 November 2018

40 years on: the animated sequence of the Star Wars Holiday Special

The Star Wars Holiday Special animated segment



This Saturday, November 17, it's 40 years since the Star Wars Holiday Special, probably the strangest event in Star Wars history.

There’s plenty to mock in the special. I’ve indulged in that mockery myself in posts here and here. We can deride the domestic life of Chewbacca’s comedy, some painful comedy shtick, Princess Leia’s musical tribute to the wookiee holiday Life Day, and Luke Skywalker’s bizarre hair and make-up, to begin with. 



But in the blessed spirit of Life Day, perhaps let’s look at one aspect of the special that has been relatively-kindly received 
– its animated sequence.

Friday, 9 November 2018

The commercials in the Star Wars Holiday Special



An ad for Kenner Star Wars toys during
The Star Wars Holiday Special on CBS


On November 17, it will be time to celebrate – if that's the word – the 40th anniversary of The Star Wars Holiday Special.

I've looked before at its most excruciating moments (in a two-part blog post here and here). I've also tried to appreciate the things a young viewer in the 1970s might have loved about it (which only took one post).

In recent times, someone has posted all the commercials from a recording of the Holiday Special, and I think they deserve a post of their own. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

Some unsung heroes of the 1977 Star Wars



The Star Wars effects team receive their Oscars from Joan Fontaine


When you read original, 1970s coverage of Star Wars, you come across a few names which are rarely mentioned today.

On the other hand, there are a few people who were not named much at the time, but who we later discovered to have been a key part of the film's success.