Friday, 26 October 2018

Screen Scene magazine - where Star Wars sat alongside Logan's Run and The Tomorrow People

The Star Wars poster in Screen Scene issue 5

The 1970s fashion for poster magazines encompassed pretty much every area of popular culture: pop stars, Kung Fu, horror films and, of course, Star Wars.

We've already examined some issues of the Star Wars Official Poster Monthly. Now here's a short look at a one-off edition of a British poster magazine which reminds us of some of the other entertainment that was around at the same time.

Friday, 19 October 2018

What Mark Hamill and Gary Kurtz told science fiction fans about Star Wars in 1976

Charles Lippincott, Gary Kurtz and Mark Hamill promoting Star Wars at MidAmeriCon 1976

In 1976, well before Star Wars was ready for release, a campaign was going on to make science fiction fans aware of it. 

Charles Lippincott, who was in charge of merchandising and publicity for the film, organised convention appearances, at which he or producer Gary Kurtz would explain what the film was about. They would take artwork and information sheets with them and slow slides (yes, slides) to give some idea of the look of the movie.

As I wrote in a blog post at Amazing Stories recently, Gary Kurtz was the face of Star Wars for many fans back then, patiently explaining what the film was about.

One of those appearances is available on video – and it reminds us of a time when pictures from Star Wars seemed weird and exotic, and no one knew quite what the movie would be like.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The Star Wars Official Poster Monthly #3

The fold-out poster in Star Wars
Official Poster Monthly

The words “Giant Darth Vader poster inside” were enough to sell almost any child on issue three of Star Wars Official Poster Monthly.

In the last article (at least for now) about those original 1970s poster magazines, I’ll take a look at articles that ranged from a profile of Han Solo to the very exciting news that we would soon have robot servants.

Friday, 5 October 2018

John Stears: the man who built R2-D2

John Stears with the landspeeder

There are a few Star Wars personnel whose names were mentioned a lot when the film was released, yet who don’t seem to get the attention today. 

One of them is John Stears, the British film industry veteran who was the film’s special production and mechanical effects supervisor. He once described his work on the film as “everything that moves, breaks or falls apart” – including R2-D2, the landspeeder, the garbage masher, and hundreds of other effects.