The Obligatory “Star Wars” Post

by Paula Bosse

star-wars_jung_sm“A long time ago, in 1977…” (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The relentless Star Wars promotional onslaught has been upon us for awhile now. I have no idea what episode we’re up to at this point, but let’s look back to overlooked tidbits about that first movie. My favorite is this blurblet, printed in The Dallas Morning News on April 20, 1976 — a full year before the movie was released.

star-wars_dmn_042076_starkiller

“Luke Starkiller” is a great name. Too bad Lucas changed it. Gene Siskel asked him about it in 1983.

star-wars_siskel_FWST_052283

The movie played exclusively at the late, lamented NorthPark I & II; it opened on Friday, May 27, 1977. Lines were around the block. For weeks.

northpark-cinema

star-wars_dmn_052677DMN, May 26, 1977 (click for larger image)

(Did you keep your “free Star Wars buttons”?)

Moviegoers were stunned that the ticket price had been boosted to a then-unheard-of $3.75 (the equivalent of about $14.50 today). As one article explained, “Twentieth-Century Fox takes 90 percent of the gross receipts after deduction of expenses” in exchange for allowing theaters to show the movie. (I wonder how much popcorn was!)

Lastly, a fairly enthusiastic social commentary piece about the movie, written by Dallas Morning News editor and editorial page mainstay William Murchison (in fact, this article appeared on the editorial page of the DMN). I love that the moneyed Murchison likens the exhilaration felt in finally getting into a showing that hadn’t been sold out to “crashing the Astor Ball” and is shocked at the “ungodly” ticket price — “a price that would buy a good Cabernet Sauvignon.”  Even so, he and Lovey apparently were quite taken with the exploits of Mr. Starkiller Skywalker, et al.) (Click for larger image.)

star-wars_murchison_dmn_083077DMN, Aug. 30, 1977

***

“Star Wars” poster by Tom Jung found here.

*

Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements