Star Wars completely re-made the Hollywood landscape after it arrived in theaters in 1977, but it took a little longer for its revolutionary impact to trickle down to other aspects of the movie business… like teaser trailers.
The Star Wars YouTube channel today released the original 1977 teaser that previewed George Lucas’ space adventure to an unsuspecting public. Clearly, audiences were less sophisticated then, but it’s also interesting to see how 20th Century Fox marketed the film early on before it realized exactly what it had on its hands. For starters, there’s no “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” introduction. Instead, a narrator intones, “Somewhere in space, this may all be happening right now.” Present tense, people!
Star Wars technically was “the story of a boy, a girl, and a universe,” as the teaser promised, but you don’t get the impression Lucas himself was in the editing bay putting this together. Perhaps he was busy working on the film’s post-production sound — there’s no John Williams music in the teaser, and Darth Vader simply isn’t as menacing without James Earl Jones’ deep voice. Also, Fox was betting on Chewbacca much more than Han Solo.
Laugh if you want, but you can’t say the trailer wasn’t effective, can you? The movie was a smash from the moment it opened. Watch it below: