With indelible characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo and R2D2, George Lucas’s “Star Wars” hit theaters on May 25, 1977, and the world of pop culture would never be the same. The phenomenal success of the film has created an industry that includes books, toys, clothing and much more, in addition to a series of monster hit movies. Looking back on the movie’s beginnings in this report, “Star Wars” aficionado Aaron Nicewonger relates how initial doubt about the film’s chances for success allowed Lucas to retain a large percent of the merchandising for the film, making him wealthy when the movie was a hit.
Comic book writer Roy Thomas of St. Matthews tells how Lucas approached him about proposing a Star Wars comic book to Marvel Comics, another wildly successful enterprise that ended up, some say, saving Marvel from bankruptcy. Both men agree that no one could have foreseen the unprecedented success of “Star Wars,” but they’ll be in their seats when the next installment of the movie opens in theaters in December.