It’s hard to believe now, but back before Star Wars was released, the idea of a science fantasy film in the vein of the old-school serials isn’t one that really spoke to the suits back in the day. Understandably, it was too strange to comprehend, and many worried that audiences just wouldn’t understand this world of pure imagination (and yes, if you’re wondering, I do have Willy Wonka playing in the background right now).
So how do you get audiences on board for a film like this? Well, you create posters that pretty much tell them what they can expect. At least, that was the hope. Actor Mark Hamill recently took to Twitter to show off four concept posters that the marketers were considering to help explain the concept to people.
Check them out.
POSTER CONCEPTS-I could never explain #StarWars to friends before it was released-Here's a few early ideas the marketers considered:
A) Did kids know who Flash & Buck were in '77?
B) Wordy explanation
C/D) A Vision Of A Movie That Must Be Seen To Understand pic.twitter.com/fEophzh5lC
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 26, 2018
The first may be the most effective one, and shows an image of Luke Skywalker with an X-Wing in the background. We see his hands gripping a blaster, and in the negative white space are the words:
“First, Buck Rogers. Then, Flash Gordon. Now, Luke Skywalker. Star Wars. It’ll make you feel like a kid again.”
I almost feel like it’s an ad for Geritol, but I think I can get what they’re going for.
The second poster is less effective. While the composition of the poster is one that’s gone on to be iconic (though this one sports a long-haired Leia, so it’s a bit different), there is some clunky-ass text to the left written by someone with a vendetta against periods.
“In the year 3000, when starships hurtle through the galaxy beyond the speed of light, when mankind knows every alien being in an infinite universe, when a robot is more complex than the human mind that made him, when a billion suns and all their planets are controlled by a single, awesome force, when all the ancient virtues of love and freedom and heroism are being called into question, then and only then, one man will have an epic adventure greater than any man has ever had before and greater than any man will ever have again.”
The next poster is minimal, and shows off the Death Star firing off into the darkness, with the text below it:
“A vision of a world never before seen by man.”
The last poster has wood carving-esque portrayals of the character faces and the Death Star below it.
In their own way, they do kind of get the point across, but I think we can all agree that the end product felt a lot less stiff and “faux literary” than the advertising would let on. It goes to show just how unique it was at the time that its own modern advertising couldn’t capture it.
What do you think of these posters? Sound off down below!
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SOURCE: Mark Hamill