Friday, May 25, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Special - part 25

Today, "Star Wars" turns 30. This poster, marking its first anniversary, was distributed to movie theaters which had been showing "Star Wars" continually for a year since it's release. I love this poster, and wish I owned it. My goal was to update it using the same characters, but from the modern line of action figures instead. Alas, a shortage of free time has kept me from doing so.

There are other "Star Wars" birthdays this weekend, but before I get to them, first a belated birthday to Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, who is looking more and more like his fuzzy alter ego as this recent photo demonstrates. I meant to post this on May 19th, when Mayhew turned 63, but somehow didn't.

This weekend also marks the birthdays of two of my favorite stars of horror films of the late 50s-mid 70s; two men who were also close friends.

Tomorrow is the birthday of the late Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin in "Star Wars" and an even more villainous Dr. Frankenstein in numerous movies produced by legendary Hammer Studios. Cushing was born May 26, 1913 and died on August 11, 1994.

Cushing's great friend and frequent co-star is Christopher Lee, who was born on May 27, 1922 (sharing his birthday with legendary horror actor Vincent Price 5/27/11-10/25/93) and has been experiencing a tremendous surge in his career, including a role as Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus in "Star Wars - Episode II: Attack of the Clones" and "Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."

In August 1978, "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine ran this notorious, and misleading cover, though with the accurate promise of an interview with Christopher Lee in which he discussed the movie "Star Wars." "Famous Monsters" was not immune to the "Star Wars" craze, much to the chagrin of its more traditional monster fans, broadly proclaiming even the slightest inclusion of anything "Star Wars" related on its covers. The writing was on the wall. The second wave of the monster boom, which peaked in the early half of the 1970s, and already starting to die down by the time "Star Wars" came out was now put to an end, replaced by wookiees and droids.

Here is the complete article in which Christopher Lee offers his thoughts on "Star Wars."


Miss Cellania said...

My contribution to the anniversary is an article where a dozen writers share their memories of the first time they saw Star Wars.

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of Star Wars Celebration IV, some of South Florida's biggest Star Wars fans gathered to say "Happy Birthday" to the original film. You can check them out here .

Feel free to share it with fellow Star Wars fans or add a link to your Web site.

Kate Diaz

Robert Pope said...

That "Jaws VS. Ape" cover made me laugh, even back then. Exactly how big IS that shark? About the size of a blue whale, I'd guess...

Todd Franklin said...

Great post! Looks like great minds think alike as I made a cake and made a poster for the 30th inspired by the first cake poster. Happy SW Day John! It's been a fun!