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Freaks and Geeks and Star Wars… ’77 trailer shows what growing up was like with Wookies on the brain! by COOP

Posted on May 27th, 2009
Posted on May 27th, 2009


My first memories come from 1977 when I was 3.  My first:  An albino crawfish brought in by a classmate’s mother.  My Second:  Seeing “Star Wars” in the theater.  My Third:  Dressing up as Chewbacca that Halloween. 

Younger generations don’t understand how important the original “Star Wars” was to my generation’s childhood.  All boys had “Star Wars” toys and we would brag about how many and which ones we possessed.  At the age when many of you were playing with your Power Rangers and watching “Barney” and those very wrong “Teletubbies;” we’d play “Star Wars” at recess, wear the T-shirts, play the video games (yeah we had them back then), read the “Star Wars” comics and awaited the next sequel.  Even Ronald Regan’s nuclear defense program got dubbed “The Star Wars Program.”  It was infused in our very childhoods and I would’ve been obsessed with it even if it wasn’t the first movie I ever saw in the theater (and it was).  

It was a groundbreaking movie that helped to shape modern cinema and set the tone for action/sci-fi films of the 80’s.  That might be understatement.


Patrick Read Johnson feels the same way about it as I do, except he experienced 1977 while in high school.  His film “’77” (formerly “5-25-77,” the actual release date of “Star Wars”) chronicles his mostly-autobiographical experiences growing up around the phenomenon of this movie.  It’s kind of like “Heathers,” in that the lead male character feels like such an outcast, he must unite all of his classmates in order to achieve an acceptable adolescence.  Instead of a mass-murder of his school made to look like an unprecedented suicide pack (like in “Heathers”), he tries to get all of his classmates to see “Star Wars” so that they’ll finally understand him and why he’s so passionate about film.  What better way to unite youth than by enjoying one of the most commercially successful popcorn flicks of all time?  Why would they resist?

To understand, you have to realize the films of 70’s were dark, bleak, slow, cerebral and very adult to reflect the country’s feelings after losing Vietnam.  It wasn’t until “Star Wars” (and “Jaws” for the brave viewers) that people started seeing cinema as a fun, exciting, family-going experience again.  “’77” looks to express that time period and sentiment through lighthearted, nostalgic comedy.

Word has it that Johnson refuses to release the film until he’s sure the tone is 100% pitch-perfect, so no telling when we will get a release date, but from the trailer…  so far so good. 

It stars that little kid from “Freaks and Geeks” all grown up.  What’s his name?  Mumbly Joe?  Whatever, I’m looking forward to this more than George Lucas’s long-awaited “Star Wars” live-action TV series.  If only we had faith in that guy again. 

Trailer for “’77”!!!


-Coop

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