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Meet the First Person Who Realized Star Wars Would Change the World

Illustration for article titled Meet the First Person Who Realized iStar Wars/i Would Change the World

We’re mere weeks from a new Star Wars movie, and excitement is in the air. Although it’s easy to romanticize the humble origins of one of the most iconic movie franchises in history, what people thinking in the run up to the original Star Wars film? Well, reading this recently discovered Fox studio memo might help you find out.

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Written nearly 40 years ago to the day, the recently unearthed telegram was written by Fox’s VP of Domestic Distribution, Peter S. Myers, to his colleagues before they broke up for the Thanksgiving holiday in 1976—and one of the first people outside of those close to the making of the movie who realised just how special the film was going to be. Even six months before Star Wars was released, Myers’ excitement is palpable:

Illustration for article titled Meet the First Person Who Realized iStar Wars/i Would Change the World
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Illustration for article titled Meet the First Person Who Realized iStar Wars/i Would Change the World
Illustration for article titled Meet the First Person Who Realized iStar Wars/i Would Change the World
Illustration for article titled Meet the First Person Who Realized iStar Wars/i Would Change the World

It’s all wonderfully prescient in hindsight, considering we know how it all played out—hell, how it’s all still playing out—but it’s hard not to draw parallels to Myers’ eager desire to let people know about Star Wars with what we’re experiencing now, exactly three weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters. All this time has passed in between the first and seventh Star Wars films—but that anticipation and excitement has never died.

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[Via StarWars.com]

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DISCUSSION

I would say Alan Ladd jr., the executive who greenlit the thing, was the first to know. When other executives were like, “Why are we spending ten million dollars on this thing?” he was all, “Because it will be the finest motion picture ever made.”

This memo is important, though, for putting to rest the myth that Star Wars was a complete underdog that the studio did not believe in. Somewhat true during filming when it was running over budget, not at all true as it came closer to release.