How could it possibly be thirty years since Star Wars made its theatrical debut?
It's hard to explain to kids who've grown up with the clockwork regularity of summer blockbusters what it was like back in the spring of 1977 when Star Wars burst onto the scene.
Sure, Steven Spielberg's Jaws was a sort of "blockbuster prototype", in that it was a movie that had much of the older youth culture all abuzz. However, since it was rated R, those of us under 17 weren't part of the equation (this was back when more parents banned their kids from R movies).
No, it wasn't until Star Wars that a movie truly became a tsunami-like "pop cultural event"...made even more remarkable in that Star Wars had nothing close to the marketing juggernaut behind it that modern blockbusters enjoy. It just kind of... showed up.
In fact, the first time I recall Star Wars popping up on my own radar was when I caught a glimpse of the first Star Wars comic book at the local newsstand (above). I still recall being intrigued by the cover (and the title), but I'd already busted my modest comics budget, so I passed it by. A few weeks later, the Star Wars buzz had trickled down to the "ten year-old boy" level and, one parental escort to the movie theatre later, my friends and I were ready for...well...we had no idea.
Needless to say, Star Wars completely blew my mind, starting with the (literally) jaw-dropping opening scene. I still remember that massive, unending Star Destroyer flying overhead and a guy in the theatre blurting out "Holy S#@%!"....which was pretty much what everyone was thinking. I think that's when it dawned on me that...somehow...everything had changed.
Happy 30th, Star Wars! Although creator George Lucas went on to make some pretty bizarre decisions in the years since , he absolutely nailed it with Star Wars (and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back).