Famed “Star Wars” and “Empire Strikes Back” producer Gary Kurtz had a few words to say about “Star Wars” being released as a present day film. The title, “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” is a mouthful and a bit lengthy for a cinema marquee, but remember “IV: A New Hope” was added after the initial run by the film from “A Galaxy Far, Far Away . . .” After the box-office success of “Star Wars,” George Lucas changed the title in order to capitalize on his film and turn it into a franchise.
Could a film that succeeded in 1977 be a blockbuster in today’s film market? Kurtz has his doubts.
In an essay to The Guardian, Kurtz wrote:
Could Star Wars happen again today? It’s hard to say because things were so different back then. The biggest difference is that it’s now impossible to keep anything secret because there’s too much information surrounding a film before anyone has even seen it. Even screenplays are published online prior to release.
In 1977, only a few thousand people knew about Star Wars when it first arrived in cinemas, but it spread like wildfire and soon there were queues everywhere. These days you would never see that because everybody gets into the first screening they want to get into, even if the movie is doing really well. Back then a film might open in just a few cinemas nationwide. When I lived in New York we used to drive around and see if there were any queues for the latest [Ingmar] Bergman. If there was nobody outside you wondered if it wasn’t any good.
With leaks coming from crew members, and studio personnel, it is difficult to stop the flow of information. Also, with the advancements in communication technology, spoilers could be leaked within minutes by using cell phones, and instant messaging devices. Would the impact of “Star Wars” still be there? It depends on the movie magic. Lucasfilm pioneered the technological advancements in the special effects department. So, without “Star Wars” there would be no Lucasfilm. Movies such as “E.T.,” “Indiana Jones” (all of them), “Dragonslayer,” “Spaceballs,” “Willow,” would have had to queue up and wait their turn behind “Star Wars.” In other words, they would have never been made without Luke Skywalker and company breaking ground. (Leaving out the Ewoks would be fine.)
Also, movies are in and out of theaters so fast these days, films usually don’t have a chance to build up a proper fan following. They either hit Blu-Ray or Pay-Per-View before the corn in the kettle has had time to pop. Nuke the Fridge is curious to hear your thoughts on this matter. Write us a comment or two.
Sources: Blastr, The Guardian