The Making of Star Wars As Told by C-3PO & R2-D2: The First-Ever Documentary on the Film (1977)

The Earth, it seems, has only one truly unlimited resource: enthusiasm for Star Wars. Not even The Phantom Menace, the derision magnet that opened the film series’ newer trilogy, made a serious dent in our reserves. But did everyone who got together in the 1970s to make the very first Star Wars movie, from George Lucas on down the chain of command, understand how deep a vein of fandom they had drilled into? The Making of Star Wars, a 1977 documentary on that beloved space opera-turned-cultural phenomenon, will give you some idea.

Now that Star Wars has generated such a universe, if you like, of supplementary content, one more 50-minute behind-the-scenes special might strike you as no great shakes. But when The Making of Star Wars appeared in ’77, it appeared as the first documentary about Star Wars ever. And it has much higher ambitions than the average promotional short of the day, featuring not only cast and crew interviews but segments on the (decidedly pre-CGI) effects technology employed in the production.

Even the most dedicated Star Wars buffs will still find material of interest here, including footage that never made it into the picture’s theatrical cut, and footage reintroduced into 1997’s revamped “Special Edition” of the original trilogy but altered with CGI (another drain on several generation’s Star Wars love). But many of us will watch The Making of Star Wars on one of its strengths alone: C-3PO and R2-D2 host the whole thing. Could even those precision-engineered droids have foreseen the thunderous reception that has met this year’s brand new teasers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

The Making of Star Wars is a candidate for our list of Free Online Documentaries, a subset of our collection, 285 Free Documentaries Online.

via Mental Floss

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Watch the Very First Trailers for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi (1976-83)

Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers Break Down Star Wars as an Epic, Universal Myth

Hundreds of Fans Collectively Remade Star Wars; Now They Remake The Empire Strikes Back

Fans Reconstruct Authentic Version of Star Wars, As It Was Shown in Theaters in 1977

Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in CinemaFollow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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