Today, May the 4th, is a day all about celebrating Star Wars. But this post is all about another date, May 25, 1977. The day George Lucas’s space opera was first released to the masses, changing countless lives upon its arrival.
A new trailer has been released for 5-25-77, a movie about one movie fan who ended up being one of the first people to see Star Wars. You can read more about it and check out the trailer below.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far awayâ€”or rather, in early-â€™70s Wadsworth, Illinoisâ€”Pat, a teenage geek with a big imagination, devoted his spare time and excess energy to concocting supremely amateur â€œsequelsâ€ to the genre cinema of the day. With his backyard and basement standing in for a Hollywood studio, he set the sights of his Super-8 on his own visions of JAWS, PLANET OF THE APES, DUEL and of course the catalyst for his crazed creativity, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. His best pal Bill doesnâ€™t entirely share his raging passion but heâ€™s perfectly game to have his arm torn off or heart ripped out in the name of homemade sci-fi cinemaâ€”and be Patâ€™s comrade in discovering the delights and disasters of an average adolescentâ€™s life. But such lives, even those in ordinary Wadsworth, have their dramatic defining moments. Patâ€™s arrives in a chance opportunity to visit Hollywood and while there, meet with special effects maestro Douglas Trumbull. Along that path, however, lies a fateful detourâ€¦ an audience with the young, rising director Steven Spielberg, a journey through the guts of Industrial Light & Magic in its infancy, and an encounter with one George Lucas as he manically mixes up a little space-opera movie that would soon shake the foundations of cinematic art and businessâ€¦
Writer and director Patrick Read Johnson made 5-25-77 based on his own life, and it’s a project that has traveled a long road. Johnson began filming it way back in 2004, but struggled to complete it due to a lack of funding. An incomplete version of the movie was shown at Star Wars Celebration IV in 2007 and received positive feedback, and it’s been screened here and there over the years. Johnson even set off on a cross-country road trip on May 25th of 2012 in hopes finding additional funding for the movie—something that was filmed for a documentary titled Hearts of Dorkness.
In 2015 it appeared that the movie was finally ready for a release, but unfortunately that didn’t work out for whatever reason. Some additional filming has since been done, and 5-25-77 was eventually given an official release date: May 25, 2017, 40 years to the day after Star Wars was released and 15 years after filming began.
Johnson’s previous credits include writing DragonHeart and directing Angus, Baby’s Day Out, an episode of the TV series Dinosaurs, and 1990’s Spaced Invaders, which he also penned the screenplay for.