(I had four teeth pulled this morning, so there's no way on Earth I'm going to get much done in any sort of creative capacity today. At best, I can meander further down Memory Lane on the subject that's been close at hand lately.)
For the three or four youngsters who might be reading this, 1977 was a different time for movies. There were no nationwide releases, except for the very biggest films. As no one expected Star Wars to do well, it opened in only a few theaters, and then, as the critical acclaim hit, spread out across the country. It took until July to open in San Antonio (my hometown), and the anticipation was sheer murder. For weeks all I knew about it was little bits gleaned from the trailers and a review Gene Shalit did on "The Today Show" that contained a two minute clip of the Falcon vs TIE Fighters sequence, with hardly any context.
Finally, the week before it opened, my local newspaper started serializing a condensed version of the novel (newspapers actually used to do this, or at least the San Antonio Express-News did, as I remember reading several books that way). Over the course of that week, I got my first indoctrination into Star Wars, along with a few still photos. So, I actually read it before I saw it. In doing so, I got a few things wrong. For instance, I thought Darth Vader's last name (I never assumed his first name was anything but Darth) was pronounced Vah-der, instead of Vay-der. I also thought there was a long i in Wookiee, like Woo-KY-ee.
The other truth of movies back in 1977 was, without a video market, movies stayed in the theaters for months on end if they were making money. My second viewing of "Star Wars" was for my younger brothers' birthday, six months later, and the film hadn't left the theater. The following summer saw it re-released. Of course, by that time, we'd been inundated with stuff. My brothers and I had action figures (sadly, our cloth-robed Jawa is lost to the sands of time, but I still have my Han Solo). They had bedsheets (which my son now sleeps on occasionally). We staged massive lightsaber battles in the back yard using the plastic tubes stolen out of my Dad's golf bad. And, on the gaming end, I had my little rules-hacked together Jedi vs. Stormtroopers game. I'm pretty sure I let the Jedi throw fireballs, since there was nothing in the established canon that said they couldn't.
My son just turned eleven. To say he's a fan of the franchise would be a bit of an understatement. Of course, the stuff he loves is largely the kung fu Jedi, the Clone Troopers, and the droids that try to kill them. Thanks to this interest, we have a decently little accumulation of stuff from WoTC's minis game (which is a decent little skirmish game). With the death of WoTC's Star Wars license, I've been finding booster packs at Target for cheap. I wonder if the secondary market has declined any, because I wouldn't mind a few dozen more Stormtroopers.
If one were doing a Star Wars game with limited canon, would the Holiday Special be part of that canon? Discuss.