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Friday, 22 April 2011

FLASHBACK: CELEBRATING THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF "STAR WARS"


John Alvin's spirited poster leads the Tenth Anniversary celebration charge for STAR WARS.

With the apparently imminent news from REED of their CELEBRATION VI convention, presumably planned for 2012 (the Thirty Fifth anniversary of the original STAR WARS, the Tenth for EPISODE II and the Fifth of THE CLONE WARS), there will soon be lots for fans to celebrate and for costume fans to get into their best Stormtrooper and Jedi outfits for!

Until then, however, I thought it might be nice to go back in time and do a mini flashback to 1987 and the very first major anniversary event of any kind linked to STAR WARS: the Tenth Anniversary. The period of STAR WARS inactivity between the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI in 1983 and the re-invigorated interest in the saga with Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy books in 1991 may have been a long one, but this bright spark of joy was the first signpost for a great many ambitious things to come.

As well as interview footage from the time, enclosed are some nice images and info on merchandise and events linked to that great and memorable year which was well celebrated by STAR WARS fans in the US.

Enjoy the CBS FOX VHS tape release celebration trailer: YouTube - Star Wars: The First Ten Years 1977-1987 Trailer

A Tenth Anniversary feature on US TV: YouTube - Star Wars Feature - Today Show 1987
Celebration 0: The Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention | StarWars.com

Surely the highlight of the year had to be the massive STARLOG magazine organised convention-A Tenth Anniversary Tribute to STAR WARS and George Lucas- which took place in Los Angeles during the weekend of 24th May 1987, and saw participation not only from many of the films luminary behind the scenes talent and cast, but also had a very rare appearance from Lucas himself, who talked at length to the 9,000 plus fans crammed into the auditorium about the saga-past, present and future- and answered questions from the audience. Darth Vader returned, voiced by James Earl Jones, and he would also prior introduce Lucas's appearance on stage (check out this brilliant clip:  YouTube - REAL Darth Vader Standup Intro To George Lucas).

The much missed UK magazine STARBURST magazine had several reporters covering this historic and much beloved event. Check out this PDF for more information:STAR WARS 10TH ANNIV

If anyone out there has any further specific memories of the event, or has additional pics/info, please share them with us. And, beyond the US, if anyone else celebrated the Tenth Anniversary in their own countries please get in touch and tell us about it -we'd love to hear from you...

The lovely limited edition FIRST TEN YEARS poster.
The distinctive Vader cover for the then new OMNIBUS edition of the movie adaptations.
The limited edition BLACKTHORNE PUBLISHING three part STAR WARS 3-D comic, with a story written by comics legend Len Wein, and inside art drawn by Patrick Zircher.
Limited edition badge pin utilizing character drawings first done for JEDI in 1983
STARLOG magazine celebrated the saga in style with a fantastic special issue, packed with rare photos, artwork and behind the scenes info and quotes.
They also produced this lovely brochure for a special celebration convention that year which saw guests from the films and behind the scenes mix with the fans for a memorable event.
A look inside the brochure which contained may personal tributes from STAR WARS cast and crew members, as well as rare photos and then previously unpublished B/W artwork from EMPIRE's Vader/Luke duel by Ralph McQuarrie.

A selection of guests who attended the event, including George Lucas and Irvin Kershner, Peter Mayhew, Gary Kurtz and Charles Lippincott, Anthony Daniels signing for the fans and Ralph McQuarrie.

Back in his Threepio costume, Anthony Daniels (with Artoo), and George Lucas toast and unveil the enormous Tenth Anniversary card signed by the fans for the event. Image: Dan Madsen
When Great Makers meet! STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry makes a surprise appearance on stage and congratulates Lucas on the creation of the STAR WARS universe. Image: Dan Madsen

Celebration 0: The Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention | StarWars.com
Starlog Salutes Star Wars: A Look Back | StarWars.com

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