There’s no denying that ‘Star Wars’ changed the game. George Lucas’ tale from a galaxy far far away impacted the lives of countless people that have laid eyes on it since it premiered in 1977. Among those generations are filmmakers that have been influenced by the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo to create stories of their own. However, some get the chance to tell their own personal story of how the trilogy affected their lives by sharing it on the big screen, which is exactly what one filmmaker will do this year… over a decade after shooting the movie.
Back in 2004, Patrick Read Johnson started shooting ‘5-25-77,’ an autobiographical coming of age movie centered on the release of ‘Star Wars.’ But as the film was nearing completion that summer, the production ran out of money and couldn’t continue. Since then, Johnson screened a work-in-progress cut during Star Wars Celebration 2007 and TIFF 2013 and worked hard to find the money to finish his film starring a 19-year-old John Francis Daley of ‘Freaks and Geeks.’ Now after shooting for about 50 days over the course of 10 years, Johnson announced in an interview with Yahoo that his work is complete and will be distributed in theaters and VOD later this year. And while the exact date and distributor has yet to be revealed, the director tells us that it won’t conflict with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’:
“I can tell you that the film will come out in theaters on a significant date. We don’t want to be opportunistic, just celebratory. We don’t want to take the eyes off the big prize [which is Episode VII.]”
Johnson also mentions that fans should look out for “unconventional advertising” that references some of the films mentioned in the movie. But until then, check out the trailer below, followed by a it’s official synopsis:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—or rather, in early-’70s Wadsworth, Illinois—Pat, a teenage geek with a big imagination, devoted his spare time and excess energy to concocting supremely amateur “sequels” 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 ODDYSEY. His best pal Bill doesn’t entirely share his raging passion but he’s perfectly game to have his arm torn off or heart ripped out in the name of homemade sci-fi cinema—and be Pat’s comrade in discovering the delights and disasters of an average adolescent’s life. But such lives, even those in ordinary Wadsworth, have their dramatic defining moments. Pat’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 detour… 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 business…
Are you excited to finally see a completed theatrical cut of ‘5-25-77’? Can you relate to filmmaker Patrick Read Johnson’s story of ‘Star Wars’ having a huge effect on his life? Let us know in the comments.