Once upon a time, before fan communities, forums, movie websites like this one and the internet itself, audiences didn't know everything about a movie before they saw it. Chances are you hadn't seen countless previews and TV spots or read a lot of articles prior to seeing a movie, as the information you had to go on was limited and might have only been one trailer or a poster. So selling a movie to audiences was a different exercise, and when something new and original came along, there was a need to explain it to audiences. That was the case with some early concept posters for Star Wars shared by Mark Hamill. Check them out below:
These are some neat posters, and it's cool of Mark Hamill to share them on Twitter. It's so strange to think now, when we are discussing how much Star Wars is too much, that there was ever a time when this franchise needed to be explained to people in specific terms because it was such a different and unknown commodity. The concept poster with Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker comparing him to other serial sci-fi icons is especially fun. It's a great poster and quite ironic to look at now.
This poster used space opera figures Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon as a point of reference for this new hero Luke Skywalker, indicating that he was cut from the same cloth and that if you liked those properties, you would like Star Wars. Of course it is well known that George Lucas made Star Wars after he failed to secure the rights to make his own Flash Gordon movie. Nowadays there's a good chance that the majority of people have never heard of those two, especially Buck Rogers, but everyone knows who Luke Skywalker is.
These posters are especially interesting in that they are trying to explain Star Wars to people, but at least to me, they completely fail to capture what it is at all. I have to wonder if the marketing folks had seen the movie yet. It was very much a space opera with many influences that combined to form something unique that defies these simple descriptions and comparisons. The wordy explanation poster is especially funny as it seems to basically be saying 'this is epic' with a bunch of words that don't really tell us anything about the movie, other than that it is set in the year 3000. I guess this was before 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.'
The same goes for the two posters with 'A Vision Of A World Never Before Seen By A Man', which tells you nothing, but they do sell you on the fact that you've never seen anything like this before and it's going to blow your mind. While these posters were just concepts, they are cool-looking and are part of a long and storied tradition of great posters in this franchise.