Celebrate 40 Years of Star Wars with Skywalking Through Neverland

It was 40 years ago, May 25, 1977 that a film called Star Wars opened across America on just 32 screens. Four decades later we celebrate this milestone anniversary on our Star Wars and Disney podcast, Skywalking Through Neverland! As tour guides through fandom, my co-host/ wife Sarah, and I bring our listeners (or as we call them call them, Skywalkers) on a weekly adventure discovering new stories from creators and fans all over the world! On 5/24/17 we will release Episode 170 featuring a discussion with Gary Kurtz, the producer of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.

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Star Wars fandom has changed so much over this time that I keep imagining what would happen if a Marty McFly-type kid ever traveled back in time to 1977 and told eight year old me that I would someday be involved in a computer radio show where I get to talk with those involved in the films. A fandom where I get to take such a creative and influential part? My head would have exploded like the planet of Alderaan (sorry if I don’t consider that a spoiler since the film has been out for 40 years)! Then again if 20th Century Fox were told by the same Marty McFly-type kid how Star Wars would change generations to come they wouldn’t have tried to bury the film in its line-up of upcoming movies of 1977. Fox had such little faith in this science-fiction movie about aliens, robots and this thing called The Force that theaters did not even have a movie poster to promote it until a few weeks after the release. Maybe it’s a good thing Marty McFly kept his mouth shut since everything turned out to better than one could ever hope for on so many levels. Now, stay in your own franchise Marty!

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Every waking second was consumed by Star Wars. The downside was that after the movie was over, I left the theater and wanted more but there was very little merchandising to bring me back into the galaxy. At that time finding items on the shelves were very few and far between since it took a lot of convincing to get licensing companies on board. Merchandising for films was very difficult. Unless it already had a built in audience, by the time toys hit the shelf the film had already left the theaters. Some items did make it out fairly quickly, so quickly no one bothered to spellcheck judging by the T-shirt that read, “Darth Vadar lives”. It would have taken no more than two minutes to know that Vader end in ‘er’ not ’ar’.

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Sarah is 12 years younger than me, born post-Empire Strikes Back. Her story of Star Wars is a bit different than mine. She was ten years old when her visiting cousins decided to watch Return of the Jedi on a VHS that was taped from cable TV. She was immediately hooked on this new galaxy, and immediately had to watch The Empire Strikes Back the next night, then Star Wars the night after that. Like most kids who were hooked by the special effects, robots and Cantina aliens, Sarah fell in love with the music. It was because of John Williams amazing scores to Superman, Star Wars and so many more that she started playing French horn in middle school.

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With so much love and enthusiasm for Star Wars, we started to get more involved in the ever-growing fandom community and were sharing our thoughts on the Lucasfilm acquisition by Disney, potential new films, convention reviews and weekly Disney trips on social media. Only there’s so much you can say on Twitter and Facebook, so with the ever-growing phenomenon of podcasting we created Skywalking through Neverland! This show has changed our lives in the past four years having talked with the creators of the saga and met so many new friends from around the world. I know we’ve only met some of them a few times and some we have never met at all, but they are part of our Skywalker family. With the help of our podcast Skywalker family we have created a fun- filled and family-friendly show that inspires people to be positive and nurturing in each other’s viewpoints and choices.

Join us as we take you on a tour through 40 years of Star Wars and Disney fandom with never-heard-before stories and discussions or if just want to have good time, find us at skywalkingthroughneverland.com. And always remember to Never Land on Alderaan!

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About Richard & Sarah Woloski

Richard and Sarah Woloski are the co-hosts and creators of the Disney / Star Wars Podcast Skywalking Through Neverland. The husband and wife team strives to create a polished, positive and fun weekly show celebrating fandom. They also love writing for Adventures By Daddy. Find them @SkywalkingPod