The internet can be an awful place. But sometimes it can be used as a force for good. You see that when it comes to disaster relief help or getting live updates on the ground in a crisis... and you can see it in the Indiana Joneses out there who go seeking for lost geek treasure, like this video.
It's not too hard to find YouTube videos with Mark Hamill talking about Star Wars. It's not very common to find one from the year before the first film was released and this is exactly what you have here.
There are three men on the stage here at MidAmeriCon in Kansas City, Missouri on September 4th, 1976. Left to right they are Star Wars Marketing Director Charles Lippencott, Producer Gary Kurtz (who walked away from Star Wars after Empire) and the then mostly unknown Mark Hamill.
They have just shown some slides for their space movie to a Comic Con crowd... and when I saw Comic-Con I mean the real, original Comic-Con type crowd, not what exists today. This is an audience of outcasts, nerds back when it was unpopular to be a nerd. Today it is cool to be a geek. In fact it's weird if you're not into geek culture. The roles have reversed. Not so much then.
And in true Comic Book Guy fashion this crowd is a bit... salty. And unconvinced. The first few questions in particular are dickish, getting nerdy about explosions in space and "cliched" plots.
There are some real gems here, though. Kurtz is very clear about the budget and the steep hill they have to climb to find success (a whopping $18 million in print rentals or it's a failure). Hamill's enthusiasm is also on full display and in hindsight it's pretty funny seeing him talk about the love story between him and Carrie Fisher. There's also a question to keep an ear out for toward the end when someone asks if he's worried about being typecast as a sci-fi star should this little space opera maybe find an audience, which is pretty incredible considering right this very moment he's on a press tour talking about his return to the role of Luke Skywalker.
This is geek catnip. Many thanks to FANAC for uncovering it, cleaning it up and uploading it.
Watch it and share!