We have something very special to show you.
What you can see in the photo’s below is a Star Wars press kit with a promotional photo booklet from 1977, released before the movie came out. It was sent out in the Netherlands, so it’s partially in Dutch.
On it is an early version of the Star Wars logo (check out the “W”). It’s super super rare!!
How do we know what it is? Well, the old logo gives away the fact that it pre-dates the release of the movie. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 40 years, you know that the logo they ended up using is a little different. Inside, you can see an even older version of the logo (see below). Doesn’t have quite the same drama to it, does it?
This type of press kit was sent out as background information and promotional material in May 1977, before the release of the movie in the Netherlands. The press kit contains a movie photobook, with pictures from the (about to be released) Star Wars movie, as well as heaps of background information regarding the story, the makers, the characters, and the actors.
Additionally, and more importantly, it also contains two supplements, three pages each, both from Bob Dingilian, who was Executive Director of National Publicity at 20th Century Fox. One says “The future should look used” [I love this line. An old future. Brilliant.] and provides much information about the filming of the movie.
The other supplement says “George Lucas brings his space fantasy to life,” and it describes Lucas’ inspiration and vision for Star Wars, including, of course, how it came from his love of movie serials and comics. It also says he wanted “an action movie in outer space” and “characters with ray guns, running around in space ships and shooting each other.” The simplicity of this description is great – I think he got what he wanted. The piece further mentions that Lucas co-owns a gallery bookstore in New York City which deals in newspaper cartoons, original art, and comic related books. The shop was called Supersnipe. Lovely bit of trivia there.
We found this particular press kit in the house of a man who worked for Fox Nederland at the time when Star Wars was released. He has had this wonderful and unique item in his home in Amsterdam for forty years, until Tsjerk and his friend Koen unearthed it.
What makes this particular press kit even more unique are the notes on it written by Lex Werkheim, who was Press Officer for Fox Nederland at the time. We believe these notes were made by him following a conversation he had in 1977 with Charles Lippincott, who was the American Press Officer for 20th Century Fox who accompanied the world tour of the movie release. You can see Werkheim making notes about different cinemas in which to hold the premiere. In the end, it was in Arnhem. He’s thinking about promotional materials – badges, t-shirts, gum. He’s also making a little summary of the movie: “goede wint” (good wins), and he’s comparing the robots to Laurel and Hardy.
Werkheim’s notes formed the basis of a press conference he organised regarding the opening of the movie, as well as for the premiere of Star Wars on Thursday 13 October 1977 at the Rembrandt Theater in Arnhem. This was the official release of the original Star Wars movie in the Netherlands. Gary Kurtz (producer), Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and David Prowse (Darth Vader) attended.
So, what’s the condition of this piece of movie history? There is some wear to the outside of the press folder, perhaps to be expected of paper after forty years. All the contents, however, are in excellent shape. Luckily, they had been stored away from sunlight in a dark attic for many many years. We are very excited to have an item this special in our shop, and we hope that whoever buys it will understand its cultural value and will take good care of it, as I’m sure he/she will!
Many thanks to Koen Druijf for your help with finding this item and providing information about it.
The press kit is currently for sale in our shop: http://www.ebay.nl/itm/STAR-WARS-PRESS-KIT-w-PROMO-PHOTO-BOOKLET-1977-PRE-RELEASE-HOLLAND-ULTRA-RARE-/182813183529?hash=item2a9083ce29:g:hjMAAOSwe0NZ2LLC