By Patrick Shanley
With the official trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens receiving over 13 million views in the first day of its release last Monday, it is safe to assume that full-scale Star Wars hype has settled in. The film, directed by J.J. Abrams, looks poised to break box office records when it finally hits theaters this December, but it may also be a Oscar contender, just as George Lucas’ original film in the iconic sci-fi series was nearly 40 years ago.
Traveling back to 1977, the year Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (then simply titled Star Wars) was originally released, the landscape of film was far different from today’s plethora of box office franchises. Lucas took audiences to a galaxy far, far away and was rewarded with the highest grossing film ever at that time as well as 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture.
The epic of Luke and Darth Vader has become legendary, but the story of how the film lost out to Woody Allen’s Annie Hall for best picture at the 50th Academy Awards is significantly lesser known.