Back in 1977, when the first wave of Star Wars mania was in full swing, someone got the brilliant idea to chronicle the making of George Lucas' sci-fi game-changer—and to have C-3PO and R2-D2 tell how it came to be. Maybe "brilliant" was a bit of a stretch.
This hourlong doc—sliced into four parts, for easy Internet usage—has footage that's been seen before in any number of Star Wars home video bonus features. We've seen young Lucas, thin and dark-haired, talk about his serial-adventure influences, just as we've seen Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher goofing around on the set.
What we haven't seen is the creaky framing device of a pair of droids, somehow time-shifted to the present out of their native "long time ago," recounting both the story of the Rebellion against the Empire and the making of the film as if the characters are actually real. Nor have we heard William Conrad's plummy voice-over—and you can almost hear the eye-rolling as he gravels out lines like "Tatooine, a strange world where the robots landed after their escape from the Imperial forces."
It's a wonderful little artifact of Star Wars arcana. And as cheesy as it is, it's a whole lot easier to stomach than the holiday special.