MTFBWY: Original Trilogy Japanese Star Wars Movie Posters (GALLERY)

MTFBWY: Original Trilogy Japanese Star Wars Movie Posters (GALLERY)

Editor's Note:
Happy International Star Wars Day - enjoy this modern classic about a not-so-modern classic. 

Big, Big, Very Big in Japan

Just like almost anywhere else on planet earth where there’s electricity and mass media of some kind, Star Wars is huge in Japan. The themes of the series are universally human, of course, and the same popular characters are pop-culturally popular over here (although the original trilogy and the bad guys in general are much more appreciated), and toys and branding and all the trappings proliferate.

Darth Vader, in particular, is super-beloved by the Japanese. The Dark Lord has been used to market everything from from Goodyear tires, yearly festivals with nothing at all to do with The Force or galactic empires, Square Enix and Bandai have produced collectible, samuraized Darth Vader figures, and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces even carved a giant Vader for the 2015 Sapporo Snow festival. The why of it all is probably because 1. Darth Vader’s costume was modeled after feudal-era Zunari Kabuto helmets and samurai armor in general, and 2. Darth Vader is badass.

Japanese Darth Vader Showdown: New Samurai vs. Old Samurai (GALLERY)

Maybe the First Three will Always be Better?

There is of course no Darth Vader in the latest installment of the space opera, which, in case you haven’t noticed...no, wait - that’s dumb to even say - if you possess either eyes or ears or both and are on the internet right now, you have.

Sure, Japanese and sci-fi fantasy dorks the world over eagerly await the new film’s wide release, but the fact is that time and place and culture and history pretty much dictate that the original trilogy will never be matched. We won’t beat a dead tauntaun explaining why, but it’s basically because Star Wars was the first “blockbuster” movie(s), and the first film franchise to create a genuine, widespread cultural momentum. Below are the fantastic posters that helped make it so here in Japan.

Star Wars Original Trilogy Movie Posters from Japan

These aren’t all of the original J-posters, but we’ve collected two for each of the three original films. So go ahead, take a look, and take a step into late 70s/early 80s state of the art movie marketing. Oh, and because it’s pretty much impossible to properly credit these images to whomever scanned or photographed them, we’ll just say: ©® Lucasfilm, Ltd.™.

Episode IV: A New Hope

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Much More J-Star Wars Stuff:

Darth Sculpture

Badass Samurai Vader