Last night, the internet broke out in a fresh frenzy of anticipation when the new teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped. The feverish response is the latest indication of the Star Wars community’s continued strength and reach, a phenomenon that The New York Times highlights today in an article about Lucasfilm’s savvy interactions with fans. But a 38-year-old TV special, newly uploaded to YouTube, reminds us that mass obsession has been part of the Star Wars story from the outset.
A long time ago—1977, to be exact—in our very own galaxy, ABC set aside an hour of airtime for a film about the making of A New Hope (or, as it was more simply known before Lucas’ revisions, Star Wars). You can now watch the documentary in its entirety on YouTube; it’s embedded below. The show begins by marveling at legions of loyal Star Wars fans, much like the Times article does, before moving on to behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with George Lucas, Gary Kurtz, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Alec Guinness. The proceedings are hosted by C-3PO (with bleeping, booping assistance from R2-D2), as he serves the primary function of a protocol droid: providing filler between segments on a promotional TV special.